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Sunday, November 10, 2013
Liam Gallagher - Rock's last true anti hero...
Liam Gallagher with his stage swagger shows Beady Eye to be an engaging live act...
With his expertly curled lip and pugilist swagger,Liam Gallagher might be rock’s last true anti-hero. In an age of eager-to-please banjo thumpers and sub-Coldplay emoters, the Beady Eye frontman stands grumpily apart, a performer whose apparent indifference to the crowd’s baying adoration is part of the charm. The louder the audience roars his name, the less he appears to care. Neither party, you suspect, would have it any other way.
Scrambling free of the smoking wreckage of Oasis' 2009 break-up, Beady Eye - essentially the 90's Britpop institution minus songwriter Noel Gallagher - are agreeably cocksure while making music almost nobody can muster genuine enthusiasm for. The group’s steerage class commercial status is reflected in their current touring schedule.
Twelve months ago Noel, from whom Liam and his bandmates remain heartily estranged, was casually headlining arenas. Beady Eye, in contrast, are stuck on the middle-rung purgatory of 2,000 capacity theaters. After so many decades bestriding the world’s enormodomes, to be able to look fans in the eye is surely a curious experience for Liam.
Beady Eyes’ songs aren’t terrible. They just aren’t very Oasis.
Recorded with cult producer David Sitek (TV On The Radio) and released last summer, their second album BE blended soulful nuance and moody psychedelia. However, up against Oasis’ legacy a collection of solid album tracks won’t suffice, no matter that the tunes are delivered in the younger Gallagher’s signature sandpaper mewl. That has been the public response, at least. Despite kind reviews BE didn’t hang about the charts terribly long and is presently languishing in some dark, cold space outside the top 100.
If they have a future it is as an engaging live act rather than as a gilded hit machine. In front of a chanting, beer sloshing attendance their outlaw strut made for an endearing sight. Shouts of "Liamo Liamo" were ringing around before the five-piece even stepped out.
The moment they did, the excitement surged towards One Direction levels of giddiness. The vast throaty shriek that went up as Gallagher stalked the stage, stoically mopping his brow with a towel, was a strange mix of terrace roar and romantic swoon.
The essence of aging mod cool in their mirrorshades, rumpled parkas and leather trench-coats, Liam and his lieutenants (who seem to have had a competition to see who could cultivate the most impressive sideburns) opened with the Flick Of The Finger, a dapper marriage of Britrock and lulling Memphis horns. The experimental sensibility was elaborated on with the krautrock- inflected Second Bite of the Apple.
Switching the emotional setting to closing-hours ennui, Soul Love was introspective and bleakly wistful, the sort of twitchy ballad Gallagher probably couldn’t have written before the reversals and difficulties of life post-Oasis.
With an air of restlessness creeping in, Beady Eye bowed to expectations and bashed out Oasis’ Live Forever and Cigarettes and Alcohol (an encore tilt at The Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter completed the triptych of covers). Approaching the microphone in that iconic stoop, hands behind his back, Gallagher was undoubtedly a rock star among mortals. But it took a brace of 20-year-old Oasis smashes to really bring home the message.
via L4e / source: Ed Power www.telegraph.co.uk
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