Today's Top Stories
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Liam Gallagher: ' There's More Dysfunctional Families Than Just Ours'
His last public appearance in Manchester was as front man of Oasis. Now Liam Gallagher returns as head of clothing label Pretty Green. Paul Taylor talked to him about fashion and fraternal love.
'Tis the season of goodwill, and I'm wondering whether now may be the right time for Liam and Noel Gallagher to patch up their differences and get back to bestriding the world as Oasis.
“I haven't spoken to him. I don't think he'd speak to me either. That's life,” says Liam Gallagher, with characteristic bluntness
Not even a Christmas card, then?
“Listen we never sent Christmas cards before the split. I don't think we're going to start now,” says Liam. “We were never that close as a family. I got on well with my other brother. I got on well with my mam, obviously, and they've (Noel and mam) got a great relationship. But me and our kid...we were never that close. The only thing that kept us together was the band. It's sad, but that's life. There's more dysfunctional families than just ours.”
And yes, it is sad. For most of us came to regard Liam and Noel as rock 'n' roll's version of Waldorf and Statler from the Muppet Show – bad-tempered men who would grow old bashing their heads together, turning mutual animosity into an unbreakable bond.
But after 18 years of era-defining music and some of the most entertaining soundbites rock has ever known. Noel, aged 42, departed Oasis in August, saying he could not work with his younger brother Liam a day longer. Noel later cited “verbal and violent intimidation towards me, my family, friends and comrades”.
Liam's response: “He can't work with me. Apparently, I'm the f***ing devil; he's the herald angel, whatever. The truth will out. I'm a good person. I've got a lot of nice people around me and they wouldn't be around me if I was what people say I am.
“What I will say...I dig our kid and I know he digs me, and in the future, who knows. But at the moment, no f***ing chance.”
Not far from the windowless back room at Selfridges store in Manchester where we speak, there are 200 people queuing patiently to tell Liam they think he's a good person too. He's here to launch the more luxurious, pricier Black Label range of his Pretty Green fashion house, and there are autographed limited edition postcards for the first 200 purchasers. The range includes t-shirts from £35, a paisley kaftan shirt at £180, a “Fool on the Hill” coat at £675 and – Liam's own fashion choice today – a green herringbone tweed overcoat at £325.
He insists he has strong input into the label's designs, and that he is in the fashion business for the long run. It's mod-influenced, timeless clothing, likely to work for a broad age range.
“It's classic. You can look cool. It's like the Italians, man. There's nothing worse than seeing a 50-year old geezer in a pair of trainers and track suit...unless he's going for a run.”
So what were Liam's own style inspirations?
“Quadrophenia, without a doubt,” he says, mentioning also the Stone Roses and football fan fashion of track suits and Adidas trainers. But there is another less likely suspect in the Gallagher style DNA.
“I was into Paul Newman growing up,” he admits. “I thought he looked f***ing great. You know Fort Apache, The Bronx? I saw that film once when I was 14 and he looked cool, man.”
At 37, Liam looks sharp as ever – lean, taller than you expect, beetle-browed, with chiselled features, pure mod hairstyle and firm, sinewy handshake. He fidgets like a man who doesn't quite know what to do with all his energy.
The remainder of Oasis soldiers on Noel-less. Liam says there are many songs written, and six or seven recorded in demo form. Bass player Andy Bell has now switched to guitar and Liam has brought in a new bassist, whom he refuses to name except to say that he comes from Bury.
“We've got some studio time booked after Christmas and we're going to go in, bang it out. We're not going to fart around with it. It's going to be lean, not over-indulgent and I think people are going to like it,” says Liam. “It's rock 'n' roll, man. The melodies are totally different from Noel's. It's going to sound like Oasis but a touch different.”
The big question is, will this band still be called Oasis?
“We don't know, man,” says Liam. “We've got a lot of names floating about. None of them are sticking. None of us can agree on it. What's the word...democracy.
“Listen, everyone's always going to recognise me as Oasis, so at the moment, it's Oasis. And I know a lot of people will go 'Oh, it'll never be the same without Noel'. No s***, you know.
“If we come up with a supercool name that we all agree on, then away we go. If we don't then I'm not going to f***ing beat myself up about it. We're Oasis. If people like it, they like it. If people don't, then don't buy the record.”
For Breaking News visit our flagship site Live4ever Media
Make sure to join the world's largest Oasis Community
Pretty Green - mens clothing from Liam Gallagher
Visit our extensive news archives on the left sidebar for more!