Guilty as charged. I am guilty of judging Liam Gallagher based on what the media showed me of him. A slanted view. Yes, he is pompous and wild, but he is also a great frontman and highly watchable. Charlie Lightening and Gavin Fitzgerald’s documentary gives us a measured look at the misunderstood man as he attempts a comeback.
Liam Gallagher along with his brother Noel were Oasis. One of the biggest bands of the lates 90s and a central act in the whole Brit Pop movement. Though the make up of the band changed often the brothers Gallagher were the backbone of Oasis. Also the reason behind the band’s downfall and breakup.
Formed in 1991 in their native Manchester and from the release in 1994 of their debut album Definitely Maybe they skyrocketed to the top of the charts worldwide. Along with their success came the brothers being often in the tabloids due to their lifestyle and behaviour. Besides all the drugging, drinking and feuds with other acts like Blur the biggest reason the band was in the news was the constant fighting between Noel and Liam. Finally in August of 2009 a statement by Noel appeared on the band’s website saying that the band had broken up because he could no longer work with Liam.
Liam became the bad boy. He became the reason the band broke up. People hated him. His behaviour was boorish. Noel went on to form his own band, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, and Liam fronted a band called Beady Eye. Beady Eye was made up of Liam and a couple other former members of Oasis (guess he wasn’t so awful to work with…). They were only together for a couple of years and released two albums. Beady Eye broke up in 2014.
The mighty had fallen. Beady Eye did not do well. Were not selling records and were having a hard time getting people to pay to see them live. Liam Gallagher was no longer the naughty prince of British pop music. The shine had comepletely come off his crown. Liam and Noel remained at odds. He went through a high profile divorce and was broke. It became so desperate that he says he tried to get back together with Noel, but he elder brother refused.
From then on Liam worked as a solo artist. His solo career so far has been a success – critically and commercially. Maybe because the man seems a changed one. He seems to have found love with his manager and she seems to have tamed the beast. Drugs seem to be a thing of the past and now he jogs. Being a proper father seems to be important to him, so he has forged a relationship with his two sons. There even seems to be a vulnerable and more humble side to the man.
He can be abrasive and blunt. That is a fact. Sometimes he acts like a mix between an ass and a big child. No doubt that combined with his success made Liam a target for the media. Still he remains one of the more recognizable figures of modern English music.
Some might say that all the edge has been taken off the notorious Liam in this documentary. Maybe….as co-director Charlie Lightening has been friends with Liam for a long time. Maybe he not able to have any perspective about his subject. I forward the possibility that he is a bit older and wiser and has really come to realize how much he wants to make music, so is willing to eat a little humble pie to do so. Or at least allow it to be about the music rather than his misbehaviour.
What really comes through here is how much he loves music and how it seems to have helped quell his demons. Lets hope with all this inner peace he can get back to what he is good at – being a singer.