Mancunian frontman has had a biblical 12 months. He’s resurrected his career, become a national treasure, usurped Noel in the nation’s affections and amassed gazillions of new fans. There have been epic live shows, the massive-selling album ‘As You Were’, his first-ever crowd surf, and now NME’s Godlike Genius Award.
How’s he done it? And what’s next? “I can still muster up that rock’n’roll temper at the drop of a f**king hat,” he tells Jordan Bassett.
February 19, 2017
A year ago, Liam sent his 2.8 million Twitter followers wild with a missive confirming we were in for new material: “LFUKING is on his way”. This came after he’d previously claimed that he would never go solo because he’s “not a c**t”. What changed? “I mean, I wouldn’t say I’m a solo artist,” he counters. “That word ‘artist’ gets on my t**s. I’ll leave that for the likes of Paul Weller and f**king Noel Gallagher. I still feel like I’m a rock’n’roll singer in a band, d’you know what I mean?”
Still, it remains true that, after four years in the wilderness, the comeback came about because he’d written two new tracks, ‘Bold’ and ‘When I’m In Need’. His record label, Warner, was impressed and asked if he would work with a team of songwriters that included, among others, Greg Kurstin (who co-wrote ‘Hello’ with a little-known singer named Adele). “I said, ‘Yeah, I’m gonna have to, because I haven’t got any songs,’” he says. So Liam flew to Los Angeles, where he, Kurstin and ace producer Andrew Wyatt smashed through three new tracks in as many days. Some purists have criticised him for working with what Noel once termed “an army of songwriters”, but he’s having none of that.
“Well, I didn’t write any of Oasis and that seemed to work,” he says. “I feel more comfortable when I’m singing. I’m not a songwriter – I don’t know how it works, but I can do my little bit.” He lands on a football metaphor. “[Manchester City striker] Sergio Agüero doesn’t defend – he might not be an all-round footballer – but he still puts the ball in the back of the f**king net. And that’s how I’m seeing it. So get that down your f**king neck, Noel.”
May 30, 2017
Makes his live return at the Manchester Ritz
Liam made his live comeback at the 1,500-capacity O2 Ritz Manchester, tearing through the new album – alongside some Oasis bangers – for the very first time. Original Oasis guitarist Bonehead, looking steezy in circular shades, even appeared for a triumphant closing rendition of ‘D’You Know What I Mean?’. Was he nervous about that performance, given that it marked his return? “A little bit nervous, but not to the point where you wanna go home and cry behind your sofa,” Liam says. “I always know that the crowd is gonna be up for it. I think people missed me. And I’m always up for it.” Does Liam get emotional when he plays Oasis tracks? “Yeah, it’s always emotional singing them songs,” he says. “It does bring up a lot of emotions and that. But with certain songs, you muster up your rock’n’roll temper. I can still muster up that rock’n’roll temper at the drop of a f**king hat.”
June 4, 2017
Sings ‘Live Forever’ at One Love Manchester
At the One Love Manchester benefit concert, Liam performed ‘Live Forever’ with Chris Martin, whom he’d previously said “looks like a geography teacher”. Are the pair cool now? “I wouldn’t say we’re ‘cool now’,” Liam says. “I apologised on the night because it was the right thing to do with what’s gone down and that. It was only banter anyway. I apologised and we moved on. But we don’t go out running together and do yoga together, or eat ice cream together.” Has Liam ever done yoga? “I done it once and I got stuck. The little geezer was laughing at me, soI thought, ‘I’m taking my mat and I’m off.’”
August 10, 2017
Release the weepy ‘For What It’s Worth’
“It’s [an apology] to me mam and to me kids for f**king s**t up along the way,” he says. “One minute you’re living with them, then the marriage breaks down because of my stupid behaviour and their lives change, don’t they?” Robbie Williams, with whom Liam had beef throughout the ’90s, recently told NME that the track was his favourite of 2017. It turns out Liam’s read the interview. “Yeah, I get it, man,” he says. “I think what he said was right: it’s universal, it’s classic, it’s instant.” Robbie also said he’d like to duet on the track. Liam’s not so sure. “Right, I’m sure he does. It’s not happening, is it? Fair play to him, he’s got his kids now and all that stuff’s under the bridge. We grow up and do our thing, but I don’t think me and him singing together would be a wise move.”
October 6, 2017
Drops new album ‘As You Were’
‘As You Were’ surprised many with its tight pop melodies. If it hadn’t done well, he reckons he might have “gone into acting”, so the only downside to the record going platinum is perhaps that we now probably won’t see Liam Gallagher do a stint on Coronation Street. “I thought the album might bomb,” he says. “That people might have had enough of me and I’d have to start f**king sewing at Pretty Green [his fashion label]. If the album bombs, you can’t do gigs. The second Beady Eye one didn’t f**king work. The gigs were getting smaller. That’s why we knocked it on the head. There was no point doing a third one – we’d be playing f**king pubs.” This summer, he’s due to play a sold-out show at north London’s 40,000-capacity Finsbury Park – which not exactly an open mic night down The Dog and Duck, is it?
October 7, 2017
Crowdsurfs at a Foo Fighters show
Aged 45 years and 16 days old, Liam crowdsurfed for the first time at Foo Fighters’ Californian festival CalJam, while performing ‘Come Together’ with Dave Grohl and assorted chums. “They asked [me] to a do a song with them,” he says, “but I didn’t know the words, so I thought, ‘F**k it, I’m getting out of here’. Some Foo Fighters fans were booing me during the gig, so I landed some bombs on their ’eads. I was just lying there, thinking, ‘You’re f**king booing me? Boo me now, you c**t.’”
December 19, 2017
Tries a Christmas patch-up with Noel
The brothers are, he says, “not in a good place”. They’ve spent the past year trading public insults, though in December Liam tweeted that they were “all good again”. It was widely believed that they’d called a truce, but Liam says that wasn’t the case. “In my head [we called a truce]. ’Cos it’s Christmas innit and me mam’s always going, ‘Look, calm down,’ so I had a couple of drinks and thought, you know, I’ll put it out there. But it’s not happening, is it?” There was also a rumour the brothers had patched it up at swanky London hangout Chiltern Firehouse. “No, no – I went there and he wasn’t there,” Liam says. “He wasn’t meant to be there, but that’s where him and all his posh mates go, so I thought I’d steam down there and see what they gotta say. I just went down there lookin’ for a bit of trouble and that but there was none of ’em about. They were all probably at home, counting their money.” He concludes, “We’ve not made up,” and describes Noel’s “silly” recent album ‘Who Built The Moon?’ as “cosmic pop” that’s “like a s**t Kula Shaker”. It seems the reunion will have to wait.
January 7, 2018
Reveals on Twitter that he reached out to Oasis (with Noel)
When his post-Oasis band, Beady Eye, fell apart, Liam reached out to the former Oasis line-up – Bonehead, drummer Alan White and bassist Paul McGuigan – and was similarly dismissed. “I might have been drunk and rung ’em up and gone, ‘Shall we do something?’” he says. “I said, ‘We’ve all gotta do it’. We’d have to get someone to do Noel’s parts, which wouldn’t be hard. It would have been good. But they’re all happy doing what they’re doing, so they blanked me. Well, Bonehead was up for it.”
January 15, 2018
Goes on a lovely holiday in Thailand
What does a Liam Gallagher holiday look like? “I don’t read books or any of that stuff,” he says. “I just fart about in the pool – literally.” Liam can’t swim, but this pool was OK because “it doesn’t have a deep end… If it went out to the sea, that’d be me.” He was, naturally, accosted by fans on holiday. In general he enjoys the attention, though on this occasion “a woman was like, ‘My newborn baby’s got all your records’. I was like, ‘F**k off, she’s two days old. Not havin’ that – f**kin’ do one.’” He spends a lot of time having selfies with fans. “I’d rather have a five-minute chat than that,” he says. “‘Where’d you get them trainers from? That’s a cool jacket. No, me name’s Liam, it ain’t Noel.’ I’d rather that and a f**king shake of a hand than a selfie. Or even a f**king cuddle.”
February 14, 2018
Picks up NME’s Godlike Genius Award
Now, of course, there’s the small matter of being crowned Godlike Genius at the VO5 NME Awards. Noel won the award back in 2012 – a fact Liam isn’t quite willing to let slide. “Wait until I get on that stage at the NME Awards,” he says. “You’re gonna f**king know about it. You can’t give it to one without the f**king other, man! I was like, ‘You cheeky f**king c**ts, man.’ But all is forgiven.” Admittedly, the title might not have done much for their sibling rivalry. “Two Godlike Geniuses in my family – and then people wonder why we don’t f**king speak,” he says, before acting out an argument between himself and Noel.
“‘No – I’m Godlike.’”
“‘Well, it f**king says I’m Godlike.’”
“‘Right, well I’m a f**king genius.’”
“‘I’m a f**king genius too!’”
Liam Gallagher has re-entered pop culture as one of British rock’s all-time greats. He may joke about at his delay in receiving Godlike Genius status but, like this whole comeback, it’s better late than never. As he puts it, “Save the best ’til last, mate.”