story / Magnus Wiberg
photos / Christian Kilrain Carter Coleman
Brit rockers Richard Ashcroft and Liam Gallagher graced New York with some good ol’ hooligan rock’n’roll at the Central Park SummerStage.
Mental Mad Richard, as he apparently was called back in the days, started off with an acoustic set in a true Bob Dylan singer-songwriter fashion (though Ashcroft actually looks cool and not grumpy and mean). The set was a mix of new solo stuff and tunes from the old Verve days. Ashcroft is a great and charismatic frontman who single-handedly can capture a large crowd with only an acoustic guitar. As much as his music captivated the audience, his on-stage chat was beyond brilliant. In one spontaneous fit, Ashcroft urged Yoko Ono to open her window at Central Park West so she could listen to his songs. He told tales of how he played in front of four people at a gig in Finland; and how someone once dropped some weed on his head when he was standing on the balcony at the Chelsea Hotel during the Verve’s first US tour.
Just as the slightly annoying London-like drizzle stopped, the mighty Liam Gallagher entered the stage in a mod parkas most Americans only dream of. Nonchalant as ever and equipped with a vibrant tambourine that has been in his arsenal since the beginning of time, he resembled a hooligan shaman on a mission to preach enlightenment through Cigarettes and Alcohol. “Some Might Say” ( pun intended) that the earlier Oasis material outshines their new songs. “Whatever” ( pun intended), the new stuff sounded amazing, tight and aggressive as ever, though Supersonic from the first Oasis album Definitely Maybe certainly made the crowd “Mad For It” (pun intended). In between the songs, he’s probably quite funny as well, but only if you grasp that incomprehensible Manchester indigenous accent a subset of the 2.5 million people of Manchester get. In case you’re not one of them, do enjoy the pictures below of the gig.
MORE IMAGES HERE.