Who's The Daddy: A night out enjoying a bit of rock 'n' roll and curry with eldest daughter

Quite honestly, it felt like a personalised concierge service and tour guide rolled into one - an evening in her adopted home city of Manchester for a curry and some rock ‘n’ roll stars with daughter #1.
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Now 24, she’s lived in Manchester for almost two years now and walks around the place like she’s lived there her whole life.

I was lucky enough to get a couple of tickets to see Liam Gallagher and John Squire for the first night of two shows at the Apollo last week (£80! Each!) after getting a pre-sale link from ordering the album about a month before it was released. The entire tour sold out in 30 seconds so I was quite proud of that one.

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But before the show daughter #1 suggested we go for dinner at Dishoom. If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s where God would take you for a curry on a night out. The boss bought me a Dishoom cook book after she went there with our brood a few months ago, and despite my best efforts with its Chicken Ruby, it was amateur night compared to how the pros do it. I’m guessing they wouldn’t feed my version to their dogs.

Liam Gallagher at the Manchester ApolloLiam Gallagher at the Manchester Apollo
Liam Gallagher at the Manchester Apollo

Daughter #1 had scouted the best car park (opposite a building where she worked during a stint with the civil service) and after a brief walk around town, it was off to the gig.

Now I’m sure there’d be a queue around the block in Manchester if someone plugged in John Squire’s guitars, turned the amps up to 11 and just let them hum for an hour. Same goes for Liam Gallagher’s mic, who, to borrow a line from Viz a few years ago, struts around like drunk chimp in a nappy full of porridge, but is solid gold Mancunian music royalty.

The show’s set list, widely circulated on social media, contained no Stone Roses or Oasis songs. Just all 10 tracks on the No.1 album and the Stones’ Jumpin’ Jack Flash as an encore. Now I’ve seen the Stone Roses and Oasis more times than is healthy down the years but I’ve never seen either do one for the road (yeah, that’s Arctic Monkeys, smartypants).

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So we took our seats and a minute later special guest Jake Bugg came on with one of his many guitars and did an excellent Jake Bugg jukebox. I’d never heard his normal speaking voice before, and I didn’t know he doesn’t talk like that.

Anyway, the main event. Liam is one of the best frontmen in rock history. Liam will be Liam until the day he dies and he is deeply loved for it. It’s dead easy to spot a fake because you can feel your toes curl but, 30 years on from Definitely Maybe, he is still the real deal - and his voice is exactly what it always was. You can’t take your eyes off him.

One of the best things about the collaboration is the fact that there’s a new record out with John Squire on it, because for a guitarist and songwriter of his generational talent, there haven’t been anywhere near enough of those.

Personal highlights were the sunshine in a bottle of Mars To Liverpool (video of it shot by a starstruck yours truly here https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=V37iG80eO8Q&pp=ygU-TGlhbSBnYWxsYWdoZXIgam9obiBzcXVpcmUgbWFycyB0byBsaXZlcnBvb2wgbWFuY2hlc3RlciBhcG9sbG8%3D) and You’re Not The Only One. Put it this way, I reckon our neighbours could sing the album to you in its entirety in their sleep.

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After the gig, where Liam only mentioned Manchester City once (to a surprisingly loud, heartfelt and sustained chorus of booing), it was a 10-minute car journey to daughter #1’s flat to pick up my car for the trip home.

Big city life suits her. So much so that she’s just got back from a few days away with seven of her friends in Lisbon. Own job, own flat, own car and own money. When she was two her favourite saying was “I can do it my own self.” And 22 years later, turns out she wasn’t wrong.

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