When Liam Gallagher said he was bringing his friends to support him play his greatest solo show to date, we would be forgiven for thinking he had brought a few lads from the boozer back home. Instead, his carefully chosen support acts formed an illustrious inventory of some of the most promising names in the industry right now – not to mention a surprise solo acoustic set from a nineties indie legend. And while the relentless sun was beating down on the North London park and the bands tightened their guitar strings, there was a buzz in the air amongst revelers that only one rock and roll star could conjure.
And so, the warm up acts begin.
Female pop/punk three-piece Hey Charlie were first to hit The Second Stage. The trio, harking from all corners of the globe met in the most unlikely of places; studying business management at university, and somehow from there, a prolific and quite frankly bloody exciting punk band was born.
Being the first to start the proceedings is a challenge but these girls rose to it and gave the performance of their lives, unashamedly hitting the loyal Liam fans with their brain rattling guitar riffs and thunderous drums. By the end of their set, there was no choice for the melee below to be added to the fan-base.
Its no secret that this Indie trio from Sydney are Liam Gallagher super-fans, and it looks like the feeling is mutual after Liam tweeted of the band earlier this year they are ‘nothing short of biblical’. Cue Manchester-esque early nineties inspired hits that had the crowd kicking off proceedings early, tops off, singing along, sitting on shoulders. They might not be creating anything fresh but using that tried and tested anthemic formula is certainly working out well for them.
This sonic get up from Swansea offer a mash up of spoken word and cheeky upbeat indie tunes like ‘Tom Hardy’ alongside festival – worthy anthems like ‘Hard Times for Dreamers’. Boasting a personal invite from Liam himself to support him on tour last year, the relationship has blossomed to meteoric proportions being offered a slot at this prestigious event. The set was exactly what you would hope for, vigorous, beer fuelled and unabashed indie at its finest. Liam clearly has good taste.
Things really hotted up at The Second Stage at 6.50pm and I’m not just talking about the raging sunburn among festivalgoers. Twisted Wheel took to the stage with their hard hitting indie with attitude set offering banger after banger, including the first play of their EP that was released the same day – Johnny Guitar.
Named after the iconic Manchester soul club their sound shares the tone of bands like The Cribs, Pigeon Detectives and The Enemy and they all have one thing in common: it just isn’t possible to stand still and take them in. the perfect party band to kick start Friday night.
As the onlookers built into a tone deaf chorus of ‘football’s coming home’, waiting for the main act to take to the stage, Ellie Roswelll arrived and drowned them out with a heady combination of angry punk and feminine vulnerability, and the crowd were transfixed – Well most of them; some were still attempting to chant in their beautiful drunken dulcet tones.
A set on home turf in North London, they were unfazed by what was going on below and gave a stunning performance featuring belters from both of their albums My Love is Cool and Visions of a Life, both equally as strong in content. As atmospheric crooning goes, Ellie is an expert as much in that as she is in bringing the house down with her anarchic high notes, and as for the band as a whole, headline worthy.
When the set times were released, a large gap didn’t go unnoticed between Wolf Alice and Liam Gallagher and rumours were rife that Richard Ashcroft may take to the stage after Liam cryptically said on twitter ‘I have a biblical brother joining me’. But whether fans knew or not, Finsbury Park shook to it’s core when Richard Ashcroft appeared, adorned in a sequin jacket and guitar in hand and simply said ‘ y’alright’.
He played four acoustic versions of his hits including ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’ and ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’, not that you could hear him with every member of the crowd singing every. Single. Word.
Finally, the most confident man in indie with the tunes and the swagger to back it up created a frenzy of flying beer, smoke canons and all over moshing like I have never experienced. This man held his spell over the thousands of people who stood before him and he loved every minute of it.
His 90 minute set included a combination of Oasis classics from Rock and Roll Star to Maybe and his recent solo bangers and each song whipped up even more passion in the diehard fans that had waited all day in the 30 degree heat for this moment.
He finished his set by encouraging fans to join him with a rendition of Wonderwall and whether you want to like him or not, this man is a genius. Even if he does watch Love island.