On the evening of August 9, a special aura descended upon the recently refurbished KOKO venue in Camden, as rock icon Liam Gallagher graced the stage for an intimate performance. The event was a jubilant prelude to the impending release of his live album ‘Knebworth 22,’ which captures the essence of his monumental headline shows from the previous summer. The concert featured a splendid mix of Oasis classics and solo tracks, underscored by a heartfelt camaraderie with former bandmate Bonehead, who had triumphantly returned following his victorious battle with cancer.
As reported by NME – Sporting his signature black anorak, Gallagher kicked off the show to a thunderous reception with the anthemic ‘Morning Glory,’ setting the tone for an evening of nostalgia and electrifying energy. Sharing the limelight with Bonehead, he traversed through a catalog of Oasis gems, sending the crowd into a frenzy of joy with renditions of ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Star’ and ‘Wall Of Glass.’
The intimacy of the KOKO venue allowed for a connection that only a smaller space could foster. Gallagher’s banter with the crowd was peppered with humor and an undeniable sense of gratitude. As he introduced ‘Slide Away,’ he marveled at the “mad little gaff” that the venue represented.
Backed by a talented ensemble of musicians and accompanied by three soulful backing singers, Gallagher delivered with impeccable vigor. ‘Stand By Me’ and the lesser-known Oasis track ‘Roll It Over’ showcased both his versatility and a willingness to delve into the band’s deeper cuts.
In a seamless transition, Gallagher delved into his solo repertoire, including a poignant stripped-down version of ‘Paper Crown,’ enriched by the harmonies of a piano. However, it was the classic Oasis anthems like ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol,’ ‘Wonderwall,’ ‘Roll With It,’ and ‘Live Forever’ that truly ignited the crowd’s collective spirit. Gallagher’s iconic voice intertwined with the crowd’s exuberant sing-alongs, creating a harmonious symbiosis of artist and audience.
As the show reached its crescendo, Gallagher paid homage to Jimi Hendrix with a spirited rendition of ‘Are You Experienced,’ a fitting and fervent conclusion to a night of musical immersion.
The performance also heralded the imminent release of ‘Knebworth 22,’ a live album capturing the essence of Gallagher’s monumental shows, where he commanded an audience of 170,000 attendees. This record, due to be unleashed on August 11, stands as a testament to Gallagher’s enduring legacy and his ability to draw colossal crowds even after decades in the industry.
The evening’s events were a reminder of the possibility of an Oasis reunion, a concept that has tantalized fans for years. While the Gallagher brothers have oscillated between optimism and skepticism, the undeniable chemistry between them still lingers in the air, as hinted by their individual comments. Regardless of what the future holds, Gallagher’s intimate show at KOKO solidified his status as a timeless rock icon and demonstrated his unwavering ability to unite and ignite the spirits of fans, old and new alike.
Liam Gallagher covering Hendrix tonight. pic.twitter.com/3ZrPSrxQw2
— Richard Bowes (@rbmusicwriter) August 9, 2023