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Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Beady Eye - Different gear, still speeding

It was no surprise that after the lacklustre and patchy releases that failed to revisit the earlier glory days of Oasis that Noel and Liam would finally part ways.
Between them they had flogged that horse to death twice over.
It would however be fair to say that in the aftermath of this decision that the majority would have laid bets that Noel would flourish without the swaggering macho council estate antics of Liam reflecting poorly on him. While Liam himself would slip and slide further down the celebrity status list until the only time we would ever hear about him was if he managed to have a swing at the milkman in the early hours after leaving a tupperware party at Kerry Katona's.
Then in his usual cocksure manner Liam announced that he would be back with Beady Eye to blow Oasis out of the water.
Critics quietly laughed and filed his comments away as the delusional rantings of the compulsive braggart. Last orders had been called on Liam Gallagher.
Now with the album being leaked it would certainly seem that quite a few people, including myself, will have to slice themselves a large portion of humble pie as Liam has just released the best piece of work that he has been involved in since “Definitely Maybe” or “What's the Story”.
Across the breadth of the songs this is the best and most varied he has ever sounded.
Still instantly recognisable, but with a bit of added oomph.
It would seem fair to say that without Noel at the helm he has flourished, or more accurately the whole band have, and I'm sure this will raise much debate. Did he run Oasis with an iron rod to ensure it was his vision, or were the rest of the guys happy to allow him to carry the responsibility on his shoulders while they coasted in his wake? Does anyone really care?
I guess we will never know, but it would be safe to venture that the hardcore Oasis fans aren't going to find much to criticize about this as he has delivered exactly what they have been waiting for.
More surprisingly though is that once “Different gear, still speeding” has sunk in I could envision that there could be quite a few more converts flocking to Liam's corner.
On the album itself the ghost of John Lennon certainly casts a very large shadow, and while it would be easy to claim it was a distraction, the real strength of Beady Eye's debut lies in the career defining vocal performance from Liam and the enthusiasm with which the band attacks the material.
This is very, very, good rock and roll.
I suspect that it doesn't really need stating that it's a homage to the swinging sixties with the crossover appeal that you would expect from that as everything that has come before from Liam has been, but it maybe does need to be highlighted that instead of slavishly recreating the halcyon days of the Beatles, the Kinks et al Beady Eye have successfully dragged that era into the here and now and maintained its exuberance more so than Oasis ever did. No small feat in itself.
They're certainly not the first band to attempt this but they are one of the very few to have done so while maintaining a fresh angle on it.
It goes without saying that Beady Eye should be rightfully proud of their d├ębut.
Not because it has redefined anything, or even provided us with a new sound, but purely because it will serve to give many of their maudlin contemporaries a kick up the backside while simultaneously showing others that there is certainly plenty of life in the old dog yet.
Fair play to Liam. The ball is now in Noel's court, and if he returns with some Welleresque balladeering then it will be no surprise if he is the brother who becomes yesterdays nowhere man.
All we can do now is wait and see.
As a side issue I'll add that I fervently hope that “Different gear, still speeding” reignites a love for guitar driven rock and ushers in yet another revival of successful guitar bands in the UK, because we could really do with some more of that to shake up an increasingly sterile mainstream scene.


  1. i was first to forecast what Liam would do next. Everyone told me "aww they need noel and it wull never be",well,aint i proved them wrong!. What people fail to realise is that Liam started Oasis and even named the band, you know the rest, Noel took over etc. But what the public fails to realise that these guys that were in the last line up of Oasis were not just mere band members with no experience, Gem was in Heavy Stereo and Andy Bell was in Ride, and Ride to me were better than Oasis were (even though i am a huge fan of both bands). The new approach is also a welcome return, none of the lazy lydonesque sneering of old, and songs that are properly sung (In Q mag Liam admits this), yes it may be a bit retrospective and stink of the 1960s and indie by numbers, but at least they have moved away from the anthems that were starting to get on my tits and only appealed to drunken teenagers :)

  2. If Liam can keep the worst aspects of his personality in check then there is no reason why this can't be the biggest album of his career.
    For his own sake he should knock the non appearences on the head and reign in the arrogance and enjoy what he has worked hard to create.

  3. I think he will play it by the book now,rather than go around punching photographers and whatever drug fuelled madness he has to do. It must of been hard for him to live in the shadow of Noel Gallagher and take constant criticism from him. The tension is all gone now and i expect good behaviour from him now...... I hope!!!!!, or his reputation will ruin him yet again or did it ruin him? many of the young fans got into Oasis for the bad boy cool image anyway, but like i said before , the new approach is a fresh bold move and may gain a better calibre of fans SOBER ONES! ;)

  4. A good link to let people hear what the album is like

  5. I just read NME today (purely for the Beady Eye feature).Interesting interview and glad that people picked up on the fact that Liam and co were writing songs during Oasis that ended up on the albums and didnt sound like Oasis. The unofficial beginning of Beady Eye i say (songs written by rest of band without noel),hmm i'm suprised that people are eating humble pie now as i always knew that they could do it without tank commander Noel Gallagher,lol. And by the way, good intensive article regarding frontmen in rock in rock, and very chuffed to see Mr Osterberg at the number one position :)

  6. Interesting to find out that Andy Bell has made four debut albums in his career,and even more intriquing to find out what the Bell/Ant song will sound like. No wonder Liam is going mad at Adam, after all Adam is an icon ;)

  7. I didn;t know Andy bell had written anything with Adam. I'll have to look into that.

  8. yeah that's why the spat with Liam and Adam happened, apparantly Liam ordered Adam not to release this song and therefore Adam challenged him to sort it out man to man,lol :)

  9. ha ha more like Carch Me If You Can :P. But if you listen to the Beady Eye album you can see that bell's signature is spread out throughout the album. Are you familiar with any of Bell's past work?. To be totally frank, Ride's music was far superior to that of Oasis, just a pity Hurricane No1 were pure pants!,lol :)

  10. I dont think that oasis's latter work was patchy. It was more like each memember was trying to take over and given creative freedom from noel,i suppose this gave oasis albums a very mixed variety of sounds :)