Liam Gallagher and John Squire, a fairytale collaboration

Liam Gallagher and John Squire, a fairytale collaboration

There are musical stories that are so beautiful that they seem like fairy tales. Instinct would suggest a bit of skepticism: when a story is too perfect, it’s usually more “storytelling” than the actual story behind the scenes of a record. But at the end of the day we really like stories about music, since well before it was fashionable to call everything with names that smack more of marketing than of songs.

The tale is this: once upon a time there was an English city whose music marked the history of rock and of many people. There were two bands, from different generations, but with enormous success. There was a guitarist and songwriter who doesn’t sing and a singer who doesn’t write songs, both orphans of those bands. The singer is a fan of the guitarist, he adored him as a kid: they meet and start making music together.
The city is Manchester, the bands are John Squire’s Stone Roses and Liam Gallagher’s Oasis: they are like pieces of a puzzle waiting to be put together and which fit together perfectly. It may be a fairy tale, but if the music is good, who cares?
“Liam Gallagher & John Squire,” the duo’s debut album, out Friday March 1, is a musical marvel. Great songs, great sound, great guitars and equally great vocal lines and melodies.

The news says that something happened when the two met in 2022: Liam plays at Knebworth, the place of Oasis’ historic concerts where he arrives as a soloist after having laboriously rebuilt his career after the end of the band. John, who had almost abandoned music, takes to the stage for the first time in 5 years, since the end of a Stone Roses reunion made up of many concerts, but no new album.

The songs on the album were all written, music and words, by Squire. They were produced by Greg Kurstin (producer of Adele and the Foo Fighters, and Liam’s solo albums), who also plays bass, with Joey Waronker, drummer for Beck, REM and Roger Waters. Liam entrusted himself to Squire, finding the ideal partner for his voice: it is a “joint album”, as they would say in rap, in which both have equal responsibility and merit.

“From Mars to Liverpool” is a guitar rock record, in which you can hear echoes of the two protagonists’ original bands, and of the entire musical world that inspired them. It’s curious that the first song they released was “Just another rainbow”, the most psychedelic of the bunch: in the end songs like “Raise your hand” or “One day at the time” play more with the more direct Beatles and Rolling Stones , while the final “Mother nature’s son” has an incipit that is between “Strawberry fields” and the Brit pop of the 90s. There is also room for a bluesy, “I’m a wheel”, and for the Cream-style blues rock of “Love you forever”.

The derivative dimension in these songs is evident, just as you shouldn’t expect a depth of lyrics that will make you reflect on the fate of the world. However, there is a perfect sound of its kind. And Squire’s guitar and Liam’s voice complement each other perfectly. A very pleasant album for a duo that we can’t wait to see live: appointment on April 6th at Fabrique. Meanwhile tomorrow evening, February 29th, in 5 shops in Milan, Bologna, Lucca, Rome and Salerno, listening party previewing the album with a gadget.