Eighty thousand people hit Balloch for two days of loch and roll with Oasis. Jonathan Trew was there.
It‘s an unsettling experience watching an entire hillside seethe with people. The incongruity of nature being swamped with such a mass of humanity and all the detritus that arty large gathering needs. provokes an image that lingers in the mind long after the ringing in the cars has died down.‘But then Oasis are lifty squillion record sales away from the days when they couldn‘t fill King Tut's. and finding any city site large enough to handle them and their fans was always going to be problematic. Not that Balloch seemed to mind. Despite earlier fears that the town was going to be laid waste by rampaging hordes of Buckied-up bovver' boys. there were far more smiles than snarls.
By the time that ileavy Stereo kicked off proceedings on the Saturday. a fair proportion of the day’s crowd quotient of 40.000 had swaggered through the gates but tnost of them seemed to be wandering the site rather than crowding the stage. preferring to investigate the delights of the herbal highs stall and soaking up the booze with stodgy chips. llreadzone fared better with a sizeable contingent basking iii the bass beats and getting high on the band‘s dance dub vibe. It‘s a testament to the Zone's potency that they incited the first sighting of hands waving in the air at the unfeasible hour of three in the afternoon.
If you buy the theory that it is possible to ltrtnp a number of bands together under the Friends Of ()asis
Frishmann (you tend to think oi her as being undisputed leader oi the gang where the band are concerned) once remarked that she must have been
banner. then the lust of the lratermty appeared tn the
form of Cast. The biggest cheers went up for ‘Walkaway' and the rhythmic ‘Alrigltt‘ but by this titne the lads down the front were so caught up in a boo/,y bonding session that had John Powers started singing ‘Whitc (‘hristmas‘ he would still have induced ecstasy.
The Manic Street Preachers bucked the trend by providing a set that proved it's possible to be passionate without being poncey and then all pretence at calm was dropped for the arrival of Black Grape. Ryder"s crew is shambolic at the best of times btrt somehow. and how exactly is one of the world's greatest modern my stcries. the funk managed to shine through the banter and general chaos endemic to the band. Some new material before the new millennium would be nice though.
By the time the Gallagher's turned tip to address the
about their riiis.
hitch, save ior the odd allegation oi musical graverobbing and the Stranglers getting a bit possessive
Oasis make waves at Loch Lomond faithful. anticipation was causing many a teenage heart to go irtto overdrive. Liam has taken to his superstar status with an enthusiasm that Noel seems faintly disapproving of. Gallaghcrlnr‘s l0l unusual uses fora dttffel coat pleases the crowd but Noel looked poised to rap his knuckles on more than one occasion.
The band‘s pulling power is exemplified in their uncanny knack of uniting a crowd. While Ryder and rapper's can spark adversarial terrace-style chanting. Oasis set off a two-hour communal singalong that sees most of the crowd reciting the lyrics with the devotion of die-hard fanatics. The advantage of writing songs that the postman cart whistle is that crowd participation actually becomes fun rather than a chance for cringing embarrassment. The best band in the world'.’ Probably not. bttt for the time being they look like being the most popular.
Annie llolland was enough to make the bassist reconsider her commitment to sharp and sassy post-punk pop. ller temporary lay-oil became permanent and it’s only recently that Elastica
You’re a medium-successiul band with prospects. You have a couple oi high- proiile summer gigs in the oiiing, supporting one iii the biggest bands in the country. It’s been a while since your last British gigs. And just to make things more challenging you’ve got two new recruits to break in, one oi whom is a replacement tor a iounder member. This is a situation which calls ior a warm-up.
So obviously, being tendon-based, you opt ior a low-key gig in . . . Blenroilres? Oh well, it must just be Elastlca being all clever and contrary
again. Elastica’s head honcho Justine
born under a lucky star ior her liie to
have gone so swimmingly. Certainly in public terms Elastica’s gradual ascent seems to have gone without much oi a
However, although Elastica have built at a steady pace rather than shot to the top ﬂoor, the archetypal ‘pressures at touring’ as cited by
Elastica spring back with two new members
have announced that twenty-year-old Sheila Chipperiield (oi circus iamily lame) will take over. While they were reshuiiling the iurniture, they have also added err-Fall keyboard player Dave Bush to their line-up, so they can exploit that Fallesque quirkiness iirst- hand.
The three warm-up dates ior the Pulp shows - in Glenrothes (but also in Glasgow and Stoke-On-lrent) - will be the iirst time the group have played any oi their new material live. Frischmann describes the latest Elastica songs as darker than anything we’re heard irorn them beiore, but anyone gagging ior a new album is going to have to wait until next year. Stretching our patience as usual. (Fiona Shepherd)
Elastica play King Tut 's, Glasgow on Mon 12; Hollies Hall, Glenroihes on Tue 13.
102 The List 9-l5 Aug I996