“It's good to see him back writing songs, and f**king good ones too”: Britpop’s greatest guitarist and vocalist join forces as John Squire evokes classic Stone Roses on Liam Gallagher’s latest single

Laim Gallagher John Squire
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Elusive Stone Roses guitarist, John Squire, has teamed up with Oasis frontman, Liam Gallagher, providing psychedelic Britpop licks on the vocalist’s new single, Just Another Rainbow. The single marks the first recorded collaboration between the two giants of British rock, with more music together expected later this year.

Liam Gallagher called seeing The Stone Roses live as a 16-year-old “life-changing”, and later co-wrote the lyrics for Love Me and Leave Me, a single by Squire’s post-Roses band The Seahorses in 1997. The bands would later tour together, before their disbandment in 1999.

Since The Seahorses’ split, Squire, seen by many as Britpop’s premier guitarist, has been something of a recluse, primarily focusing on his painting. He released two solo albums in 2002 and 2004, with The Stone Roses’ short-lived reunion producing two singles in 2016.   

He’s arguably one of the biggest guitar players to have fallen off the grid after making their name. A rare appearance alongside Gallagher in 2022 at Knebworth Park playing Champagne Supernova, however, set up the possibility of the pair working on new music together.

A supergroup had been rumoured, and now it’s clear their collaboration will be in the guise of Gallagher’s solo work. For the Manc-twanged vocalist, the single follows on from 2022 album, C’mon You Know.  

“Everyone always bangs on about him as a guitarist, but he’s a top songwriter too, man,” the enigmatic Gallagher says of Squire.

“There's not enough of his music out there, whether it's with the Roses or himself. It's good to see him back writing songs and fucking good ones. The melodies are mega and then the guitars are a given. But I think even when you take all the fucking guitars off, you can play the songs all on acoustic and they’ll all still blow your mind.”

From its first notes, Just Another Rainbow exudes classic Stone Roses, Squire’s reverb-soaked guitar wringing out an intro that only he could. But he offers some tasty lead playing too, with the '60s-inspired track meandering through wavering passages before an elongated solo journey through bluesy double stops and fuzzy psych-rock motifs.

“To me, the most obvious take on Just Another Rainbow is that it's about disappointment, and the sentiment is that you never get what you really want,” Squire adds. “To me, it's also one of the most uplifting tracks we’ve made together, which is weird.”

The pair spent three weeks recording with Greg Kurstin (Foo Fighters, Beck, Sia) in LA, who also plays bass on the songs. Drums come courtesy of Joey Waronker, whose CV includes Beck, R.E.M. and Atoms for Peace.

In an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, Gallagher indicated 10 songs would be on the album, and eight have been completed, with live dates also on the cards.

“We've got a bass player, we've got a drummer, we've got a keyboard player and that if we need it,” he explains. “We're going to try and tackle it without a keyboard player then piano player and give it a bit of bollocks, mate. A bit of rawness to it, but if it needs it, it needs it.

“But yeah, we're going out on tour. We're going to go and do some gigs, see what happens, and try to inspire people. And make people happy. That's it really. And then do another one.”

It will be interesting to see what comes next from a pairing that will no doubt leave Britpop fans salivating.

Just Another Rainbow is available now as a limited-edition 7" vinyl.

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Phil Weller

A freelance writer with a penchant for music that gets weird, Phil is a regular contributor to Prog, Guitar World, and Total Guitar magazines and is especially keen on shining a light on unknown artists. Outside of the journalism realm, you can find him writing angular riffs in progressive metal band, Prognosis, in which he slings an 8-string Strandberg Boden Original, churning that low string through a variety of tunings. He's also a published author and is currently penning his debut novel which chucks fantasy, mythology and humanity into a great big melting pot.