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Liam Gallagher & John Squire: the album verdict

A solid, if unspectacular record, showcasing the talents of both Manchester legends without blowing the roof off.



2024 was the year Oasis were supposed to reform. Or, at least, that’s what many had predicted and with good reason. Over the past couple of years, Liam and Noel Gallagher have definitely toned down their sibling hatred and, of course, there’s the small matter of the approaching thirtieth anniversary of iconic debut Definitely Maybe.


The stage was set for the most anticipated comeback in British music history, so what a disappointment then when this never materialised and old wounds weren’t healed.


What we got instead wasn’t too bad of a consolation though, in fairness: in January, it was announced that Liam would be joining forces with Stone Roses guitarist John Squire for a new album of original songs. Hurrah! Two of the best elements of two of the most iconic British bands coming together couldn’t fail but whet the appetite.


After a lukewarm reception to a couple of the preview singles, the album eventually arrived on 1 March 2024 to varied reactions. I’ll be honest and admit on the first listen I wasn’t particularly feeling the album. But never the one to write anything off too quickly, I decided to give it a few more listens before making a judgement. In the end, the whole thing grew on us without ever feeling the need to overwhelm the project with praise. Overall, a mixed bag with lots to enjoy and a few songs struggling to hold my interest.



As you’d expect, the Manchester legends collaboration is a nostalgic exercise for the most part, catering entirely for their established audiences and thus doesn’t explore any new territory worthy of recruiting new followers. Disappointing perhaps, but not entirely unexpected. Nor does it ever reach anywhere close to the peak levels of the Stone Roses or Oasis. Though we’d be deluding ourselves if we went in with those expectations.


Overall, you really can’t fault Liam’s vocal delivery on the album and he’s complimented by sprinklings of John Squire guitar magic, ensuring this is better than any other Liam Gallagher solo output. The record itself is defined by heavy nods to the 1960s, through blues rock and psychedelic rock influences of Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Rolling Stones and, of course, The Beatles. Which, again, isn't too surprising that they’d play to gallery.


As for favourites, ‘Raise Your Hands’ is a jumpy, anthemic curtain raiser, ‘Mars To Liverpool’ has grown on me as their second single, while psych-rock jam ‘Just Another Rainbow’ still stands out as the crowning moment (even if we need to overlook Liam listing his favourite colours in the rainbow!). ‘Love You Forever’ gives heavy ‘Purple Haze’ Jimi Hendrix shades and immediately sprung out, as did ‘I’m So Bored’, the closest the record gets to packing in the punch of Oasis while closing on a delightful psych-rock outro.



As for the bad, certain tracks like ‘Make It Up As You Go Along’ and ‘I’m A Wheel’ became easy skips for me, while the second half doesn’t possess the same likeability as the first. To be fair, there were a couple others I wasn’t entirely loving either, but I couldn’t find it in my heart to completely write off – several of these songs are redeemed by John Squire’s guitar playing that’d suddenly arise to save the banality (the beautiful bluesy guitar licks on closer ‘Mother’s Nature Song’ being a prime example).


On Wednesday night (13 March), Liam Gallagher and John Squire played the album in full at Glasgow’s Barrowlands. With tickets going on sale for over £75, many felt short changed by a 50 minute set that ended on a flawless cover of Rolling Stones ‘Jumpin' Jack Flash’. Would I pay that money to see them perform this album in its entirety? No chance. Even half of that and I’d still need to be convinced.


And that sums the album up for me. All in all a solid, if unspectacular record, showcasing the talents of both Manchester legends without blowing the roof off, nor have you wanting to throw money to see it live.


Maybe I’m off my hinges, but a 6.5/10 rating feels apt.

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