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‘Liam Gallagher and John Squire’ review: an anticipated meeting of Manc music minds

Manchester music's very own Avengers Assemble moment is finally here. Die-hard fans of the pair will love it.

3.0 rating

By Nick Reilly

John Squire and Liam Gallagher (Picture: YouTube)

There are ships in the night, and then there’s Liam Gallagher and John Squire. This pair of Mancunian icons have existed in each other’s musical orbits ever since Gallagher first saw The Stone Roses as a 16-year-old and credited the experience with changing his life. For his part, Squire witnessed history in the making when the Gallagher brothers recorded OasisDefinitely Maybe in the same studio where the Stone Roses laid down their second and final album. But apart from a team-up in 1997 for The Seahorses (Squire’s post-Roses band), they’ve followed their own paths entirely. Until now. The idea of Manchester music’s very own Avengers Assemble moment is finally here, months after Liam teased that the record “pisses all over” The BeatlesRevolver.

While it’s perhaps no surprise that the last statement is wide of the mark, this is still a musical partnership that will satisfy parka monkeys across the land. There are moments of Madchester psych, as shown on the sprawling lead single ‘Just Another Rainbow’, which kicks off with a guitar line reminiscent of the Roses’ ‘Waterfall’, moments before Gallagher’s vocals allow the track to sound like, dare we say it, a third coming of Squire’s band.

But there is consistent variety too. The sprawling ‘Love You Forever’ sees Squire experimenting with a guitar lick reminiscent of Hendrix’s ‘Voodoo Child’, while ‘You’re Not the One’ is underpinned by a piano beat that’s almost enough to convince you they’ve been joined by Elton John.

This, in turn, causes one of its weaknesses at times — the sheer power of their collective strength as solo performers sometimes means you’re left wanting a little more from the quality of the songwriting. ‘Make It Up as You Go Along’, for instance, proves to be an unexpectedly on-the-nose title.

For the most part, though, you sense that their die-hard fans will have few quibbles. This is a meeting of musical minds that, largely speaking, has been well worth waiting for.