Review: Liam Gallagher, First Direct Arena, Leeds

Liam Gallagher.
Liam Gallagher.
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“I’ve got nothing against Yorkshire man,” responds Liam Gallagher to an impromptu chant from the crowd,

“I love the tea.”

Liam Gallagher

Liam Gallagher

It is one of a few snappy one-liners the former Oasis frontman delivers in a punchy 90 minute set split virtually 50-50 between Oasis classics and songs from his own well-received debut solo LP As You Were.

Arriving on stage at 9.15pm sharp, decked out in a salmon pink parka and with close cropped hair, the younger Gallagher brother reminds us all what a beguiling frontman he is.

Tonight’s gig is the first in his UK tour and come after illness caused him to cancel dates in the US at the start of last week.

Openers Rock n’ Roll Star and Morning Glory are predictably huge. Gallagher spits out the lyrics, channelling his inner John Lydon.

His voice in the main in terrific. I’ve All I Need is beautiful, Come Back to Me is as big an anthem delivered during the whole set and Universal Gleam could be on any John Lennon solo record.

Only on a couple of occasions does it waver. For What It’s Worth, with all its high notes, is snarled rather than sang. Slide Away in stages sounds weak. The ravages of time and the recent illness no doubt have taken their toll.

Naturally the biggest cheers of the night come for the Oasis classics. Supersonic, Some Might Say and Cigarettes and Alcohol provoke mass sing-a longs. Better still B-side Rocking Chair is a real treat.

In the main his solo material stands alongside the material penned by his brother, It has more charm and edge to it than his more celebrated brother’s solo material. Mainly it is Liam’s ferocious delivery that makes the night, it is easy to forget what a powerful voice it is.

An acoustic Live Forever is wonderful and a final closer of Wonderwall sends the Leeds faithful home happy.

In all, it is just simply great to have Liam Gallagher back in the public domain. In an era of insipid mainstream music, we need more true rock stars.

And when it comes to rock stars, there are few truer than Liam Gallagher.

As you were.