LIVE REVIEW: Liam Gallagher at Koko, London

Liam Gallagher at Koko, London Photo credit: Zekaria Al-Bostani (@zek.snaps)
Photo credit: Zekaria Al-Bostani (@zek.snaps)

Much media coverage has been about large music venues and outside music events being pivotal to boosting the economy. Thankfully, some small music venues, including the 1,410-capacity Koko, received significant investment too.

Following £ 70 million of investment, Koko could reopen in April 2022. Support act Joel Stoker, impressed with classic songs by The Rifles and tracks from his forthcoming solo debut LP The Undertow, proved poignant when he said Koko is a “little smaller than Knebworth, but a lot more special”.

Even before Liam Gallagher addressed the stage, there were exuberant chants of “Li-am, Li-am, Li-am, Li-am”. Whilst Liam’s opening routine was familiar, everything goes black and silent before Oasis’ “Fuckin’ in the Bushes” is played in the background. The audience was delighted, as if witnessing this for the first time. Once the lights returned, Gallagher swiftly opened with “Morning Glory”. A singing human monsoon immediately followed. The colossal width and circumference of the mosh pits were worthy of the attention of the Guinness World Records. Gallagher then reached a crescendo as a cult leader when “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” followed suit.

Liam Gallagher at Koko, London Photo credit: Zekaria Al-Bostani (@zek.snaps)
Photo credit: Zekaria Al-Bostani (@zek.snaps)

Up until this point, Liam was barely audible over the audience. Liam had been non-verbally hinting to the sound engineers that he needed more volume on his microphone. This problem ended when Gallagher played his first solo hit of the evening, “Wall of Glass”. “Shockwave” and “Better Days” followed suit as Liam played an impressive amount of solo material throughout this set. The most emotive Liam Gallagher solo song performed was “More Power”. The contrasts between the quiescent gospel arrangements and loud rock guitars were magnificent. Furthermore, the children of the original Oasis fans loved this material. Unlike their elders, they could recite all the Liam Gallagher solo songs verbatim.

The remainder of the set consisted of Oasis songs. “Stand By Me” saw such loud audience participation that, for the most part, Gallagher didn’t need to sing the chorus. “Slide Away” also earned impressive en masse merry out-of-tune singing. The less performed “Roll It Over”, the concluding track to Standing on the Shoulder of Giants, earned better than expected positive crowd response with the lyrics sung back by the audience.

There were a few surprises. When after performing “Wonderwall”, Liam said, “I’ll see you all in a minute”, before coming back to play classics “Roll With It” and “Live Forever”. The biggest twist was the closing number, a cover of The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “Are You Experienced?” When many expected a big Oasis song to close the show.

Liam Gallagher at Koko, London Photo credit: Zekaria Al-Bostani (@zek.snaps)
Photo credit: Zekaria Al-Bostani (@zek.snaps)

Liam Gallagher is unique in its sacrosanct; he devotes at least half of his live set to Oasis classics and does not veer too much off this template with his solo material. Fans would struggle to digest heavy Psychedelic or prog-rock deviations. Liam knows and respects the rules, so homage for him and what he does grows and will not be confined to the generation who were first present for Oasis in the mid-nineties.


Xsnoize Author
Michael Barron 313 Articles
Michael first began writing whilst studying at university; reviewing the latest releases and live gigs. He has since contributed to the Fortean Times as well as other publications. Michael’s musical tastes vary from Indie to psychedelic, folk and dubstep.

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