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Knebworth 2022 – History Reimagined

Now that I have finally overcome my exhaustion from last Saturday (the 4th, 25,000 steps will do that to you), I can finally talk about the biblical, celestial, majestical performance that was executed by the one and only: Liam FUCKING Gallagher. 

Liam Gallagher recreated history at the weekend (3rd and 4th June), playing at Knebworth 26 years after their iconic gigs where they played to 125,000 people a night in ’96. Liam said in an interview with Chris Evans that he’s not redoing Knebworth for himself: “but everyone seems to [want it], the younger generation and the older generation, which ones are still about and that they want it to happen. So, if noels not doing it with oasis, I’ll do it on my own and with the band.”

We started our day with a brisk 4km walk from the car park to the actual event (note the sarcastic use of the word brisk). When we got through the bag check, there weren’t many people in the park, we headed straight to get food and a pint, both of course very expensive! 

Pint in one hand, burger in the other, we went and sat down on the grass, although slightly damp (unfortunately, the cold and wind and rain really don’t know), we breathed in the air and smiled. We were finally here, Knebworth. We were at Knebworth, history in the making. It felt good. 

There was a lot of waiting around, which wasn’t too bad as the clouds eventually cleared and the suuunshhyynnee came out to play. There were good tunes on whilst we waited for the first band to come on which was nice background noise for the people watching. Obviously, we were surrounded by Liam Gallagher wannabes, some with questionable haircuts, most with some form of parka. Some better than others (see photo to the right for reference).

A lot of festivals and outdoor gigs have implemented a scheme where, for every cup or can you bring back you get 10p to encourage recycling and prevent littering. And I have to say, how remarkably British it is for people to turn it into a game of collecting as many as possible. Just so that everyone else there goes ‘ooooooohhhh’ whilst people continue to stack the tower with more and more cups and laugh hysterically when they all fall. 

We moved to the area at the front of the stage for the first band, we sat down and listened to Goat Girl, a post-punk band from South London. It was great to see an all-girl punk band calling Liam Gallagher ‘the people’s queen’ in front of thousands of people during the jubilee.  They were really good and confident which is empowering to see. 

After Goat Girl came Fat White Family. I can’t quite express how weird this band was. The rock band formed in Peckham, South London, and started straight away by shocking the crowd. With the singer coming on in nothing but skin-coloured tight shorts, covered in grease. One of the other members just coughed into the microphone for a few minutes until the lead singer, Lias Saoudi, started screaming into the mic, eventually venturing into the crowd. He continued screaming and moving around the crowd for about 10 minutes. His other songs were of a similar genre, and they were booed after nearly every song – we couldn’t really figure out why they did this. Once we got home, we listened to a few of their songs and it was nothing like the way they performed, and they had some decent stuff. But, despite how bizarre they were, they are the main support act that I remember, so props to them. 

We left the front bit before the final support act before Kasabian, Michael Kiwanuka. We were rushing around trying to get food and drink so we could get to the front for Kasabian. Although we missed the majority of Kiwanuka’s performance, we did catch the end and what we did see was fantastic. He has a really unique voice and captured the crowd’s attention brilliantly with his soulful voice. 

Despite rushing around, we couldn’t get back into the front part for Kasabian, but we still had a great spot and could see the stage. Kasabian played Sweet Caroline to get the crowd going, which it of course did. Sergio came on in a leopard print co-ord and started with a classic: Club Foot. Mosh pits opened up and people were singing and jumping around. Kasabian were a great band to go on before Liam Gallagher, by the time they finished everyone was warmed up and waiting for LG.

There was a 45-minute wait until Liam to come on, people are getting rowdy. They’re throwing cups, stacks of cups, empty cups, half full cups. Which is funny until you get hit in the head with a stack of cups (which from experience, hurts) or you’re covered in a liquid which could be beer or could be piss. And the only way you can determine that one is by the temperature, again, unfortunately this information comes from experience. 

I Am The Resurrection comes on and the crowd erupted, he was finally coming. Everyone is bopping their heads, and singing, getting ready for him to make his entrance. Then of course, the Man City fan played Championes Championes to rub in the team’s victory, and then bang. The lights went off, Fuckin In The Bushes came on and you could see Liam on the screens. 

He kicked off with Hello which of course is very fitting, however, I was really routing for C’mon You Know to be the opener. Hello, was followed by Rock ‘n’ Roll Star and Morning Glory. Which was a great way to get the crowd going, but it may have got everyone going too much. Where we were, was absolutely mental. I was fighting to keep my feet on the ground, mosh pits weren’t opening up, people were just pushing each other. We actually ended up moving back because it wasn’t enjoyable. 

Once we moved back and could finally breathe, we could see Liam’s attitude coming out to play. With him taking jabs at the sound guy, the photographers, and of course, Noel. He carried on singing a mixture of Oasis songs and his solo stuff. He dedicated his new song More Power to his band mate Bonehead who is undergoing treatment for cancer. The sky was lit up with people’s torches, it was a great tribute to the guitar player.

Liam then announced they were having a break, saying “sorry guys Gene (his son) needs to sort his hair out.” He came back out and finished off with six Oasis songs, including Cigarettes & Alcohol, Live Forever and of course Wonderwall. His final showstopper of the night, and just to keep the nostalgia going, he finished on Champagne Supernova. Bringing out The Stone Roses guitarist, John Squire, just like he did with Oasis in 1996. 

We were really gutted we didn’t go on the Friday as upcoming shoe-gaze band Pastel were playing and we’ve been following them for a while. However, as always, Liam Gallagher put on an impressive show. Fireworks, special guests, a great set list and a great atmosphere, what more could you ask for? Probably cheaper beer and not to be covered in piss. But all in all, we had a great time and it was 100% worth getting wee on your legs for. 

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