New songs - the kryptonite of a festival crowd.
Thousands are gathered at the Other Stage to witness Liam Gallagher’s Glastonbury return. Even David Beckham is putting aside club rivalries, stood side of stage. As ‘Fuckin In The Bushes’ bares out, and rkid takes the stage, he already has the crowd in his hand.
Quoting The Beatles’ ‘I Am The Walrus’ before launching into ‘Rock ’n’ Roll Star’, LG is ready to prove the doubters wrong. He rips through ‘Morning Glory’ like it’s still the 90s, but that soon subsides. “Now we’ve got your attention, we’re gonna get stuck into some new songs,” he asserts. This may be a solo set with a debut solo album to follow in October, but that’s not how festivals like this really work.
‘Wall of Glass’ may have recognition as a current single, but the other new songs from ‘As You Were’ feel to lack the bombastic arrogance of those Oasis classics, especially when compared directly in the same set. Maybe it’s a lack of familiarity, but he troops on regardless.
By the time he finishes ‘Bold’, the crowd are actively chanting for more Oasis. They’re duly rewarded by a double header of ‘D’You Know What I Mean?’ and ‘Slide Away’ - and the latter especially still sounds absolutely massive.
“We gotta get back to reality,” Liam insists, before launching into a run of three new songs. “Today and that, right?”
It’s clear what the crowd really wants, though. Even third album title track ‘Be Here Now’ feels like an anthem in comparison. As the band disappears, Liam dedicates the next one to the victims of the recent incidents in Manchester and London. Is this it? Is this the moment the brothers finally reunite?
It’s surreal to hear an A Capella version of ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ sung by the younger Gallagher - even if it is something fans have been waiting to hear for years. It’s arguably the biggest singalong of the weekend, but there’s still no sign of Noel.
Maybe once that album lands lands, sets like this will make more sense. Right now, it’s a mixed bag of sheer euphoria and puzzled boredom. As you were.
You can watch Liam's full Glastonbury set here, via the BBC iPlayer.
Liam Gallagher played:
Rock 'n' Roll Star
Wall of Glass
D'You Know What I Mean?
I Get By
You Better Run
Be Here Now
Don't Look Back in Anger