Liam Gallagher & John Squire – Live Review – Leeds O2 Academy

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By Kirsty Masterman, March 2024

Yes Leeds!

These were the opening words of Liam Gallagher as he swaggered on stage, wide-armed, to take his place alongside John Squire, already looming over his guitar, his trademark mop-hair covering his face. They were also the words I uttered when I found out that the newly-formed supergroup were playing there.

It’s over 20 years since I last saw Liam on stage, as part of Oasis at London’s Earl Court and I’d always thought that Squire and Gallagher would make a good pairing, (if not better), with Gallagher’s charisma and Squire’s intricate style. So, to say I was excited to see what is considered to be the most anticipated collaboration of the year (if not decade), was something of an understatement.

Just three weeks after scoring a No 1 with their first, self-titled album, they are here, at Leeds O2 Academy, for the first of their two night residency, taking the new songs for a spin.

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John Squire & Liam Gallagher, 2024
image: Tom Oxley

“Kaleidoscope of colour”

The duo and their band (bassist Barrie Cadogan and drummer Joey Waronker), launch straight into the set with the psychedelic ‘Just another Rainbow’ – a somewhat brave move when you consider that it was met with a lukewarm response earlier in the year, but this is Liam Gallagher and John Squire you’re talking about – they can do what they want. It seems to hit the right note, and before long, you can hear the distinctive chants of “red and orange, yellow and green, blue, indigo and violet” coming from the crowd. Not even two rifts in, and I’m already feeling the effects of what is surely a staple of these gigs – a pint being slung across the roaring crowds. Welcome back to the Britpop era!

Poised in his trademark stance, hands behind back, Liam sings his way through the debut album, as the duo deliver their brand of classic rock to Leeds.

As the stage floods with a kaleidoscope of colour, the atmosphere mounts, with chants of “Liam, Liam”, after every song, the love for this guy is undeniable.

It doesn’t take long for Liam to ask “Anyone here a fan of the blues?” Of course, he’s referring to his beloved Manchester City, a risky move considering where he is, but he laughs it off, saying he means the music, which, is in essence what this album is – a psychedelic combination of rock, blues and straight up rock ’n’ roll made by two men who were in two of the biggest bands to ever come out of Manchester.

While chants of requests for Oasis and Stone Roses songs can be heard from the crowd, you’ll find none of them in this set and you have to admire them for not conceding to what would have been an easy win, proving that their new songs can stand up on their own, and if I’m honest, I’m pleased that they steered away from this

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The one song encore is “F****ing old-school” Gallagher declares as they launch into an energetic cover of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’.

For what was considered by many, a decidedly short set list at just over 50 minutes, you can’t argue that it was a fantastic performance. These songs were made to be heard live. Liam’s vocals were on point from the start and Squire’s tight musicianship never wavered. Despite watching the entire gig through a sea of mobile phone, I’d come for the music, which was just as well! And on that note, it certainly didn’t disappoint.

With mumblings of a second album already circulating, we’ll have to wait and see what the future holds for this super-duo, but after tonight’s performance, I’m sure this won’t be the last we hear of them.

They are certainly resurrected rock ’n’ roll stars.

live images: Kirsty Masterman


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