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I stopped listening before Liam started singing.
The peculiar children’s choir made me…angry.
I’m all for experimentation and I am not, in any way, a man who finds any great comfort in the trad rockin’ beats of certain fading nineties icons.
But I like Liam.
You know that video where he chats to a group of young fans and then agrees to pop them on the list for his show that night? I’m a sucker for that sort of thing. I believe it is called “being human”. I saw a video of Erling Haaland at an airport, where a young fan approached him and tried to put his arm around him, Haaland looked visibly shaken by the prospect of any physical contact and shepherded the kid out of the embrace. I believe this is called “yuk”.
I may be wrong.
Liam may be an awful person, but something tells me that he isn’t, that he is, in fact, funny, wickedly so at times, generous, warm, and that he really does love being a singer. It’s not a job for him, he loves it and lives it. Doing a thing you love is a blessing few of us enjoy, that’s why we react so badly to people who piss away those opportunities or who look miserable as they do the thing we would love to be doing, but instead we are trapped in jobs that make us want to peel our skin from our bones and jump into a bath filled with vinegar.
Because I like him I started listening again.
The creepy choir still made me angry.
But what follows is a collection of songs that are…exactly what you would want from one of the last great rock ’n’ roll stars. Guitars that crunch, shudder and soar. Choruses designed to be roared back by massive crowds in a field in England. Melodies that are the rock equivalent of nursery rhymes, simple, memorable, catchier than you-know-what. There are no shocks, no surprises and no signs of a musical revolution…but this is exactly what Liam loves, it’s what his audience loves and for people like me, who are not disciples, it is engaging, distracting and, whether I wanted to or not, I found myself singing, humming and chanting along.
There is something engaging, and endearing, about Liam. He’s a star. An icon. My own distaste for some sections of his audience doesn’t deflect from that. Watching some of the footage from the recent Knebworth shows it is impossible not to acknowledge that he means as much to his audience as any of the supposed legends of rock ’n’ roll.
Is this a great album?
But it is a good album, an album that delivers what you expect it to and that puts a smile on your face…once you get past the creepy choir.
'C'mon You Know' is available on Amazon exclusive ocean blue vinyl here