Liam Gallagher “Down By The River Thames” Album Review
Recorded during lockdown when gigs were a mere fantasy, “Down By The River Thames” sees rock ‘n’ roll icon Liam Gallagher performing a Livestream gig onboard a boat travelling down the River Thames. I guess, if you’re going to do a gig where there is no actual audience in attendance, you might as well try and make the experience as cool as possible.
Now, while we’re only listening to the audio recording of this set, the thought of Liam Gallagher and his band on a boat floating down the Thames playing some of the most iconic songs in modern-day British rock makes us feel all warm inside. Come on, you only have to look down the tracklisting for this album and, amongst the mix of tracks from Liam’s solo material are some of the most important songs of our generation. Liam Gallagher is a musical icon and, no matter how hard you think you hate him, everyone wants to be Liam.
The sixteen-track set kicks off with “Hello”, and, while slightly strange to hear, it’s also somewhat comforting to listen to Gallagher singing “it’s good to be back, good to be back.”. Of course, it would be months before we were actually all “back”, but, wherever you were listening to/watching this Livestream, the importance of those words to both Liam and his fanbase cannot be disputed. The rest of the setlist doesn’t really throw up any surprises with solo hits “Wall of Glass” and “Why Me? Why Not.”, and the title track of his latest album both now fan favourites in the Liam Gallagher set.
Of course, listening to the audio and in fact watching the Livestream itself, you realise how much you miss. Sure, Liam has never been about big elaborate stage shows but that unnerving stare, the familiar stance, the parka, they’re all key elements to a Liam Gallagher live show. That being said, Liam has always been about the music and the songs and hearing classic tracks like “Morning Glory” and “Cigarettes & Alcohol”, you realise how great those songs are. In his own inimitable way, the rock legend dedicates “Champagne Supernova” to “the River Thames and all the people that have swam in it”, as even without a crowd, Gallagher still manages to keep things entertaining.
Next week, Liam Gallagher returns to the stage for three massive gigs both in his home city of Manchester and Knebworth, the site of one of Oasis’ most legendary performances. While this album is a great taster for the shows and a great memory for fans, next week will see us back experiencing the real deal as the Brit icon returns to add three more iconic nights to the list.