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REVIEW: Liam Gallagher John Squire -‘Liam Gallagher John Squire’ (Warner)

So, whether you are a fan or not, this collaboration is one of the most anticipated of the year.

I say whether you’re a fan or not, because it is clear that there are those who are just waiting for this album to be awful, so they can tell that they told you so. These are the folks who will go out of their way to tell you how much they hate Britpop (which at this point in history is a bit like saying you hate glam rock or disco: it was there, it happened, it’s decades past), and then go on to make some spectacularly ageist comments which rather negates any points they might otherwise have made – Gallagher is 51, Squire is 61. Then there are those who feel that Gallagher particularly can do no wrong, and worship the ground he walks on because they feel he’s just like them, and will go and see him whatever he does. When either Noel or Liam blinks first and finally agrees to an Oasis reunion when the other is asking, this will probably lead to them exploding with delight, acting in a way that they would sneer at younger folk for acting over, say, Taylor Swift, spilling Stella over their Fred Perry shirts in the process.

Myself, I’m slightly in the middle. Squire made a classic record in the Stone Roses‘ self-titled 1989 debut, and a -could-have-done-with-a-bit-of-editing-but-it-wasn’t-awful follow-up album in The Second Coming five years later. Oasis made a stellar debut in Definitely Maybe that very year, following it up with the almost as good as it thought it was …Morning Glory the next. Despite the records made by both over the years (comparatively few in Squire’s case, this is the first album he has released in twenty years), these are the albums on which their individual reputations rest.

At the start of the year, the duo released the first track from the album, the single ‘Just Another Rainbow,’ after Gallagher had talked about it being the greatest album since [The Beatles‘] Revolver. It’s probably the highlight of the album. Musically, it has Squire’s two signature guitar sounds, both the chiming guitars of the Roses’ first album, and the rockier, Zeppelin-esque riffs of their second. Gallagher is in fine voice, though the lyrics, when he started reeling off colours did draw derision from some quarters.

In many ways, it sets the tone for the album. The reality is, the pair of them know what they’re doing, and I don’t think they’re bothered by their detractors (or ‘fookin’ students‘ as Liam was prone to yelling). ‘Raise Your Hands‘ is obviously an album and live set opener. Some would baulk at including songs with titles like ‘I’m So Bored‘ or ‘Making It Up As You Go Along.’ The reality is they are self-aware to know what they’re doing, and Gallagher was always almost as equal parts Johnny Rotten to John Lennon.

In essence, it’s a psychedelic blues album, made with by two men who were in two of the biggest Manchester bands ever. It is unlikely to change their lives or yours, and it will win no marks for originality or subtlety, but then that is probably to miss the point entirely. Gallagher said, in typically sweary form that the people who liked Oasis and the Roses were going to love it. I think the die-hards will, and there’s enough of them to make it a big hit. It also manages to avoid too much waffling that affected some of their subsequent records, which may or may not have been something to do with the, uh, ‘devil’s dandruff.’

Oh, and the closing ‘Mother Nature’s Song‘ really should be a single.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.