Liam Gallagher: As It Was
- Anna Smith
- 6 June 2019
The motor-mouthed musician is the subject of a fun but repetitive documentary
Whether you love him or loathe him, there is something inherently amusing about Liam Gallagher. There's the provocative outbursts, the swagger, the comical contrast between his exceptional talent and his childish behaviour.
The Oasis frontman didn't need to act up to get attention: the music would probably have been enough. But it's all contributed to the legend of the Gallagher brothers, who famously fell out in 2009, leading to the breakup of the band. Speaking frankly in this solo doc, Liam admits that they haven't spoken since, and it's clear that behind his trash-talk lies a sad boy who desperately misses his big brother, Noel.
If As It Was dug deeper into the sibling rivalry it could be a revealing and thought-provoking documentary; instead, it's a fun but repetitive one. After a round-up of the Oasis story, it follows Liam's tour with Beady Eye and touches on his relationship with girlfriend Debbie Gwyther, who appears as a talking head but doesn't go into the details of their first meeting. Liam's past relationships are glossed over, though there are some great moments with his mini-me sons.
Various messages are repeated via different methods: Liam was a tearaway who now goes running; Liam loves his mum; Liam loves music; Liam loves his kids; Liam loves swearing. While Gallagher isn't listed as an executive producer, this feels close to promotion at times and struggles to fill its feature length without a compelling narrative arc.
As It Was is an entertaining watch with plenty for hardcore fans to enjoy, but it's perhaps inevitable that it suffers in comparison to 2016's Oasis: Supersonic, which told a more complete and dramatic story. As hilarious as Liam is, it seems like two Gallaghers are still better than one – something Liam probably knows better than anybody.
Selected release and on demand from Fri 7 Jun.