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  • Writer's pictureKing Ink

Liam Gallagher and John Squire, Brooklyn Paramount, Brooklyn, NY, 11th April 2024

This beautiful old, Jazz-Age theatre has just reopened after a $50m refurb and it is sparkling. Posh and plush with drinks priced accordingly. It doesn’t feel very rock ‘n’ roll, no place for aging Manc scallywags. But there are a few here tonight. Parkas, Fred Perry's and Gazelles are worn with pride.


This is the only US date Liam & John are doing to support their col-lab album and fans from all over the States have come for just for this occasion. The queue outside is long (30 minutes) before the doors open and we chat with eager fans from San Francisco, Chicago and Canada. It’s an expensive experience cheapest tickets are $200+, and if you can afford the swanky upstairs area, it's $400+. So there's a lot invested in this evening.


The totally misplaced acoustic guitar singer/songwriter support act is John-Robert, who is mostly ignored by the audience; there is barely a ripple of applause when he finishes his completely forgettable set. At least he was brief.


After a short break the lights dim and chants of “Li-am, Li-am, Li-am” go up and out he swaggers to cheers from the adoring crowd. They kick off with the first single, Just Another Rainbow.  He’s on good form, his voice is stronger and deeper than on the record with just the right amount of gravel. He’s aging well. Is this song about Ian Brown? There’s not sign of emotion from John Squire if it is. The Sesame Street style lyrics seem almost meaningful with Liam’s strong delivery. Next up is One Day At A Time and you can see he’s enjoying himself. There is good natured banter with the crowd. Some Japanese girls are screaming “We love you”, to which he replies “I love you too,... how fucking much?”, a deep voiced fella takes the piss and Liam quips “Fuck you too!” and the crowd crack up. 

The atmosphere warms as they slide into the bluesy I’m A Wheel. John’s guitar is clean and precise. Too clean for this rough-edge blues and if feels a bit sterile. Liam doesn’t think so, “This is nuts... I like this” he exclaims, but the crowd don’t agree and the applause is polite at best. 


But the audience are here for a good time and they sing along especially for Mars To Liverpool (which is featured on the merch outside). “Still behaving yerselves... or off yer heads?” he teases.


I’m So Bored has Liam sounding a little like John Lydon and You’re Not The Only One shows a rarely seen vulnerability. There are signs of maturity in this eternal, enfant-terrible.


Some reviewers have complained about overly-long, filler guitar solos from John. But I certainly didn’t find that. I’d have loved for Squire to have rocked out more and, if anything, he seemed quite restrained. Same with the excellent drummer Joey Waronker, but it felt like they were holding something back, too controlled.


Raise Your Hands demanded Liam and a sea of arms shot up bringing a swift 45 minute set to an end. It felt too soon. They returned quickly for a bizarre encore of The Stones’ Jumpin’ Jack Flash. Liam doesn’t have the athletic stage craft of Jagger, but he tried to do a few forced moves, only he just doesn’t throw shapes like Mick and it felt a bit dad-dancey. 


There was palpable disappointment as the crowd left the theatre. It was under an hour from start to finish and there were mutterings of complaint. Everyone I spoke to in the bar after had obviously wanted to hear some Oasis and Roses songs thrown in. Liam and John have refused to play any of their previous hits on this tour and that was a huge mistake. A couple of crowd-pleasing numbers would have put smiles on faces.


It’s sad. While better live than on record, none of the songs on the album come close to anything these two have done in the past. There is very little chemistry between the band and yes, Liam is a national treasure, who’s voice is actually improving with age, but if you don’t have great songs to sing, it’s bound to fall flat.


This evening we fooled ourselves we were having a good time, when actually we were just being reminded of how great these two were in the past, and what we are missing now. 


King Ink

Editor: That’s another great guest blog, and a first on Back In Black(heath) from King Ink, If you fancy writing a piece, Back In Black(heath) would be delighted to publish it and put it out into the world. Give us a shout if you are up for it!


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