Beady Eye @ Southampton Guildhall, April 26th

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The expression ‘How the mighty do fall’ may be applicable in some ways to Liam Gallagher, two years ago I was standing in a sell out crowd of the second night performance at Wembley stadium waiting for Oasis to come on stage and then little over a month later the band had split with the two Gallaghers going their separate ways, I like many was one of the kids that Noel Gallagher got in the divorce. However April 2011 about 20 months since the climax of the Gallagher’s sibling rivalry I found myself one of the converted having been pleasantly surprised with Beady Eye’s debut album and while they have downgraded from stadiums to guildhalls Oasis minus Noel still knows how to put on a dam good rock show.

After a pretty solid performance by support act Steve Craddock of Ocean Colour Scene fame, it was time for Beady Eye to hit the stage with their brand of classic rock n’ roll infused with Beatlesque psychedelia. The band opened with energetic anthem Four Letter World that immediately snapped the already baying crowd to attention and it was obvious that as soon as Liam Gallagher had walked onstage he already had the Guildhall in his hands. Beady Eye obviously are veterans of the music industry so are no strangers to playing live and this shines through, they were tight, professional and seamless, the whole set went off without a hitch, which is what you would expect from a band of their former fame really. But what really set Beady Eye apart in terms of live performance, is the man himself Liam Gallagher. While I am sure the band would like to distance themselves from just being known as ‘Liam’s new band’ the fact is he is one of the best front-men still active today, unquestionable stage presence and an aura that really holds the whole thing together. That jack the lad swagger and seemingly effortless singing stance capture an audience and if anything he has got better with age, as well as the fact his voice is now back up to scratch rather than being the horrible crone he had during the early 00s. Despite what we may think of Liam outside of his music he really has captured the essence of what it is to be a front man.

But on a slightly more negative note I found the set list while all good was not sequenced particularly well with a lot of the bigger hits being placed at the beginning with the show starting to meander a bit in the middle as they trudged through some of the albums slower tracks, while this is all well and good for fans it may turn off the more causal listening. However on a more supportive note of the set the lack of Oasis songs, even ones not written by Noel, is extremely commendable and deserves a thumbs up, showing a band that does want to distance itself from its roots.

Closing with a fantastic cover of World of Twist’s ‘Sons of the Stage’, Beady Eye left the stage and left a statisfied crowd, some of which continued chanting Liam’s name even when the lights had gone up and everyone was starting to leave. Beady Eye at the guildhall was a very poised and professional performance with no major pitfalls, showing they still have it post-Oasis and that at the moment in the current chapter of the Gallagher’s rivalry it is advantage Liam.

8/10

Good- An unmistakable sheen of quality throughout, a very measured performance that managed to get the crowd going with ease.

Bad- A slightly mismatched set sequence with too many of the bands ‘classics’ too early on which may turn off a number of more casual listeners.

 

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