Following the horrific trauma and grief that occurred in the Manchester Arena on 22nd May, Liam Gallagher, amongst a number of other singers, has helped to raise money for those affected by hosting a charity gig.
The return of LG has been long awaited, and since he let wind that a new solo album - As You Were - was on the horizon months back, social media users have expectedly had a whole host of opinions. It goes without saying that the speculations about whether he has “lost it”, or would come back with a storming return were definitely floating around the Twittersphere. But, whether those opinions praise the ex-Oasis frontman or slate him, we firstly want to take our hats off to him for doing something in aid of the victims’ families.
Completing a set of 14 songs, Gallagher took to the stage solo for the first time at the Ritz in Manchester, in front of a rather intimate crowd with big anticipations. He sang a combination of his debut album - including his newly-released single Wall of Glass, and a number of Oasis hits including Rock 'n' Roll Star, Morning Glory, Be Here Now and Live Forever. As expected, the fans reacted with more emotion to the Oasis numbers, however they responded with an abundance of cheers and applauds to his solo work, praising Gallagher as he rightly deserves. Throughout the show there was nothing but love and pride declared for both Liam and Manchester, and this injected a real sense of community and respect back into the city.
Manchester-related chants filled the venue, as the crowd sang in unison: “stand up, for the 22”. Liam applauded the chorus, and responded with "Manchester, I love you", as he stood in front of 22 lit candles representing those who tragically lost their lives in the attack.
If the whole night wasn’t already special enough, the final two songs of the gig brought rarity to the event; A Manchester reunion occurred, as Liam played a one-off of Be Here Now with ex-Oasis bandmate, Bonehead. Following this was an a capella of Live Forever, which closed the show and saw the crowd singing back with passion, hunger and adoration.
Gallagher’s performance throughout the gig answered fans’ speculations about whether the icon would be regurgitating the likes of Oasis and Beady Eye, or whether he would be bringing something new to the table – the answer, thankfully being the latter. The singing, songwriting and production all showed that his talent never faded, and although he may not be writing the songs entirely by himself, he certainly hasn't forgotten how to perform them.
Honouring and appreciating what has come from Manchester musically was shown throughout the gig, however it isn’t just Liam Gallagher who has allowed fans to sing out to Oasis since the attack. The Courteeners frontman, Liam Fray, took to the stage and sang a heartfelt version of Don’t Look Back In Anger with 50,000 people at Old Trafford, along with Enter Shakiri singing Half The World Away to their fans on May 23rd. These gigs show the power of music for the people, and in a way they display just a fraction of how the UK has come together to pay tribute and honour those affected, along with the city of Manchester and what it stands for.
Liam stated that “normal business has resumed”, and after his live performance and release of Wall of Glass, we look forward to seeing him perform throughout the summer.
As you were.