This is the one we’ve been waiting for: for decades Liam Gallagher and John Squire have been circling each other. The Oasis frontman credits seeing The Stone Roses as a 16-year-old as a formative experience, while the celebrated guitarist first witnessed the nascent newcomers’ powers when the Gallagher brothers were recording their debut ‘Definitely Maybe’ at the same studio as the Roses’ divisive second album ‘The Second Coming’. In 1997, the pair co-wrote ‘Love Me and Leave Me’ for The Seahorses – Squire’s project after he left his band – but besides hanging out at the guitarist’s celebrated art shows, that was the extent of things.
It took an on-stage appearance from Squire at Liam’s Knebworth shows in 2022 – reprising his role on ‘Champagne Supernova’ from Oasis’ original 1996 shows – to give the guitarist the bug for performing and recording again. Until then, it’d been five years since the final shows of The Stone Roses’ reunion and his focus had been on his visual art; a solo project had been mooted, but never heard. Liam’s solo career, meanwhile, is at its commercial zenith. This summer he takes ‘Definitely Maybe’ on the road for its 30th anniversary – without big bro Noel, of course.
‘Just Another Rainbow’, the first collaborative single from the pair will be, for some, the most surprising collaboration since Macca and Ringo coaxed an AI-assisted song out of John Lennon’s froggy vocals on ‘Now and Then’. It’s a fantasy football-style lineup for Manchester music fans: insert your preferred bassist and drummer here.
The tune itself is the least shocking part of the endeavour – but that doesn’t make it any less intriguing. ‘Just Another Rainbow’ isn’t quite fan-service, but the duo are certainly playing to their strengths: Liam’s vocals are full ‘Mind Games’-era Lennon, and Squire’s skills as a guitarist are given room to shine on a song that’s in a more familiar territory for the latter than the former. It’s a pleasure to hear Squire back on record at all, in fact.
Produced by Greg Kurstin – who has helmed all of Liam’s solo material since his comeback – ‘Just Another Rainbow’’s willingness to stretch out and groove is at odds with the pop-driven ‘C’Mon You Know’. There are hints of Cream in Squire’s performance and structures: there’s even something of The Rolling Stones in the way Liam drawls: “just another rainbow, hanging over me / just another rainbow, dropping on my tree”. He’s confident enough in the quality to simply list its colours at one stage. It adds a vibrant string to Liam’s bow, and far outshines the Roses’ aborted studio comeback tracks in 2017’s ‘All For One’ and ‘Beautiful Thing’.
It’s the first release of what they promise to include more music and potentially even live shows; but, for now at least, it’s pleasing enough to hear two icons, properly together at last.
Article by Thomas Smith taken from NME (www.nme.com)