LIVE: Liam Gallagher, Down By The River Thames
On Saturday 5th December, Liam Gallagher took to the waters of London's River Thames with his band, including original guitarist Paul Arthurs aka Bonehead, for an hour(ish) of bangers on a barge.
As the livestream kicked in and the camera panned over the London skyline, a helicopter came into view and for a split second, the hope was strong that Liam could be dropped onto the stage in true James Bond fashion. Sadly, he was not. LG and his band opened the show to a beautiful setting sun as the barge soared down the Thames to ‘Hello’, an Oasis song that isn’t ordinarily placed within his solo sets.
With a modest setup, the band were framed by flood lights with a couple of flourishes including 'Rock And Roll' being painted onto the piano and a MCFC flag hung pride of place. The set didn’t need any more gimmicks - London provided the backdrop and Liam’s hands-behind-the-back stance seemed even more iconic. The set continued with ‘Wall of Glass’, ‘Halo’ and ‘Shockwave’ as maracas were whipped out of Liam’s mac pockets. There was even a brief recorder solo, before it was delightfully spat out onto the floor.
With the city twinkling around them, there was a perfect mix of Liam’s solo tracks from both 2017’s As You Were and 2019’s Why Me? Why Not including the oh-so-appropriate, ‘The River’. But as the barge neared London Bridge, darkness had fully set in and the pace slowed for the emotionally fuelled, ‘Once’. The timing could not have been more perfect. A handful of onlookers stood and waved from the bridge as Liam sailed underneath and it was quite a touching change from thrashing guitars and the pure sass that had been dished out prior.
In the latter half of the set, ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’ shot out like a cannon and would’ve no doubt had every single witness to the livestream dancing in their living rooms. A brief political point was made after the lyrics “Is it worth the aggravation, to find yourself a job when there’s nothing worth working for?” as Liam addressed the camera; “That’s for you, fuckin’ Rishi, wishy washy... and fuckin’ Doris.” Eesh!
Knowing that the set was coming to a close, you wondered if there would be any little surprises, but as the barge grew close to the London Eye, Liam seemed a bit pissed off if anything. “Not arsed about you, big wheel… give a fuck! Lit up? Round? Fuck off! Anyway... we’re outta 'ere. Good night!” Hilariously unnecessary and I’m not sure what the Eye has ever done to cause such offence, but the moment moved swiftly into ‘Champagne Supernova’. An epic set-closer, even if LG wasn’t a fan of the purple beacon backdropping him at that point.
As an encore, a bonus track of 'All You’re Dreaming Of' played, his recent stand-alone single which was recorded before the livestream began. It closed the evening on a much softer note. A side that Liam doesn’t necessarily project onstage but is undeniable in the lyrical content. “Oh what are you dreamin' of? Is it the kind of love, that'll be there when the world is at its worst? That'll cover you in kisses unrehearsed?”
There was a sprinkling of attitude throughout the evening, as expected, but Down By The River Thames was actually an unexpected slice of Christmas magic that Liam may, or may not, have wanted it to be.
To hear more from Liam Gallagher, click here.