Review: Beady Eye at Royal Albert Hall, London

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It’s exactly a year since Noel Gallagher graced the stage at the Royal Albert Hall to play for the Teenage Cancer Trust, and tonight he was in danger of upstaging his younger brother’s new band without even showing up. This was thanks to a video montage that highlighted some of the previous artists that had performed at the event, prompting huge cheers every time Noel appeared on the screen. Liam was quick to put everyone straight as soon as he arrived on stage after being introduced by Who legend Rodger Daltry. “This aint no fookin’ Noel Gallagher gig” he sniped. Looking every inch the rock star, Liam swaggered towards his microphone, draped in a sharp navy suede jacket, sporting that trademark shaggy barnet that he made the must-have hairstyle of the 90’s for his legion of devotees. Launching straight into Four Letter Word, it’s clear that this song was born to open gigs. Loud, confident, menacing and sounding even better than it does on the record, the roof of the Royal Albert Hall is prematurely torn off.

Beatles and Stones finds Liam in an almost uncontrollably excitable mood. “I just wanna rock n’roll” he screams. It’s a simple message but very much to the point, and the crowd seem to echo his sentiments. There was the much expected army of Liam lookalikes in tonight, yet far less of that loutish behaviour that dogged down Oasis gigs. With that said, there is always going to be one isn’t there? Liam was the target of limes and Andy was hit with a pint – “cheers mate” was his sarcastic response. Liam was a little more vocal, goading this member of the audience to try and get one in his mouth as he veered toward the edge of the stage. “Who brings a lime to a fookin’ rock n’ roll gig? Fookin’ woman. It’s a first, I’ll give you that mate”. Despite this it is still a much more reserved affair than what the band would be used to under Oasis. Beady Eye are mature enough not to let it spoil a good night and like professionals they crack on. Two Of A Kind, a recent addition to their set list, is delivered with venom and gets people dancing to its irresistibly catchy thumping beat. The fact that this is a b-side is a testament to the strength and wealth of material the band had to choose from to put together their debut album, Different Gear, Still Speeding, which on the whole is a solid record that has been received fairly well.

From the moment Liam delivered the first line of Four Letter Word , there is a startling revelation – he has found his voice again. We already know he sounds fantastic on the record, but it is his live performances he must be judged on. He’s attacking the microphone with a new-found confidence, holding notes and actually ‘singing’ as opposed to shouting. It is quite simply the best he has sounded since the late 90’s. Millionaire was a fine example of this new approach to his singing technique as he proved his voice to be the most powerful instrument on the stage. Perhaps he will stand the test of time like the Beatles and Stones after all.

The relationship between the crowd and the band was what made tonight special and the atmosphere ecstatic. On two occasions Liam left the stage to interact with the audience and shake the hands of his adoring fans. The crowd gave back the love by getting involved, digging the tunes and on occasions singing along, even if one of those occasions was an impromptu sing-along of the La’s There She Goes after the band performed For Anyone. Cheeky but amusing.

The Roller, their first official single, is showing signs of becoming a live favourite in the Beady Eye set list. It teeters on anthem status and tonight sparked a sing-along that would make Gem Archer’s mother very proud. Yet it was Bring The Light provoked which provoked the biggest reaction of the evening, bringing the Royal Albert Hall to its feet. Like many of the other tracks on their debut album, Different Gear, Still Speeding, it sounds better in a live setting and encompasses the upbeat spirit that drives the sound of Beady Eye’s music. Liam used it as an opportunity to have a dig at his older brother, saying they were going to sit down on stools to sing it but someone had already taken them all, a jibe undoubtedly aimed at Noel who played here last year sat down on a stool for a semi acoustic performance.

The encore blessed us with a surprise that made this evening even more special. It was only a matter of time before they pulled this little beauty out of the bag and let it take on a new lease of life. Wigwam was performed live for the first time and the band were now reaching the peak of their powers. Liam nailed every single one of the ridiculously high notes and the song sounds even bigger than it does on the record. The second half the track proved to be a rousing climax and a memorable moment of the evening. The absence of backing singers to emulate exactly how it sounds on the record and belt out the “coming up” refrain was a slight disappointment, but they certainly compensate that with the music.

The band were in a jubilant mood and Liam was the happiest I’ve seen him on a stage in ages, even cracking a few smiles; a stark contrast to his subdued and frustrated appearances at Oasis gigs in their latter days. Tonight he grafted his balls off, putting 200% into every song. Gem looked like a teenager in his bedroom playing air guitar to his favourite band, oozing enthusiasm and pointing at Liam with a look that can only be interpreted as “fucking get on this”. Chris Sharrock continued to impress with his one man show at the back, throwing his sticks in the air, yet comically not always catching them again. Jeff Wooten on the bass fitted like a glove and Andy on guitar was just flawless. They threw themselves into this gig and demonstrated the sort of elation you would expect from a band of youngsters going out on the road for the first time. Despite Liam’s captivating stage presence, this is very much a team performance and the chemistry between them makes for tight musicianship and a glorious display of rock n’roll.

This is a band renenergised, hungry, excited, and above all, having a bloody good time. If not yet acknowledged for having the best tunes in the world, Beady Eye are definitely set to become known worldwide for their prowess as a brilliant live act. Sons Of The Stage they truly are.

Setlist:


Four Letter Word
Beatles and Stones
Millionaire
Two Of A Kind
For Anyone
The Roller
Wind Up Dream
Bring The Light
Standing On The Edge Of The Noise
Kill For A Dream
Three Ring Circus
The Beat Goes On
Man Of Misery
The Morning Son

Encore
Wigwam
Sons Of The Stage

Matt Humphrey

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One Response

  1. Mark 31 March, 2011

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