Live Reviews

2024/03/14 – Liam Gallagher & John Squire – The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton

Review & Photos: G. Rossington.

When their joint project was mooted towards the end of last year, the idea of Liam Gallagher and John Squire doing any live dates at all may have been reserved for a handful of festival sets instead of a UK Tour. But, on the back of two well-received singles and their number 1 album, it seems only natural that the two Mancunian legends go out on the road to play for the people. With the dates announced just a month ago and selling out within seconds, there was a lot riding on the performances.

Tonight in the legendary Wolverhampton Civic Hall, the atmosphere as people are literally queueing around the block to gain entrance is at fever pitch. Just after 8pm, the tour support takes stage in the form of Nottingham’s own son, Jake Bugg. He provides a full 35-minute set which navigates it’s way through his own greatest hits and a new song. Jake Bugg is well-received by the frantic audience and initiates a few sing-alongs with the likes of ‘Trouble Town’, ‘Two Fingers’ and the set closer ‘Lightning Bolt’.

Initially billed to be on stage at 9pm, it takes until 9:20pm for the lights to officially dim and George Harrison’s ‘Ski-ing’ to start blasting over the P.A. as an intro. Joey Waronker (Drums) and Chris Medden (Keyboards) arrive on stage first and take up their slots on the stage. Barry Cadogen (Bass) arrives next followed by Liam Gallagher and John Squire. Gallagher comes to the front of the stage and points to his watch whilst looking at the front rows as if to say “yes we’re late, we know!” He approaches the mic and rattles his maracas before snarling “Wolverhampton! Let’s ‘av it!” – queuing the audience to cheer in ecstasy.

The set kicks off with the epically sprawling ‘Just Another Rainbow’ which sets the tone for the show. The band is on excellent form and are more than prepared for Squire’s elongated solos which delight the Sold Out crowd. Gallagher’s sneering vocals haven’t sounded so strong since the heady days of Britpop, he is sounding like he did in the ‘Be Here Now’ era and everyone is on board with it.

What follows is a full run through of the remainder of their debut album (albeit in a different order). ‘Love You Forever’, ‘Make It Up As You Go Along’ and the anthemic and almost Sex Pistols infused ‘I’m So Bored’ see the audience in fine voice belting the words back at Gallagher, Squire and Co. ‘I’m A Wheel’ gets a huge reaction from the audience as well, purely down to the fact that the 12-bar blues riff allows Squire to dance away on his fretboard and takes the track in to another dimension in a live setting. Gallagher appears to still be in awe of John’s playing as he perches on the drum riser watching him noodle away, casually shaking his pair of maracas to the beat.

‘Mars To Liverpool’ (the second single to preview the album) gets another huge reaction and could almost be a lost Oasis/Roses track with the way the room bounces. Flashbacks to the 90’s cross the mind as you hear the singalong elevate in the chorus, pints are flying through the air and there’s a communal bounce in the front rows.

‘Mother Nature’s Song’ comes as the penultimate track of the set and sees a spiraling, shimmery blue backdrop wash over the band as Gallagher croons his way through the touching lyrics – the song on the album he admitted in an interview “gets him every time”. But it is ‘Raise Your Hands’ tonight that has the set closer duty. The vibrant album opening track also works as a final call to arms in the live arena, and again sees Squire noodling an elongated solo as the song comes to a close. The audience have clearly enjoyed it and are already calling for an encore.

There was speculation what the band would do live. They’ve played the album in full, would they give in and treat the audience to some of their independent back catalogues, but with this new combined twist, or would they ignore it? Tonight they chose the latter.

Liam did say in an interview that they do “not want to tarnish or disrespect their past legacies by playing any Stone Roses or Oasis tracks”. But maybe a cheeky nod to Beady Eye or The Seahorses wouldn’t have gone amiss? Or even a Gallagher voiced version of Squire’s own epic ‘Joe Louis’? Okay, we can go off in to fantasy land here.

The encore is a single performance and one of the most spot-on covers of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ we’ve seen in a while. Gallagher comes in with the count on time and Squire rips in to the licks with ease. Throughout the whole show, two things have become clear: firstly, it is so good to see John Squire back on a stage doing what he does best. Secondly, live music has never been so needed. With the amount of live venues having to close at the moment, the sheer love in this room tonight for a group of musicians who have worked their way from pubs and working men’s clubs, up to arenas, huge stadiums and beyond is unrivalled.

After being on stage for less than an hour, Liam and John depart and the show is over. Short, sweet and full of passion. Liam Gallagher and John Squire on paper is a dream made in heaven, in the live arena, they are exceptional. Whatever lies ahead for this pairing, I hope we get more.


Editor & Photographer. Eclectic music tastes and fan of a good beat. Can usually be found at a Gig across the Country or at a Festival in the Summer - More than likely with a camera surgically attached to me.