There can’t be many people who bet on Liam Gallagher’s solo career being a success. Separated from his more talented bro who penned most of Oasis’s most famous tracks and left with a voice becoming more cracked and gravelly by the day, his mediocre, shrug-inducing band Beady Eye now defunct and already forgotten, Liam Gallagher looked like a man who was running out of options. But then came ‘Wall Of Glass‘, a gritty punch of pop-rock that reminded us what the youngest Gallagher brother was all about – namely, a whole lot of attitude. ‘Wall Of Glass’ was better than it had any right to be, re-establishing Liam Gallagher as real powerhouse on the Brit-rock scene.
Following on from ‘Wall Of Glass’ comes ‘Chinatown’, the latest single from Gallagher’s upcoming LP As You Were, scheduled for release in early October.
‘Chinatown’ is a far more subdued affair than the raucous spit of ‘Wall Of Glass’, Gallagher’s razor vocals soaring over a thumping drum beat and plucked acoustic guitar. Lyrically, it features some real head-scratchers, most notably opening lines “The cops are taking over / While everyone’s in yoga.” But then the Gallaghers have always had a soft spot for bizarro lyrics. Elsewhere, Gallagher almost says something sort of, kind of, not really political in the line “What’s it to be free man? What’s a European? Me I just believe in the sun.” Is Gallagher weighing in on Brexit? Judging for a tweet sent on the day of the referendum results, he appears to have voted remain (like his older brother), and it seems the result may still be on his mind.
Even without Noel, ‘Chinatown’ manages to capture the rose-tinted nostalgic feel that characterised so many of Oasis’s biggest hits from ‘Wonderwall’ to ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’. Although ‘Chinatown’ is not an instant classic in the same way, it’s nevertheless another minor triumph for Gallagher’s burgeoning solo career. Though many had already written him off, Gallagher is proving there’s still plenty of life (and plenty of good tunes) left in the old dog yet.