As Liam Gallagher and the rest of Beady Eye casually strolled onto the stage at a sold-out O2 Academy they were greeted by a huge roar. Liam stood motionless in front of the crowd soaking up their adoration before the band opened with ‘Flick Of The Finger’. It was an upbeat start and the crowd responded well singing from the first song to the last.
They rattled through the first few tracks barely giving the audience time to catch their breath. ‘Four Letter Word’ got the fans jumping and shouting before slowing things down with their new single ‘Soul Love’.
Liam Gallagher seemed to have matured and calmed down, he spent lots of time posturing and posing but chose to bask in the light of his adoring fans rather than to seek to actively wind them up and encourage them like he used to do. He also steered away from saying anything controversial in the light of the newspaper stories claiming he wants an Oasis reunion.
He was a different sort of front man and behaved in a very different manner to the outrageous and arrogant persona he previously displayed. Now that he is not just a singer his arrogance had manifested from self belief in his ability to be an anarchic front man to a pride and confidence in the material and talent of the band. He swaggered around between vocals but he clearly cares more about the quality of the performance than creating mischief and headlines these days.
His vocal display was of the exact same quality as the recordings of their work and he occasionally added some more grit to elevate the energy of certain songs. During ‘Start Anew’ his vocals and the added effort from the band took this album track into atmospheric territory complete with moments of true beauty. His vocals combined with the trumpet section on ‘Second Bite Of The Apple’ provided an uplifting effect and made the chorus even more gripping.
Before the gig I had promised myself that I would judge them purely on their own merit and steer away from comparisons to Oasis, however having seen them live the similarities are far too glaring to ignore. The fact they played ‘Live Forever’ and ‘Cigarettes And Alcohol’ only highlights that.
Oasis songs became anthemic due to their place in culture and history but Beady Eye songs are designed to be anthemic and atmospheric and it is something they have expertly achieved. Many of their songs, ‘Shine A Light’ in particular, would not be out of place on Heathen Chemistry. To be fair to Gem, Liam and Andy this was the album that Noel began to hand over some of the song writing responsibility. It was an engaging and thoroughly enjoyable set but at times it did feel like watching an Oasis tribute act as their material still offers very little variation from the latter end of their previous incarnation.