Beady Eye – review

Barrowland, Glasgow

Liam Gallagher is ruling Glasgow before he has even come on: 2,000 voices roar his name, mixing this with a booze-sozzled chant that carries on throughout the gig: "Beady! Beady! Beady fuckin' aye!"

Oasis may be no more, but if this lot are missing Noel Gallagher, it doesn't show. Still, it's hard to pinpoint exactly what Liam does that has made him the sort of idol who comes along once a generation. He wears a motorcycle jacket buttoned up (helpful for dodging the traditional Glasgow welcome of hurled beer). He edges a hand towards his private regions (not quite a Michael Jackson crotch grab, more like scratching an itch). He stands motionless and casts, yes, a beady eye over the crowd. Yet somehow his presence in this medium-size hall (as opposed to an Oasis-size arena) is formidable.

It also helps that the frontman is certainly singing – and projecting his voice – better than he was doing as Oasis reached the end of the line, when they sounded like a band ready for retirement. Measuring roughly twice the volume of the band's wall-of-guitar noise, that trademark Lennon-Lydon sneer combines with the atmosphere to produce a proper, wild rock'n'roll concert. The raucous Bring the Light, hammered out over Jerry Lee Lewis-style piano, provides some of the most electrifying minutes of Liam's career, and leads one fan – a drunk veteran of 17 Oasis gigs – to proclaim Beady Eye are "pissing on them".

In truth, while they have undoubtedly got the energy back, you can't always say the same about the songs. Millionaire is mellifluous, Standing on the Edge of the Noise is pure swagger, Kill for a Dream oozes poignancy and The Beat Goes On gets arms swaying in the air. But The Roller and Beatles & Stones owe too much to the Beatles and the Who, respectively; meanwhile, mid-set, there are one or two clunkers that are saved only by the atmosphere. Still, the Liam-penned, slightly psychedelic The Morning Son hints at new emotional depth and seemingly addresses you-know-who: "He's in my soul, he's even in my rock'n'roll."

Noel's next move will be fascinating. In the meantime, the chant of "Beady! Beady! Beady fuckin' aye!" remains so infuriatingly catchy that Liam should turn it into song.


Dave Simpson

The GuardianTramp

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