Liam Gallagher Oozes More Power At Koko

Liam Gallagher doesn’t need any introduction. The younger of the two Manchester-hailing Gallagher brothers that fronted Britpop frontrunners Oasis from the mid 1990s through to the group’s famous implosion in 2009, is famous as much for music as for his bristly personality and unapologetic big mouth. And although his words between songs are few at tonight’s relatively tiny show at Camden’s 1,400-capacity Koko venue (given the younger Gallagher played to some 160,000 fans over two nights at Knebworth in June last year), the bristles are out, and they’re sharpened.

Liam Gallagher @ Koko

Liam Gallagher (Zekaria Al-Bostani / @zek.snaps)
Liam Gallagher (Zekaria Al-Bostani / @zek.snaps)

Tonight’s show is to promote live LP Knebworth 22, which aims to condense those two “biblical” nights at Knebworth in June 2022 into an LP. But tonight’s appearance by Gallagher is anything but biblical. Instead, it’s a straight-forward run through of tunes that plays to this crowd of superfans of both Oasis and that group’s primary vocalist.

The music kicks off with The Rifles frontman Joel Stoker playing a solo set, the Chingford man donning a flat cap and acoustic guitar, accompanied by a pianist and drummer for an outing of charming, folksy tunes that are largely lost on tonight’s audience. Chants of “Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiammm!” are hurled at him from the rowdy crowd at every opportunity while those around me at the front of the crowd busy themselves with texting and gaming on their mobile devices rather than listen to music and engage with the performance from a man who’s band themselves were built around a love of Oasis.

And then it’s time for Gallagher, the dimming of lights at Koko and the pre-recorded hum of Oasis tune F**kin’ In The Bushes playing over the PA immediately punctuated by £7.15 pints of beer (and other beverages) being slug forwards, a slice of lime parking itself neatly on the stage, as the crowd’s rowdiness is turned up to the next level. “Big round of applause for Bonehead” Gallagher demands of his audience as former Oasis guitarist Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs adds to the multitude of guitarists from the frontman’s already 9-strong band, joining them sporadically through the night for a handful of Oasis tunes after he pulled out of touring with Gallagher to undergo cancer treatment last year.

A one-two punch of Oasis classics open the Burnage-hailing singer’s set, Morning Glory and Rock ‘n’ Roll Star from the group’s seminal duo of LPs giving the fans what they want, and the star opportune moments to lean against a large silver “Rock ‘n’ Roll” sign behind him before throwing in storming 2017 solo single Wall Of Glass.

The 50-year-old rarely budges from his trademark head-tilted-up-to-microphone, arms-behind-back stance (the occasional tambourine or maracas shake thrown in of course) and proceeds each track with a call out of its title. Shockwave and Better Days from his last two LPs continue Gallagher’s solo material run, with his younger son Gene brought out to drum on a second kit placed at the front of the stage (kick drum scrawled with the word ‘spunk’) for the latter tune, before more Oasis punch is thrown back in via 1997 single Stand By Me. “Do we have any Oasis fans in this little ‘ouse?” he intimates ahead of the tune before proceeding to hand over vocal duties for the song’s choruses to his enraptured audience throughout this airing.

Liam Gallagher @ Koko

Liam Gallagher (Zekaria Al-Bostani / @zek.snaps)
Liam Gallagher (Zekaria Al-Bostani / @zek.snaps)

“There’s a little agro going on over there” Gallagher half asks, looking into a corner of the crowd. “Carry on, give them sh*t whoever they are” he encourages, “sh*t, sh*t, sh*t!” he riles before continuing another Oasis segment with slow-drive Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants closer Roll It Over. “So what’s been happening then in Camden?” he asks rhetorically. “Nothing” he states staring blankly at the crowd before continuing swiftly with a roof-raising outing of Definitely Maybe classic Slide Away.

2022 album C’mon You Know cuts More Power and Diamonds In The Dark slow things down, Gallagher’s crowd interaction upped between tunes: “tambourine anyone?” he teases, holding the instrument out to a sea of expectant arms before tucking it away, mumbling “cost of living crisis” to muted chuckles and stowed-away arms.

Piano-led ballad As You Were cut Paper Crown continues to keep the fans at bay before Gallagher re-introduces youngest son Gene back to the stage “say hello to them you little f**ker” he teases as Gallagher junior sinks subdued behind his kit, waving sheepishly to the Koko audience. “Throw ‘em a kiss man!” he continues before the band kick off 2019 single The River, the 22-year-old Gallagher skulking off stage for the final time at the song’s conclusion.

The night is closed out with a crescendo of Oasis hits, Cigarettes & Alcohol giving way to main set closer Wonderwall. And it’s not long before the encore of Roll With It and Live Forever is delivered.

“Nice one for coming out tonight … and all that crap and b*llocks” Gallagher offers to his audience, giving and taking away in equal measures. “It doesn’t really matter though does it, ‘cause we’d have still done it without you” he continues, “because some other f**king people would have turned up”, his audience laughing along.

The one surprise of the night comes by way of usual set-closer and Morning Glory classic Champagne Supernova being replaced with an outing of Jimi Hendrix cover Are You Experienced?

There’s no denying that Liam Gallagher was the voice of the Britpop revolution and that the years have been kind, his voice still able to belt out classic tunes along with largely pitch-perfect renditions of those from his rather strong trio of solo efforts. But, if anything, the world has moved on from needing a frontman who not only puts two fingers up to it, but to his own family and fans. Theatre perhaps, but passé nonetheless.

  • 53110198958 02f856bb78 o
  • 53110109440 51c93e8217 o
  • 53110198973 f79787dac6 o
  • 53109695161 c76c01b98f o
  • 53109122182 72815cc7b8 o
  • 53109122177 62b08d7884 o
  • 53110109375 323674697b o
  • 53109695156 0862396939 o
  • 53110198888 ed72e9bf3c o
  • 53110198868 4e6b0fc02b o
  • 53110198848 e93dae501d o
  • 53110109435 d80ef72db5 o
  • 53109901609 5242e20f47 o
  • 53109122167 76e2fff88a o
  • 53110109340 b788e6d62b o
  • 53109901619 5b94ed80bb o
  • 53110109490 b1b5a5297d o
  • 53110198958 8f32b16642 n
  • 53110109440 1327e96f86 n
  • 53110198973 7cf67b0042 n
  • 53109695161 ce7d44c0b3 n
  • 53109122182 e71b555fda n
  • 53109122177 a8300f5f9a n
  • 53110109375 057bfcbc63 n
  • 53109695156 b2346cfcf3 n
  • 53110198888 b45ca045a9 n
  • 53110198868 b4a66db09b n
  • 53110198848 a581a6ea48 n
  • 53110109435 730cea3b3f n
  • 53109901609 c43e3e3916 n
  • 53109122167 4df65763de n
  • 53110109340 7b8c97f83b n
  • 53109901619 049ff420c9 n
  • 53110109490 cae528237a n

Live review of Liam Gallagher @ Koko by Kalpesh Patel on 9th August 2023. Photography by Zekaria Al-Bostani / @zek.snaps and Kalpesh Patel

King Princess Finds Safety At Koko

Aerial Salad (Press)

Aerial Salad Share Tied To Pieces Of Paper

It’s with good reason that Aerial Salad describe themselves as "Madchester Punk". From their formation in 2016, the...
Crawlers @ Rough Trade East (Paul Lyme)

Crawlers Deliver A Valentine’s Treat At Rough Trade East

The queue stretches down through the glowing Shoreditch street for half a block. Someone’s cut out hundreds of pink...
Alice Cooper @ The O2 Arena (Kalpesh Patel)

Alice Cooper Announces UK Tour Including Hammersmith London Shows

Icon, pioneer, and Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Alice Cooper has achieved so much in his lengthy career. But...
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes @ Roundhouse (Nick Allan)

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes’ Dark Rainbows Shine At The Roundhouse

Few musicians and artists that I’ve followed over the years have evolved as much as Frank Carter has since I first saw him fronting Gallows when they opened for the MC5/DTK at the Underworld in Camden back in December 2006, back when I described Frank as a Wee Ginger Gobshite who offered out the audience for a fight, Now nearly 18 years later Frank is playing two nights At The Roundhouse to celebrate the release of dark Rainbow his fifth album with The Rattlesnakes.

Megan Moroney (David McClister)

Georgia’s EMO Cowgirl Megan Moroney To Bring Nashville To The UK

Self-described “emo cowgirl” Megan Moroney has announced her return to the UK for seven headline dates in September,...
McFly (Press)

McFly To Celebrate 21 Years With Massive O2 Arena Show

It’s been 21 years since McFly first formed, a journey which has taken them from their breakthrough hit Five Colours...
The Schizophonics @ Moth Club (Pauline Di Silvestro)

A Lesson Of Rock’N’Roll To The People Of Hackney, By The Schizophonics

It was an average Wednesday night for many people in Hackney, just trying to get through the rest of the winter while...
Mother Mother Mackenzie Walker scaled

Mother Mother Explore Their Grief Chapter

Canada’s biggest alt-rock export Mother Mother have released their highly anticipated album Grief Chapter. The album...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share Thing