April 16, 2011

Beady Eye Olympia: Oasis

"This is a top gaff," beams Liam Gallagher. "Never been here before. Look after it."

Once upon a time, you'd almost expect the former Oasis singer to be ripping the seats out of a venue rather than singing its praises.

It's back to basics for Beady Eye, starting in the mid-division rather than strutting their stuff in Whelan's. Amazingly, the crowd sings along to every song and there isn't a single audible request for Oasis.

Opening with 'Four Letter Word' and its mantra of "Nothing lasts forever", Gallagher is still leaning into his microphone and belting out the new songs with a voice that's astutely been compared to resting somewhere between Lennon and Lydon.

It doesn't all work. 'Millionaire' is a pointless dirge that would have best been left on the studio floor, but overall, Beady Eye peddle a neat line in catchy and energetic pop rock in the tradition of the Small Faces. It's derivative and won't appeal to any constituency outside hardcore Oasis and Liam fans, but it's undoubtedly effective.

The extended Gallagher family, bar Noel, are all in attendance. Liam's wife, Nicole Appleton, is also visibly enjoying her hubby's show from the guest boxes.

There are a few belters in the set, notably 'For Anyone', 'The Roller' and 'Standing on the Edge of Noise'. Admittedly, there isn't anything to match Oasis in their heyday, despite Liam's claim that 'Different Gear, Still Speeding' is better than 'Definitely Maybe'. It's certainly better than 'Standing on the Shoulder of Giants' or 'Be Here Now'.

They encore with a cover of 'Sons of the Stage' by Mancunian baggy band World of Twist, which I bought as a cassette single. Against all the odds, Liam's post-Noel career has got off to a respectable start.

He's still a great frontman, at one stage turning his back to the audience. This would be rude coming from most performers, but in the inimitable shape and swagger of a certain Liam Gallagher, it's mesmerising.

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