Liam Gallagher: Sing When You're Winning
It’s been all change at Eastlands in recent years. What do you make of all the comings and goings?
I’m all for it – why not? If you haven’t got any money no one will come and see you. What happened with Mark Hughes was a bit unfair and I don’t like that because it puts us in that Chelsea bracket. If you start f**king about with people like that I think it gives us a bad name. The other side of it is Mark Hughes had to go: you can’t draw seven games on the trot if you have been given all that money... that’s life.
What do you reckon to Mancini?
I reckon he’ll be top but it's early days; he’ll attract some good players. I like the way he is giving everyone a run-out: if it’s not working, he changes it there and then. He put Robinho on the other day and it still wasn’t happening so he was right off. He’s got the balls, he’s calm and he’s confident and that’s what we need. To finish top four this season would do for me. We might win a cup. You can’t spend that amount of money and f**k about not getting into Europe!
We need to strengthen the squad; I’m happy with Tevez up front but we could do with someone up there with him, we also need a top solid midfielder. Vieira will come in for the big games; I don’t think he’ll play him all the time. He’ll give us that push for the important games. Shay Given is a top keeper. Stephen Ireland and Petrov should be playing all the time; he’s got some top players.
Are you not worried the club will lose its roots with all the money coming in? Do you want to keep your roots and go down or lose them and win everything?
To be honest, I don’t think we’ll lose it; our fans have got their feet firmly on the ground.
So how did it all begin?
With my old boy, City was his team when he came over from Ireland. At that time City were doing OK. He never really took us but when we went to school our teacher Mr Walsh used to get tickets at the end of every month and he’d take some of the class to the match. It was the days of Joe Corrigan and The Kippax Stand. When I was growing up we won f**k all but it’s not all about the winning.
That was also the days of elderly superfan Helen ‘The Bell’ and inflatable bananas... yeah, I used to buzz off all that, it was mega, they were top days. I loved it when things were semi-normal with no worries; all you had to think about was your team winning at the weekend. We didn’t even pay to get in; you’d jump the turnstiles and meet your mates at half time. I loved standing on the terraces; it would be like a gig when all the swaying started up.
A bit different from the box you have now?
It’s not my box, I’m friends with Stephen Ireland and he sorts me out. I sort him out with gigs and a few things for his charity. I still go in the stands sometimes, I loved going in for night games but I prefer to go in the box. I don’t mind signing autographs but there are days when you just want to watch the match: you turn round and you’re getting beat 10-f**king-nil.
Your new clothing line, Pretty Green, includes a Man City-inspired sky blue jumper. Planning to get the City team modeling the rest of your collection?
Too right, I want Pretty Green on the kit as the sponsor!
It might cost you. Do you reckon City fans are pretty fashion-conscious then?
Yeah, United are still in the Simon Cowell trousers, man!
When you were in your pomp with Oasis, City were relegated to the third flight. What was that like?
Every time Oasis were doing really well City were doing really shit! That seemed to be the way. Now we’ve split up City are doing really good. I had 18 great years with Oasis so maybe there’s some good times ahead with City and that’ll take the pain of the band splitting off a bit.
You once dedicated a song to Roy Keane?
Yeah, Bring It On Down. When he signed for Celtic we were playing Glasgow. I like Celtic: my older brother Paul is mad for it. I’ve never been; just watched them on the box. I was just noising them up on stage. To me it’s no different to the rivalry in Manchester; I don’t understand the religious thing. Noel was going mad, telling me not to f**k with it but it was just a laugh.
Gigging at Maine Road must have been the ultimate?
Maine Road was mega, man. I left Manchester the day after that – I was still at me Mam’s. I had been going down London thinking it was a bit f**king big. Eastlands was a great gig too. You have to move with the times. Maine Road was like going round your auntie’s for a brew. With these big stadiums it’s a bit weird, you know, but you’re at an event so you just have to go with it.
Beating United 5-1 in 1989, I was ill, me mam was running in and out with the Lucozade, grapes and papers. She caught me jumping up and down going mental. I was like: “It’s a f**king miracle!”
Who’s football’s Liam Gallagher?
Bellamy: he comes in and f**king has it.?
Do your kids support City?
Gene’s City, but my missus is Arsenal. We’ve been to see games together at Arsenal and City. They beat us 2-0 last time; it was f**king grim. ?
Mike Summerbee was a geezer.
Any of them Nevilles, Roy Keane was a f**ker... all of them, man.
Ever nailed another celeb in a charity match?
Him out of Blur for a charity match, I had been up writing a song and having a drink with John Squire the night before. We wrote that one Love Me Or Leave Me, I had the game the next morning so I've had to get off, grab a couple of beers and burn out the door. I left Squire in his kip and hit it – it was top!
"That is an irrevocably rash challenge, Mr Albarn, you blackguard!"
Interview: Richard Purden. Portrait: Chris Close. From the March 2010 issue of FourFourTwo. Subscribe!