You could say that the date and venue was apt. The Odyssey, 30th October. It was on that date in 2008 that Oasis played their last concert in Belfast. Nine years to the day, Liam Gallagher was back at The Odyssey.
He has been in Belfast in the time inbetween, playing there twice with Beady Eye in 2011, at Ulster Hall in April of that year and then at Custom House Square for Belsonic later that year.
Having already been announced for a festival on the Sunday night in Dublin (It’s a Bank Holiday Weekend in the Republic Of Ireland, in case you’re wondering) there was the hope that he might pop by in Belfast, especially as we missed out on his mini tour in June.
Our prayers were answered, with a Belfast gig to kick off his Winter Tour being announced.
Before he was The King Of Twitter, Liam Gallagher was a Rock N Roll Star. On the evidence of Monday night at The Odyssey, that is still very much the case.
As he entered the stage with the classic Oasis walk-on of Fuckin In the Bushes blasting out, those were the words he uttered.
He could have been describing himself, but he was introducing the first song, Rock N Roll Star, track 1 on Definitely Maybe, a call to arms and statement of intent.
This was then followed by Morning Glory, the title track from Oasis second album. If you thought this was going to be a chronological look at Gallagher’s career, you would be wrong, we would be returning to Definitely Maybe throughout the night.
The first two songs were reminding us of who Liam Gallagher was, the next few songs were now looking at who he is now, dipping into his debut solo album, As You Were, named after his Twitter catchphrase.
The album stands up on it’s own merits. It’s decent. There are some A* songs on it and a few As. I reviewed it on Twitter. You can find it here.
And yes, i’ll be doing the same when Who Stole The Moon? comes through my letterbox later this month.
Gallagher was playing to a crowd that was well warmed up by the support acts.
First up, was Kyle Falconer, formerly of The View, now solo. His material sounded a lot like The View. If you like The View, as I do, then you’ll like it.
After him, was The Strypes. I’d previously seem them supporting Blur in 2013. I know, crossing the divide. If you love The Jam, you’ll love these guys. They are very good.
I was amused to see the singer in a smart suit and the rest of the band in jeans and trainers, it reminded me of a recent Top Of The Pops repeat on BBC Four where Bryan Ferry was wearing a tuxedo and the rest of Roxy Music were dressed like The Smiths.
I’m sure there were quite a lot of people in the crowd checking, double checking and triple checking their ticket to make sure they brought the right one.
There was bound to be someone who tried to get in with a ticket to Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds for May 2018.
Both Gallaghers will be on tour throughout 2018, so if you’re dreaming of you know what, it will have to wait until 2019, 25 years on from Definitely Maybe and 10 years on from their split. Got to love nice round numbers.
The set was then to be dominated by songs from As You Were, with Greedy Soul, a bit of a grower, being up first, followed by debut solo single Wall Of Glass.
Up next was For What It’s Worth, a Beatlesesque ballad that stands up to any Oasis classic, sounding even better live than it does on record.
This was followed by Bold, a song debuted at festivals this summer, it sounded fantastic and was worth the wait to hear it on record, venturing into 80s Power Ballard territory as Liam sings “Lay it on me” over and over accompanied only by a pounding drumbeat.
Oasis fans love to psychoanalyse, and the line “There’s no love worth chasing yesterday” will have raised a few eyebrows considering that Noel Gallagher’s second album is called Chasing Yesterday.
Chinatown is one of my favourite songs from As You Were but it wasn’t played. Not that surprising as it is hard to see where it would fit in a live set. Fantastic song though.
We then returned to Oasis classics, with Some Might Say, led by a thunderous drum beat.
This might not be the place to mention “The N Word”, but as good as Liam sounded, it did miss Noel’s backing vocals. They are part of the reason why the song is so good.
As well as vocals, Liam was banging his tambourine He even threw on into the crowd. I narrowly missed out on it. If he had just a slight bit more power, it would have landed right into my hands.
Considering the scrum that followed, it was probably a good thing I didn’t catch it.
It wouldn’t be the first time Liam Gallagher caused a bit of bother by throwing something across a room at a concert.
I had a decent view. Then a fight broke out in front of me. While that was being broken up, I snuck into the space that opened up like a deep lying goalscoring midfielder. You snooze, you lose.
Then a moshpit started to my right, so more space opened up in front of me top move forward. Result.
More Oasis classics followed in the shape of Slide Away (Should have been a single) and I’m Outta Time (A forgotten classic) before returning to As You Were with the absolutely superb Come Back To Me.
Eternal crowd favourite Cigarettes and Alcohol was played. That’s what the venue was full of as well, fucking smelly tramps puffing and vaping away.
I really don’t want to add indoor concerts to outdoor concerts, football matches, going for a walk, eating outside on a nice day, going to a beer garden and queuing for a bus to the list of things you can’t do in Belfast without having cigarette smoke blown into your face.
Vapes are supposedly to get people off smoking. Bollocks. Every lunchtime I see the same old sour faces puffing away.
I’m going to raising this until this is addressed as a society and as a city.
Why should I have my enjoyment of events held to ransom by inconsiderate arseholes?
Belfast really is a city full of crayon eaters.
Thankfully, I was surrounded by women doused in weapons grade perfume which drowned out the smell.
To give an indication of where vapes stand in society, i’d rather breathe in eggy farts.
European Capital Of Culture my arse. European Capital Of Smelly Tramps more like.
For the encore, we were treated to Supersonic and an acoustic version Live Forever, Liam letting the crowd sing the bits sung by Noel.
As he finished his set, Liam described Belfast as “The bollocks”, telling the crowd that they knew that anyway.
The front page of Tuesday’s edition of Irish News had a photo of him, and a caption that said he sang Wonderwall. He didn’t.
I’m guessing someone wrote a review without being there. You could have guessed he would wheel out big Oasis hits, but Liam Gallagher is anything but predictable.
The only rendition of Wonderwall came in the Car Park as someone blasted it out on their car stereo. It was the only way to kill time in what felt like a never ending queue. It felt like that by the time we were going to get out, we’d be having to about turn to get a parking space for Noel’s concert in May 2018.
Liam tweeted that there are many things he would like to say to Belfast but he didn’t know how.
He could say he is coming back.
Oh wait, he is.
On the Friday before, it was already announced that he would be returning to Belfast in June 2018 to play at Ormeau Park at Belsonic.
Liam Gallagher. Belsonic. Saturday night. It’s a potent combination. There’s going to be a lot of whoppers at it. It’s something we have to put up with unfortunately.
Just imagine if Northern Ireland qualify for the World Cup and are playing their opening group match that day. That will be fun.
Live Forever was the last song, the lights came on and Sid Vicious version of My Way.
Hopefully, the end is near and Liam Gallagher’s career isn’t heading to the final curtain.
It certainly was an apt way to end, Liam Gallagher does it his way.