Another year draws to a close and I was about to say that little has changed in the post Oasis world of the Brothers Gallagher but that is certainly not the case in 2017. Since the very public implosion of their band in 2009 when Noel simply decided he'd had enough of working with his kid brother Liam, the two of them have been in a pretty much constant war of words, invariably instigated by Liam but with the fire frequently stoked by Noel and nothing has changed much on that front to this day.

Career wise, Noel's star has continued to shine brightly with the huge success he has enjoyed with his High Flying Birds band but, since the demise of Oasis, Liam's star has largely waned and floundered as he has tried to get a strong foothold in the market without Noel at his side. His band Beady Eye, formed with two of his ex Oasis buddies, have been and gone without exciting too many folk along the way and without troubling the album charts too much either. And up until just a couple of months ago, it seemed like Liam's desire for an Oasis reunion was going to be his only really hope of regaining the level of success and stardom he once enjoyed.

However, against all the odds, Liam's recently released debut solo album, 'As You Were', has taken both the record buying public and many a hardened critic by surprise and has garnered overwhelmingly fine reviews and is currently also notching up excellent sales figures. With his album Liam has proved that, when he sets his mind to it, he can definitely deliver the goods and he has shown himself to be a songwriter to be reckoned with a consistently fine record.

Meanwhile, Noel's third album with his High Flying Birds, out just the other week, has received, by his standards, pretty lukewarm reviews as neither fans nor critics have taken to, certainly not immediately anyway, his marked shift away from his tried and tested formula as he has instead blended elements of electronica and psychedelia with his traditional, straight down-the-line rock style.

So, as things presently stand, with regard to the respective fortunes of the brothers Gallagher, the tide has changed somewhat and a strong case could be argued that right now Liam, for the first time, has the upper hand and to use a tennis analogy, is one set to love up on Noel.

And it was riding on the back of his current album success and career upturn that Liam triumphantly returned home to Manchester for the final big concert of the year in the city at the Arena. Taking to the stage with his trademark swagger that has never deserted him, Liam received the expected hero's welcome from the gathered throng who were in truth, more akin to a football crowd than a rock concert audience, quickly breaking into terrace like chants of 'Liam, Liam'.

As well received as his new solo material has been, Liam knows only too well that it is the songs from his Oasis days/legacy that most easily gets his fans fired up and so it was that he launched straight into his set with two undisputed classics from his 90s heyday, 'Rock N' Roll Star' and 'Morning Glory'. Liam got the set mix between new songs and Oasis anthems just about perfectly balanced on the night and it is a testament to his growing songwriter stature that the joins between new compositions like 'Greedy Soul', 'Wall Of Glass', 'Paper Crown', 'For What It's Worth' and Oasis big hitters such as 'Slide Away' and 'Some Might Say' were quite seamless.

Liam Gallagher in 2017 doesn't quite prowl around the stage in the same ticking bomb manner as he used to in his young days and the on stage Liam of today seems, dare I say it, an altogether calmer, more mature and respectful individual with plenty of "Thank you very much" filling the short gaps between songs where previously it would have no doubt been some effing and jeffing or him going off on a rant about something or other.

During the final quarter of the concert though, Liam did increasingly slip back into his old persona as he adopted a somewhat menacing look by pulling the hood from his stylish parka(presumably one from his own Pretty Green fashion label) right down over his head to the extent that just the slits of his eyes and his tightly pursed lips were visible and, simultaneously almost devouring the microphone head in the way he always has done as his sings, he stayed in this mode for most of the remainder of the gig, bringing proceedings to a climactic finish with his renditions of 'Supersonic' and 'Be Here Now'.

Of course that wasn't quite the end as Liam and band returned for some obligatory encores with the added surprise of former Oasis guitarist Bonehead in tow, much to the crowd's delight , for being realistic, it's as close to an Oasis reunion as we are likely to get in the forseeable future. A stirring 'Cigarettes And Alcohol' got the whole arena bouncing whilst 'Wonderwall' had everyone singing along with the modern day cigarette lighters, the torch-lit mobile phones, out in force and proudly held aloft.

A poignant, acoustic version of 'Live Forever' was the night's final number and the song took on an even greater gravitas as Liam performed it against a backdrop of a bee symbol with a huge 22 projected onto a giant screen, in memory of the poor souls who tragically lost their lives earlier in the year whilst attending a concert in the very same building. Liam Gallagher in the past might well have been an easy target to paint as the villain of the peace but now he is quickly becoming the darling of the hour. Who would have thought it.