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Motorpoint Arena Cardiff, Wed 13 Dec

The centre of Cardiff is awash with more Stone Island than your average football terrace and paisley shirts and pageboy haircuts predominate. It can only mean one thing: one of the Gallaghers is in town. Six months before his brother is set to play the same venue, tonight it is Liam’s turn, and to say the crowd is up for it is a significant understatement.

Preceding the former Oasis frontman, a sort of raucous indie disco rocks the room, with full-blown singalongs to Bowie and Stooges songs, while the ecstatic response that I Am The Resurrection receives as it belts out of the PA suggests that the actual Stone Roses have just walked out on to the stage. The atmosphere is helped no end by two popular choices of support act. First on, Swansea boys Trampolene are perfect for this bill. All sinew, swagger and strut, they look entirely at home playing in front of a near full arena.

LG-2While tracks like You Do Nothing For Me clearly go down well, the set’s highlight is a guitar solo whine through Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, performed by Jack Jones a la Hendrix, which prompts a mass singalong and raucous cheering. Following that is a tough act, but Ratboy give it a good go, with the sample-filled, driving energy of tunes like Knock, Knock, Knock getting the front rows bouncing.

As statements of intent with which to open a rock show go, it’s hard to beat Rock ’n’ Roll Star. Liam, hands strapped behind his back in archetypal arrangement, surveys the baying crowd from his elevated position onstage, a red flare spreading smoke across the room, before launching into the opening lines of one of the most impactful songs in British rock history. The set from that point on is littered with rapturously received classics: Slide Away…Morning Glory and Supersonic are all given runs through before a pair of encores of even more seminal highlights from Gallagher’s time with Oasis.

His solo material is warmly welcomed too, not least Wall Of Glass, the best of his post-Oasis work, during which a literal wall of glass rises behind the stage, mirrors refracting the impressive light show into the eyes of the faithful. A closing singalong through Wonderwall is everything the sell-out crowd are looking for and, as thousands of happy punters flock out into the cold, still singing every word, it’s clear that the swaggering Manc remains a uniting force like few others in the music world.


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