photo manipulation by nacrowe
LIAM GALLAGHER: AS IT WAS (ALTITUDE FILM, 2019) is a poignant and thoughtful film that provides a surprisingly sober portrait of a fearless cultural icon at a moment of indecision and transition.
the film begins when his brother NOEL decided to abruptly depart the legendary BRITPOP band OASIS after a quarrel before a canceled show in PARIS in 2009. being the main songwriter, NOEL embarked on a critically and financially successful solo career that left LIAM to fend for himself. BEADY EYE, made up of LIAM and members of OASIS, put out two records to limited fanfare. this coupled with a bitter divorce and public scrutiny led to a moment of deep reflection and personal crisis for LIAM. arguably the greatest ROCK N ROLL frontman ever was questioning himself. he was vulnerable for the first time in his life. no longer bulletproof.
its a very intriguing topic. especially since the persona of LIAM was always about impulsivity, reckless abandon and pure id. he is effectively the global cultural ambassador of MANCHESTER as much as anyone from JOY DIVISION / NEW ORDER or THE SMITHS (arguably more so). the nearest analogue to this film is SOME KIND OF MONSTER with METALLICA delving through bitter interpersonal group dynamics. but this film is about one dude and his struggle to gain back his swagger.
as you would predict he does. with his solo record being a hit LIAM is seen traveling and performing worldwide and large gigs.
that is all well and good but throughout the film i kept thinking that the film is really about the damage his brother departing his life did to him. it is so obvious. towards the end of the film someone interviewed actually comes out and says it, that LIAM is effectively playing for an audience of one. his brother NOEL. something about that feels so heartwarming yet so tragic. and that sense of loss is almost palpable when hearing his mother and brother (both of whom i have yet to see speak publicly elsewhere) being interviewed. you forget that these are brothers with children and a family that has been bifurcated.
the other comment i found interesting, and beyond true, is that nobody wants to be NOEL and that everyone wants to be LIAM. that the world needed an excuse to see LIAM back in full force kicking ass again.
im looking forward to his new record. like everyone i am hoping he succeeds. like everyone also i hope NOEL sees the value that his brother brought to the table and the community they built together and just get back together. its overdue already, just blow away the world again.