Here is some more recent stuff. Liam speaks about life without his brother, his softer singing style and the size of his cousins’ cars during the boom.
In the lift of Four Seasons Hotel, Liam makes a move on me.
First, it’s in for a kiss. Then one hand moves down to my waist as he pulls me in closer. His other hand goes deep inside my back jeans pocket. I close my eyes and think of the article . . . and wonder if the Four Seasons has CCTV cameras in its lifts.
“That’s what she just did to me,” he says by way of explanation. While waiting with him for the lift, his much-loved aunt from the west of Ireland had stepped out before we got in. Once back inside the lift he can’t find his new iPhone.
“My aunt’s just gone and nicked it while she was hugging me, ” he laughs. “That’s the way the Irish do it isn’t it? In for the kiss and the hug and the hand goes into the back pocket for the mobile phone. Still, there is a recession on I suppose.” He later finds his phone and stresses he was joking about his lovely aunt.
From “a dead proud Irish family” he ruminates on how strange he found the country of his childhood holidays during the Celtic Tiger years. “I’m well off, right, but my cousins in Mayo had bigger houses than me during those years. Whenever I came back it was all new cars and expensive holidays all round. It happens, you get corruption and all of that and everything goes tits up. But coming from an Irish family I know you’ve got good souls over here. Learn from your mistakes – the same way I’ve had to.”
In remarkably good form, off the drink now for a good while – “there’s just too much going on in my life at the moment” – and trim of figure: “I run and run and keep running,” he hasn’t exactly been hitting the self-help books and been bothering the life coaches since the acrimonious break up of Oasis in August 2009.
Confidence is not an issue. “This is going to be the biggest fuckin’ thing you’ve ever encountered,” he says of Beady Eye. The debut album had been a top three hit going gold within two weeks of sales.
“I want us to be as big as The Beatles, as big as The Stones. I want our music to stand the test of time. I could go on before The Beatles, I could go on after The Beatles – all of us in this band could. It’s that great”.
The split: “I remember looking around the table that night. I was thinking to myself: ‘He’s a great guitarist, so is he, he’s a great drummer and I’m a geezer so let’s continue on without him. We don’t need him.’ Let’s be clear about one thing here – this band is not a stop gap until me and our kid bump into each other. Him and me are over and done with. This is the real deal.”
“People think Oasis were 99 per cent Noel,” says Andy Bell. “But that was never the truth. All of could play, all of us would write for the band and it was Liam’s voice out front."
“There’s no leader here. There’s no claps on the back, rewards, Blue Peter badges or seven bedroom houses with us,” says Liam. “We’ve been in a band with a leader for a long time and we don’t want that again. We’ve enough experience to know what works and what doesn’t and we know when writing together – as we did the whole album – when something is good for the band and when something isn’t instead of just shouting ‘that’s not working’ at somebody."
“And I’m a lot more chilled now. I’m no longer the look-at-me-I’m-the-big-bollocks walking around town and giving it all that. I’ve been there – but no more.”
“With Oasis I was singing too loud both in the studio and on stage. I was pushing my voice too far. On stage it was because of the noise from the crowd and when it came to recording it was because my vocal would always go on last. And I never wanted to be singing like a little girl – I had to get in there and compete with the guitars. But now the signing goes down with the drum and acoustic tracks so I’ve room to fit in better and do some nice bits. Also I think there’s a sexiness to it. As great as Oasis were – certain songs just weren’t sexy.”
“The way we’re recording now is more like the Tamla Motown/Stax model where you structure the recording around the vocal,” notes Andy.
About Noel: "I know he’s going to the football match so I may bump into him then and say hello. But there’s no desire to go around knocking on each other’s doors. We spoke enough – that was the whole problem, too many words between us. I’d like to think we grow up to be friends later on but I’ve no time for that just yet. The way I view Oasis now is that’s it like having a child from a previous relationship.”