Fremantle Arts Centre, WA
December 18th, 2019
Supports: Alex Lahey and Planet
“C’mon you Fookers, start moving…..”
Liam Gallagher the iconic Manchester legend strolled into Fremantle Wednesday night, the 2nd leg of his W.A shows to conclude his Australian tour in the beautiful surroundings of the Fremantle Arts Centre. Pompous as always, charismatic as always, I mean who else would wear a parker with a hoodie in 35 degree heat with a hot Fremantle Doctor blowing in his face (Wow, that came out wrong) (*Editor – let’s keep it in anyway). The former or should we say, in permanent hiatus vocalist of one of the 90s biggest rock bands, Oasis was still in fine form vocally and with keeping the masses entertained, wowing the crowd as he cracked on through a host of Oasis greatest hits as well as his two solo albums which have both been a pleasant surprise compared to his brother’s High Flying Birds that seem to be on a downward decline with every album release.
Nevertheless, the 47 year old delivered an inspiring set. That unpredictability Liam has shown throughout his career as well as this recent tour down under had the whole audience on edge pre kick off. It adds to the intrigue. You never know what you might get. Is it grumpy Liam or happy Liam? Sarcastic Liam or downright pissed off Liam? Tonight was a bit of everything. But let’s set the scene first. The Fremantle Arts Centre as a venue is epic, or as Liam would say, “biblical, man”. Church like historical buildings, and a beautifully manicured tiered grass area. Enter Liam Gallagher. Full of swagger as if he just downed a few pints at his local and he’s ready to have a kick of the football with his mates. That patent waddling swagger, that cheeky grin and of course for some daft reason, a fookin’ parker.
The entrance alone was epic. Manchester City, his beloved (and mine for that matter!) Champions chant followed by ‘Fuckin’ in the Bushes’ over the P.A, an Oasis classic before Gallagher swagger waddles into ‘Rock ‘N Roll Star’ and the whole crowd bounces around in unison as if it were 1997. Liam’s new album, Why Me, Why Not built on his successful solo debut, As You Were and the next track ‘Halo’ with its pumping piano intro followed by ‘Shockwave’ were equally well received. The latter a track that wouldn’t of looked out of place in the Oasis heyday. One thing was quick to note, his band that surrounds him are tight, and with a trio of female backing singers, this is as rock as you can get.
‘Morning Glory’ kicked the crowd back into karaoke jostling with Gallagher’s nasally tones to the fore and if I wasn’t mistaken, a wry smile from Liam as the crowd lapped up the classic. As the band waded through some more Oasis tunes, including a very cool rendition of ‘Colombia’ from the band’s debut album, Definitely Maybe, from 1994, you couldn’t help but take in the awe of Gallagher. Slight in stature but full of charisma from his stance to the microphone to his arrogance, and whilst not nailing all his high pitched bits, nobody cared, he still exuded rock star and in this day and age there are not many like him.
One of the highlights of the night was the track, ‘Once’ from this year’s album, a ballad that strips back Liam’s band to a simple acoustic strum against the nasally vocal before it kicks in, dare we say, to a biblical sing-a-long. ‘Wonderwall’ had the lighters out and the drunks in the aisles hugging strangers and high fiveing passer-by’s and that concluded the night prematurely before the obligatory encore.
The fans wanted the Oasis tracks and Liam and band didn’t let them down smashing out another five Oasis classics, including, ‘Roll With It’, ‘Supersonic’ and another sing-a-long with ‘Champagne Supernova’ before concluding with ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’. A surprisingly uneventful night for Liam. No walk offs, no curfew problems, but a night of smiles, sing-a-longs, high fives, sarcasm and love. It’s a shame the brothers can’t get their shit together but in the meantime, if Liam keeps building on his own success with these solo albums and revisiting the past Oasis tracks to appease the masses he can keep rolling on as long as he wants.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Star
Wall of Glass
Stand by Me
Why Me? Why Not.
Roll With It
Cigarettes & Alcohol
Review by Jim Birkin
* Fremantle Doctor is the term used in these parts for the southerly sea breeze