I was always a huge Oasis fan. It wasn’t just that I loved their music, they also ticked many of the boxes that are important to me. Upbeat music full of inspiring lyrics? Check. Glorious, ongoing media soap opera surrounding its key members? Check. Often capturing, and sometimes defining, the zeitgeist? Check. Great haircuts and sharp, moddish clothes? Check. Brilliant live act? Mega-check, some of the best nights of my life were spent watching them in concert.
Like many people, I loved their first two albums, Definitely Maybe and (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? Like fewer people, I also loved their third album Be Here Now. I always thought if Definitely Maybe was a drinking album, and Morning Glory a drug album, then Be Here Now was a drug-problem album. And all the more fascinating for it. They continued to be an unbeatable live act after those three releases, but rarely excelled in the studio in their latter years.
At the centre of everything, it was always Liam and Noel Gallagher. I was always ‘team Noel’. He’s bright, witty and wrote their most classic tunes. (I also loved that a dyslexic became Britain’s greatest songwriter.) I expected it to be Noel that would thrive after they split. However, it is Liam who is first out of the traps with his new band, Beady Eye. I say ‘new band’ but the members are actually the final Oasis line-up, minus Noel. Given the haste with which they brought out their first album, I suspected it wouldn’t be up to much.
But I was wrong. Different Gear, Still Speeding was released earlier this week, and I’ve been listening to it non-stop. This is so upbeat an album that it is a fine soundtrack to the start of Spring. Fans of the Gallagher sibling soap opera can find plenty of nods to that story, particularly the demise of Oasis. “I’m here if you wanna call,” goes one lyric. “It’s not the end of the world, it’s not even the end of the day,” goes another.
My favourite song on the album is Kill For A Dream. Here are Beady Eye performing it at the Abbey Road studios for Channel 4.
Hope you enjoyed it. UK readers who are reading this on Sunday might like to know that there is a five-track Beady Eye CD given away free with today’s News of the World newspaper.
I’m loving Beady Eye, and awaiting the next twist in the Gallagher brother story. Over to you, Noel.