Liam Gallagher Glasgow review - 'the perfect Oasis greatest hits set'

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of Definitely Maybe, Liam Gallagher’s romp through songs from that album and era was a reminder of why his former band were so loved, writes David Pollock

Liam Gallagher, Hydro, Glasgow ****

“Are you getting leathered at the football, or are you still holding on?” asked Liam Gallagher from the Hydro stage on Wednesday night, aware that his audience could have hit a pub for the crucial Scotland v Switzerland game instead. “Well, good luck anyway.”

With Scotland desperately trying to get out of the Euros group stage and the voice of Oasis playing the band’s early hits onstage, this show might have brought back memories of the summer of 1996 – but in fact, the music came from earlier than that. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the group’s debut album Definitely Maybe, every song here dated from 1994 or before.

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Liam Gallagher PIC: Dave J Hogan/Getty ImagesLiam Gallagher PIC: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images
Liam Gallagher PIC: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Shorn of the later sub-Beatles anthemics of Wonderwall and Don’t Look Back in Anger (although the set ended with an actual Beatles cover, I Am the Walrus), and all those albums designed mainly to keep a foothold in the charts, this was instead the purest rush of noisy teenage aspiration which caused so many to fall in love with the band in the first place.

The band played loud, with hammering drums and a pealing lead guitar (a reminder of the absent Noel Gallagher) high in the mix. Yet the key musical feature, inevitably, was Liam’s voice, undimmed after 30 years, barking out a unique blend of hope, aggression and unwillingness to settle on key tracks including Rock ‘n’ Roll Star, Columbia and Fade Away.

Playing under a large globe, in a nod to the Definitely Maybe album cover, and alongside a pair of model flamingos (“nice birds,” pointed out Gallagher, channelling Loaded mag), the original album’s running order was mixed up with key B-sides like Half the World Away and (It’s Good) To Be Free, the late 1994 single Whatever and the early demo Lock All the Doors, later recorded by Noel’s High Flying Birds.

Lesser-known Definitely Maybe songs like Digsy’s Dinner and D’Yer Wanna Be a Spaceman were period curios, but the first encore of Supersonic, Slide Away and Live Forever distilled the purest essence of why his former band were so loved. It was, quite honestly, the perfect Oasis greatest hits set.