Published on June 22nd, 2019 | by Kim Kurtenbach0
Liam Gallagher Makes Parole From Rock Star Jail
Liam and Noel Gallagher have switched places in terms of both their personalities and the quality of their musical output. It’s time for Liam’s comeback.
“I like Noel outside the band. Human Noel – that’s my brother – I fucking adore him and I’d do anything for him. But the geezer that’s in this fucking business, he’s one of the biggest cocks in the universe.” – Liam on Noel
“He’s rude, arrogant, intimidating, and lazy. He’s the angriest man you’ll ever meet. He’s like a man with a fork in a world of soup.” – Noel on Liam
Liam Gallagher has released a new single (Shockwave), a new documentary (As It Was), and a has full length follow up to his 2017 debut solo album to follow in September. Yes, the Mancunian Menace is back! And it should be no surprise that his brother, Noel, is also putting out new music (Black Star Rising EP). They’re both doing press, both releasing videos and booking gigs, but something is different this time. This is the first time I can ever think of where the brothers have effectively switched places. Inverted are the expectations, the recording results, the record sales and the enjoyment of dreaming of a pub encounter with one of them. It’s Camp Liam this go around, and if he’s never been your favourite of the brothers, he’s about to be.
If you’re reading this article from the title, it might be because you – like me and millions of others – followed Oasis for years and are nostalgic and curious as to Liam’s current state. Or, you were hoping this article was going to tell you he’s dead; or, you’re just simply amazed he’s still alive. Whatever. This article is a little bit about the rise and fall of the Gallaghers, a little bit about the worst advice I ever got in my life (and why it made me think to write this article), and why it’s okay to cheer for the anit-hero.
Let’s get the summary of history over with quick, but not so dismissively that we forget to remind ourselves of a few important things. First off, Oasis didn’t build slowly. They basically went from starting a band to having a record deal in a year and a half. Three years after signing, they had two massive records, worldwide airplay and gigs playing to hundreds of thousands of panting fans in a matter of days (ie. Knebworth). They were a raging phenomenon, The Beatles of the 1990s, but would not break up for another thirteen years. They never knew failure and hardly dealt with struggle. With nowhere higher to reach and a refusal to crash, it would be a turbulent time. After the final, final, final last fight, and the now seemingly permanent break up of Oasis, each brother headed down a very different path that had been years in the making. The money had been split 80/20 because Noel was the songwriter and guardian of the catalogue. That means that Noel will forever be paid much heavier than Liam for anything Oasis related. It also allowed Noel to disallow the use of Oasis songs in Liam’s new documentary As It Was. As is the rock ’n roll way, there were women, drink, and drugs, followed by wives and children and (attempted) family life. Noel has three children with two women; Liam has four children with four women.
Liam started a new band, Beady Eye, with some excellent musicians, but it ended after just a couple of years. While the two albums they put out seem at first glance to be candidates for the Feedback Society column Panned Gold, they weren’t really panned. They are solid records with plenty of tunes to make a good playlist, but nobody was listening. All the sibling spats had given fans such a dirty hangover that nobody wanted more Liam-brand booze.
Noel, on the other hand, started High Flying Birds, and moved at a more cavalier pace. He’s now working on what will be the fourth HFB album in nine years. Noel is a wealthy man, living a posh life of leisure, hanging out with Bono and Madonna, and playing music he likes when it suits him. He has still never known failure. Liam’s band broke up, he started a clothing label, had an affair, fathered a daughter, drank himself into darkness, Twittered incessantly, got divorced, kept up public fights with his brother and started dating a third woman.
Yes, now is a good time to ask how I’m making this guy more likeable. Liam is still with that third woman, Debbie. He met his 20-year-old daughter for the first time and started a relationship. All his kids look cool because all their mums were supermodels, and everyone seems to get along really well. His clothing label is fantastic www.prettygreen.com, he stepped in for Ariana Grande at the last minute to play a tribute to the victims of the Manchester bombing (he played ‘Live Forever’), and his first solo album debuted at No. 1 on the UK charts. Liam Gallagher has been a lot of things in his life, but boring and dull are not two of them.
This brings us to the worst advice I ever got in my life, and it was right around grade 10; a teacher told me that life isn’t a popularity contest. It took about twenty-five years for me to confirm, but it turns out that’s exactly what life is all about. Ask Keanu Reeves. Seriously, ask him. That man is so kind, and so nice, and so popular, he’ll probably cook you an amazing dinner at his place and tell you all about it. Because – let’s face it – Keanu’s acting has the expression range of a taxidermy shop (hint: they’re all dead). But we love him – you, me, the internet – because he’s a sweet guy and the most likeable/popular person in Hollywood. However, if Keanu had acted like Liam in his early days, sneering around like a cruel, drunken brat, he never would have made it to Point Break.
Popularity counts big time in success and here’s how Liam is winning the popularity contest once again: YouTubing the Gallagher brothers has been a hobby of mine for years. They are both as funny as top comedians, but in very different ways. Sensible Noel, telling it like it is but always reminding you that someone has to stay sober, someone has to be in charge, someone has to write the songs. Liam was funny for his drunken antics and his whip-crack tongue, handing out free lashings with deft comic timing. But in the last couple of years, I’m seeing New Liam. While reasonable is not the first word that jumps to mind for either brother, that’s exactly New Liam. He’s cool (always has been), calm (that’s new), and funny as ever. He’s relaxed enough during current interviews that he actually seems to be enjoying the process. But I also see a nervousness and anxiety of being in the spotlight that I never noticed before. Sensitive, reflective, responsible Liam. As far as the fighting with Noel stuff, let’s face it, both brothers played their part. Liam is a curious dog; Noel is room full of cats. No part of that outcome can possibly leave you thinking Well, I didn’t expect that.
When Oasis broke up, it was the beginning of the end for rock and roll as we knew it. Liam has been doing CPR on rock and roll for the last 10 years, no matter what was going on in his personal life, and without him it would have fucking died. I listened to Definitely Maybe again today and, flooding memories aside, it still sounds like the future of rock and roll. Then I listened to Shockwave and got that feeling all over again. It’s no shit that Liam had a 60s obsession in the 90s and has a 90s obsession today, but this is why it works – in today’s social climate, as it was in the 90s and the 60s before it, no one wants to hear rich people moan about being bored and how shit everything is. People want a distraction, an uplift, a rabble rousing tune and a drink.
Shockwave is a break from bills and politics and wondering who you are and how you’re going to make it. It’s by a man who has actually been through some shit in the last few years. He’s been battered around and picked himself up to give us all a me-me-me song for everyone. We’re watching him discover fame again, figuring it out a bit at a time. It’s a dangerous, uncertain and exciting time for him and, by extension, us. As for Noel, he’s got it all figured out. Has for years. His most risky endeavour of late is a scissor player in his band. Not exactly a reckless man anymore. And that’s fine. But I haven’t got his massive bank account lifestyle, so I’m gonna need Liam to stir things up a bit once more. Songs for the common people and pints for everyone (even if it’s just two because I have to work tomorrow). As you were.
A Few More Fun Vids:
Interview with kids:
Liam on Graham Norton where Chris Rock silently sits beside Liam, looking petrified: