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Blue plaque installed at Manchester Lidl to honour Liam Gallagher “almost” playing there

Our Show Times

A blue plaque has been installed at a Lidl supermarket in Manchester, commemorating the gig that Liam Gallagher “almost” played there earlier this year.

Last month, the former Oasis frontman joked that if his show at the city’s Co-Op Live Arena wasn’t “sorted” in time, then he would have to play at Lidl instead.

At the time, the Manchester venue was going through a torrid series of complications and delays as it was trying to open its doors, causing Gallagher to make the quip on social media.

Lidl in Newton Heath, Manchester, with Liam Gallagher blue plaque. CREDIT: James Speakman/PA Media Assignments

And now, the Newton Heath branch of the supermarket, the closest one to Co-Op Live, has unveiled a commemorative blue plaque, bearing the words “Liam Gallagher. Legend. ‘Almost Played Here’. June 2024.”

In the end, Gallagher’s shows at the arena are going ahead as planned, both tonight (June 15) and tomorrow night (June 16).

Co-Op Live is the UK’s largest indoor arena with a capacity of 23,500. It was supposed to debut with comedian Peter Kay on April 23 and 24.  However, following a test event featuring Rick Astley on April 22, his gigs were pushed back to the end of April with the venue citing technical issues.

Later, a gig from The Black Keys that was scheduled for April 27 had to be moved to May 15, and the Peter Kay shows were moved for the second time. Following the second postponement, Kay shared a statement with fans, explaining that he was left “disappointed” by the news.

Initially, organisers ensured those with tickets that all other shows scheduled for the new venue would be going ahead as planned. However, they announced on May 1, just 10 minutes after doors had opened, that A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie‘s show had been cancelled due to a “venue-related technical issue”. Shortly afterwards, they also axed Olivia Rodrigo’s upcoming gigs – which left her “so disappointed” – as well as shows by Keane and Take That, with the latter relocating their dates to the rival AO Arena.

A general view of the Co-op Live arena as Elbow performs the inaugural live show at Co-op Live on May 14, 2024 in Manchester, England.
A general view of the Co-op Live arena as Elbow performs the inaugural live show at Co-op Live on May 14, 2024 in Manchester, England. CREDIT: Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage/Getty Images

A spokesperson for the Co-Op group was forced to clarify that they “do not own or run” the Co-Op Live Arena and share the same feeling of “disappointment” at the opening problems.

The venue itself also issued a formal apology to fans, saying that they are trying to “find a way to help make it right”.

The venue was finally able to open with a show by Elbow on May 14, which NME awarded four stars. “It’s a night of empathic character studies, big-hearted sincerity, and tracks brimming with needling details, particularly on the synth-driven ‘Balu’, a barstool-bard tribute to hedonistic friends, while the likes of ‘Station Approach’ are coded with the DNA of the city,” read the review.

Liam Gallagher is currently on his ‘Definitely Maybe’ 30th anniversary tour of the UK and Ireland. During a show at London’s The O2 this week, he dedicated ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’ to Dave Grohl, which saw the Foo Fighters frontman rocking out.

Gallagher is performing ‘Definitely Maybe’ in full on the tour and airing numerous other tracks from that era, including the Noel-sung ‘Half The World Away’ (which he dedicated to his estranged brother and former bandmate) and Noel‘s Oasis-era ‘Lock All The Doors’ demo.

You can see the full list of upcoming dates below, and find any remaining tickets here.

JUNE 2024
15 – Co-Op Live, Manchester
16 – Co-Op Live, Manchester
19 – OVO Hydro, Glasgow
20 – OVO Hydro, Glasgow
23 – 3Arena, Dublin
24 – 3Arena, Dublin
27 – Co-Op Live, Manchester
28 – Co-Op Live, Manchester

In August, Liam Gallagher will also play ‘Definitely Maybe’ in its entirety when he headlines Reading & Leeds 2024. He’s also spoken about the chances of a ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory’ 30th anniversary tour in 2025.

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