Beady Eye’s performance in Portsmouth brought every Liam Gallagher lookalike from miles around to the Guildhall. Throughout the seemingly middle-aged crowd was many a ‘Liam Gallagher’ haircut and various colours of parkas!
The event was detailed Beady Eye plus special guests; however there seemed to be no special guests present. Before the performance however, there was a DJ onstage who played various rock and roll hits from the likes of The Who and Sex Pistols.
Beady Eye came onstage during an instrumental opening track ‘White Smoke’ and immediately began their set with ‘Flick of the Finger’ – lead single from their second studio album, BE. Gallagher assumed his usual stage position; that is standing rigidly at the mic with his hands behind his back (this time holding a towel), dressed in his signature parka but without his usual sunglasses. Maybe due to forgetting his sunglasses, Gallagher spent most of the night with his eyes firmly shut.
The band played through a very tight setlist that showcased many songs from album BE including single ‘Second Bite of the Apple’ and new double A-side ‘Iz Rite’/’Soul Love’ before playing the first Oasis song of the night, a fantastic acoustic version of ‘Live Forever’. Every song was well received by the crowd, who between songs turned into a frantic mob shouting “LI-AM” at every possible opportunity.
Beady Eye played another three songs including B-side ‘The World’s Not Set In Stone’ before giving fans what they really wanted – another Oasis song. Upon the opening chords of ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’ a fight broke out between several fans. 10 years ago the band would have encouraged this fight but it seems perhaps they are putting that behind them, with Gallagher just laughing it off after the song finished.
Beady Eye concluded there set with soft acoustic song ‘Start Anew’ and three songs from their first studio album Different Gear, Still Speeding including popular single ‘The Roller’. The band came out for their encore to extended album track ‘Dreaming of Some Space’ playing in the background before concluding the night with a cover of The Rolling Stones ‘Gimme Shelter’.
Beady Eye did not make much of an effort to interact with the crowd, many of whom had clearly been fans since the early days of Oasis and idolised Liam Gallagher. Gallagher himself remained very polite, simply thanking fans for their applause and held back his usual swearing. The rest of the band remained pretty robotronic and lacked in energy, with the exception of drummer Chris Sharrock, who at times seemed to be having a party behind the drumkit.
Somewhere between the beer, middle-aged men and chanting, at times it felt like a Manchester City game rather than a gig. It was also a shame that Beady Eye decided to close the night with a cover rather than with original material or an Oasis song. Back in September 2012 when Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds performed at the Bournemouth International Centre, Noel concluded his set with an acoustic version of the classic ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’. With hundreds of fans singing back every single word, it was a truly magical moment for all those there.
Despite all of this, the tight well-played set and fantastic lighting and visuals made it a memorable occasion for both the Beady Eye and long-term Oasis fans. Beady Eye have clearly established their own path, leaving the legacy of Oasis behind, and with the turnout they received in Portsmouth, they are certainly not short of fans despite perhaps lacking in commercial success.