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Beady Eye in New York City

NEW YORK CITY - Photo: this was after the gig, for Andy's deejay night @ Norwood, here with his new wife. Liam is the bald one behind, lol.

Still, no matter what Beady Eye does it’s going to be difficult to avoid comparisons with Oasis. That’s something they’re going to have to live with. Take last Thursday’s (06.23) gig at Webster Hall in New York, for instance. The last time Oasis played New York City, they headlined Madison Square Garden. You know, the place that calls itself, justifiably, the world’s most famous arena. It’s a huge indoor venue. Every big name in music has played the Garden (sorry Boston, there’s only one Garden and it ain’t in Beantown). It holds over 20,000 people for a concert. Webster Hall holds a tenth of that. The different venues are reflective of the respective status of the two bands: Oasis was a superstar caliber band; Beady Eye is still largely an unknown quantity. On the other hand, for fans of Liam, this is the most intimate venue they’ve probably gotten a chance to see him in in over a decade and a half. Sure enough the place was sold out. Before the show, I was wondering what the crowd would be like and what Liam’s demeanor on stage would be like. Would the crowd be a typical New York too cool for school crowd? Would that make Liam extra surly? But my fears were unfounded as it was most certainly a partisan crowd assembled to cheer on its hero. The crowd trended older, a lot of grey heads dotted the audience (note to self: start asking about Just For Men hair coloring. Or maybe Grecian 5.), and though there were Oasis shirts in abundance, it wasn’t like anyone was shouting out “play ‘Wonderwall’” or “We want Noel”. On the contrary Webster Hall frequently resounded with chants of “Liam!” before during and after the set.
The band hit the stage promptly at 9 pm and opened up with a blinding lightshow as they stormed through the album opener “Four Letter Word”. To put is simply, they rocked. There was Liam in fine form, his voice sounding strong, crouching down with his arms behind him, his head cocked back and singing up into the microphone. Like I said above, it’s a classic rock n roll image. He seemed happy to be there and though he didn’t say much to the crowd, it seemed like he talked more than at a typical Oasis gig. To his left was Gem Archer, banging away on guitar trading lead and rhythm with Andy Bell, who has switched over from playing bass in Oasis to guitar in Beady Eye. Behind them on the drums was Chris Sharrock playing in his usual maniacal style. This guy is a hell of a lot of fun to watch and definitely filled the void left by Zack Starkey’s departure from Oasis. A couple of somewhat unfamiliar faces joined the four main members of Beady Eye. On keys was Matt Jones and on bass was Jeff Wootton. As soon as I got my bearings after the band started playing I texted a friend who was at the show “Where’d they find the Bill Wyman circa 1971 lookalike to play bass?” I mean, the guy’s a dead ringer and a far, far braver man than I to sport that hairstyle. He’s also one hell of a musician. He’s played guitar in the Gorillaz, and I really recommend heading over to his myspace page (people still use myspace? Who knew?) and checking out some of his psychedelic material with him on guitar. It’s just great. It reminds me a lot of post-Syd Barrett, pre-Dark Side Pink Floyd. Some of the material sounds like the jam in “Echoes”, which is fucking epic. I’ll repeat, he’s a hell of a guitar player, and it was a stellar move to on the part of Beady Eye to tap him for the bass gig on the tour. I think it’d be great for the band if he stuck around and contributed to the band’s sound in a more prominent way. And that seems like something that is possible in Beady Eye as opposed to Oasis. I really got the sense that this was a proper band. Not that there was anything that Oasis’s live set left to be desired, I just felt that Archer and Bell owned this material just a little bit more, and considering the nature of the two bands, that’s not surprising.
The band played through the entirety of Different Gear Still Speeding and filled out the set with some covers and b-sides. The acoustics were pretty good for the nature of the venue and the band was loud. The kick drum was a bit boomy, but that’s what live sound engineers seem to like these days, and in any case there are worse things in life than to be pummeled by Sharrock’s kick drum playing. The interplay between Archer and Bell on guitar brought to mind everything that Keith Richards says about “the ancient art of weaving”, and the two seemed to have a little more room to stretch out than in Oasis. The stage setup was rather spartan, but the back wall served as a display screen for various images that corresponded to the song being played. Many of them were in the same style as the liner notes from the album. The gear the band was using deserves some mention. Aside from some of the keyboards was anyone onstage not using some ridiculously classic and sexy vintage instrument made before 1972? Motherfuckers.
The audience ate everything up, and it looked like the guys on stage were having a good time playing these songs. I wish the set could have been longer as it went by so quickly, which is understandable since they only have one album’s worth of material from which to draw their setlist, and it’s understood that no Oasis songs would be played. Is it a shame that we didn’t get to hear Liam sing “Wonderwall” or any number of classic Oasis songs? Sure. But Beady Eye is what it is. And what it is is a rocking band with some good, catchy songs. I look forward to hearing more from them in the future. I also look forward to hearing Noel’s solo album. Do I secretly hope that Oasis gets back together, records a new album and tours. Of course. Hell, I’m still hoping Led Zeppelin gets back together and tours, just as I’d been hoping Soundgarden would get back together and tour. You never know what may happen. The only thing I’m sure of is that whatever does happen it’s definitely gonna be worth listening to.
Live4ever
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Beady Eye gigography and next tour dates

2000

30 May - Forum, Milan, Italy (the first "Noeless" gig since 1991 when he didn't join Oasis yet)

summer tour without Noel

2003

16 November - Andy Bell unplugged - Debaser, Stockholm, Sweden (bootleg)

2011


3rd & 4th March - Barrowland, Glasgow, Scotland +here and here + bootleg
6th & 7th March - O2 Apollo, Manchester +bootleg 1 +bootleg 2
9th & 10th March - Troxy, London +bootleg 1
13 March - Casino de Paris, Paris, france
14 March - E-Werk, Koln, Germany
16 March - Alcatraz, Milan, Italy +dvd bootleg
18 March - La Riviera, Madrid, Spain +bootleg
19 March - Bikini, Toulouse, france
21 March - Paradiso, Amsterdam, Holland (bootleg)
22 March - Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, Belgium (bootleg)
14 & 15 April - The Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland here a bootleg image
17 April - Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland
20 April - O2 Academy, Newcastle (a photo here)
23 April - Centre, Newport (photo and bootleg)
30 May - Grosse Freiheit 36, Hamburg, Germany
+a photo here + win tickets here
8 June - Saschall, Firenze, Italy +my story here +bootleg here +win tickets here
11th June - Papillons de Nuit Festival, Saint Lo, france
12 June - Isle of Wight festival +story here and here +interview here +videos here +interview and bootleg here
25th June - Theater of Living Art, Philadelphia, U.S.A.
30 June - Rock Werchter, Belgium (bootleg)
1 July - Main Square Festival, Arras, france +a photo here
7 July - BBK Live Festival, Bilbao, Spain
9 July - Oxegen Festival, Naas, Ireland
26 August - Reading Festival (win tickets) +videos here +review&video here +bootleg here
3 September - AX Hall, Seoul, South Korea
14 September - Twinkle Rock Festival, Taipei, Taiwan
7 October - Atlantico, Rome, Italy +main bootleg here +another bootleg here
+win the concert here
11 October - Volkshaus, Zurich, Switzerland (postponed)
13 October - Gasometer, Vienna, Austria (postponed)
31 October - Theater Caupolican, Santiago, Chile
2 November - Teatro de Verano Ramon Collazo, Montevideo, Uruguay
3 November - Teatro Colegiales, Buenos Aires, Argentina
4 November - Personal Festival, Buenos Aires, Argentina
5 November - Planeta Terra festival, Sao Paulo, Brazil
12 November - O2 Academy, Sheffield
14 November - O2 Academy, Birmingham
17 November - O2 Academy Brixton, London
2 December - The Warfield, San Francisco, U.S.A.
3 December - Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles, U.S.A. +another complete review here +win tickets here and here
5 December - First Avenue, Minneapolis, U.S.A.
6 December - The Rave Ballroon, Milwaukee, U.S.A.
9 December - Terminal 5, New York, U.S.A.
10 December - House of Blues, Boston, U.S.A.

2012

new tour

2013

3 June - Abbey Road, London (acoustic) +bootleg here
7 June - McClusky's, Kingston (album launch acoustic gig)



8 November - Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland

2014

Noel Gallagher solo gigography, and Low Lying Turds tour dates

(although his blinded fans say he's a "new solo artist", it's 20 years he's around and already played "solo" gigs previously (the first one in 1994), with the help of other people of course, as the Unplugged 1996, the gig for Tibet, the tour in 2006-2007, London, Milan, Manchester, Moscow, Los Angeles, Toronto, Paris, Australia, etc.)

2010


25 March - Royal Albert Hall - London

2011


28 November - Alcatraz - Milan, Italy + review here +video bootleg here +audio and video bootleg here

2012


lost interest... even Noel got bored of himself

10 April - Auditorio Banamex - Monterrey, Mexico (cancelled)

END OF THE HIGH FLYING BIRDS

2013

fans leave the gig again and ask for Liam again
..... € 10 = £ 8

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