A humble support being able to wholly eclipse the main attraction is a formula rarely seen in action. However, over the course of Liam Gallagher’s homecoming show at Lancashire’s County Cricket Club on August 18, the limelight was elegantly snatched from our leading legend by none other than a certain Mr Richard Ashcroft.
Before producing a moving tribute to the victims of the 2017 Manchester bombing, as well as offering the crowd nostalgic renditions of Oasis’ ‘Listen Up’ and Beady Eye’s ‘Soul Love’; Liam Gallagher enlisted some Mancunian friends to help leather the LCCC crowd with pleasure and cause a ruckus with venue-wide sing-alongs.
The hand-picked support acts for the final dates on Gallagher’s As You Were tour came in the form of Oldham’s cherished Twisted Wheel, as well as the innovative MC, Bugzy Malone. While both put in scintillating performances, naturally they were deemed to pale in comparison when the star in his own right, Richard Ashcroft, was able to encapsulate the 50K-strong crowd with just simply his presence.
Ashcroft (adorning a selection of jackets which would make even our Parker-geek pretty green with envy) swung into action by offering fans a lick of his celebrated solo songs (‘This Is How It Feels’) as well as a plethora of Verve tracks, including ’Sonnet’, ‘Lucky Man’ and the soundtrack to England’s International Football games, ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’.
Offering unparalleled showmanship, Ashcroft’s warm-up set for his Britpop comrade deserved lashings of celebratory glee. The wave of enthusiasm and real, pure passion radiating from his words of hope that ‘music really would last forever because he would never stop performing it’, sent chills down spines. The former Verve frontman’s performance was the real deal.
To follow Ashcroft was plagued to be a laborious task. However with a nostalgia-riddled setlist, a stunning visual tribute to the late Aretha Franklin and an almost-delectable vocal; the headline act, man-of-the-moment Liam Gallagher, just managed to scrape by.
Fans of the Mancunian icon were treated to a rare live rendition of ‘Whatever’, witnessed a special guest guitar spot by Oasis’ Bonehead during ‘Some Might Say’ and ‘Live Forever’ as well as being able to revel in an acoustic, isolated-vocal version of ‘D’Yer Wanna Be A Spaceman?’
While the setlist was predominantly a smorgasbord of Oasis classics (‘Bring It On Down’ and ‘Supersonic’), Gallagher’s solo offerings were on the money also. ‘Bold’, ‘Greedy Soul’ and the prized ‘Wall Of Glass’ caused storming feet, hoots of ecstasy and the feeling that these tracks are as strong as their legendary counterparts. Our main and only criticism is that Gallagher begins believing in his solo offerings, filtering his new gems heavily throughout the setlist.
Liam Gallagher proved that regardless of his time spent out of the limelight, he will forever bite back. After being joined onstage by both Bonehead and Ashcroft, it is plain to see that our favourite music will never die. It might have been 27 years since Oasis’ first ever show, but Gallagher proved the band is an ongoing, immortal being, and he is its captain forever more.