At the peak of their fame, are the fab five still supersonic, or are they getting to be a bit of a Digsy's dinner? The List went to Aberdeen to find out.
Words: Andrew Burnet
‘Are you excited.” enquires Noel after two songs. ‘You look excited.‘ he adds. hopefully.
Er. well. we’re working on it. We’ve had a top support set from Travis. and here we are. face—to- face with Britain‘s hottest hand. You and your brother Are Here Now. You’ve got a big, colourful stage set. based on the new album cover. and you‘ve opened with a jaunty version of the title track, and we're the audience at a gig that sold out in a few hours. Why wouldn’t we be excited?
But the thing is Noel. you’re over 30 now. You and your brother are married men. Your bass player looks like Dudley Moore on sedatives; and your other guitarist just stands there strumming the probably could do more. but you hog all the best bits yourself). Your drummer gives it laldy, but he‘s stuck behind a Rolls Royce-shaped drumkit. Your new album might be selling faster than any British record ever. but it‘s nowhere near as fresh as the first one or (more damagingly) as inventive as the second. The high spot of your audience rapport is a bad joke even Bonehead doesn’t bother laughing at. And the wildest behaviour Liam Prince Of Louts can muster is flinging his tambourine onto the stage — three times. ‘Ouch.’ says The Establishment. ‘That hurt.’
So it’s not really incongruous to hear Liam devote ‘Live Forever’ to Princess Diana. She. after all. was driven to distraction by mince-minded tabloid headlines; these boys are also suffering from media-
The wildest behaviour Liam Prince Of Louts can muster is flinging his tambourine onto the
stage - three times. '0uch,’ says The Establishment. ‘That hurt.’
related insanity. They actually seem to believe their own hype.
‘We're the best band in the world.’ Noel reminds us. towards the end. ‘Best band in the world.’ confirms Liam. But if they’re that sure. why keep telling us — d’you know what I mean? Attitude we want; arrogance we admire. Naked narcissism just doesn’t convince.
And it’s not that they aren’t good. In a set that lasts nearly two hours. there are some truly rockin’
48 THE “ST 26 Sep—9 Oct l997
/ .'\ * - 3 “wow?!” . " ‘
./ ~ \ ';~.:. , 3': \ \u \‘e ‘ \ jtlf‘ \ ‘~ I f .\ J k » - . “\
PHOTO av JILL FURMANOVSKY FROM HER 300x OASIS: WAS THERE THEN (EsuRv PRESS £14.99). THE EXHIBITION WAS THERE THEN OPENS AT TRAMWAY,VGLASGOW 0N SAT 22 Nov-
Noel Gallagher: oi — what 'appened to me fifth star?
moments. ‘Magic Pie’. sung by Noel to the accompaniment of a trippy film projection on the circular screen above the stage. ‘Wonderwall‘. sung by Liam. with Noel abandoning his acoustic guitar for a white Rickenbacker. The anthemic ‘All Around The World’ complete with four-piece brass section is pretty dazzling, and 50’s ‘Champagne Supernova’, even if Noel does spoil it by telling us ‘that was great’ afterwards.
But the best rock ’n’ roll band in the world? Not yet you ain’t. That trophy still resides in Athens, Georgia; or perhaps Dublin. lreland; or (just possibly) gathering dust at the back of a drawer chez Jagger.
Returning for an encore, Noel tells us we’re the best audience so far this tour. When Oasis played lngliston last year, the crowd was like the hordes of Genghis Khan on a kamikaze bender. Tonight. there’s not been a single crowd-surfer or stage-diver — indeed. the response has bordered on polite appreciation. It makes you wonder if the boys are really up for a party these days (they don’t even play ‘Cigarettes And Alcohol’).
Mad for it? I don’t think so. Slightly deranged, more like. *ttk
live reviews MUSIC
EVERYTHING Intercity Crawl
Glasgow: various venues, Fri 19 Sep ****
The Intercity Crawl is new to Glasgow, although the concept should already be familiar to voracious liggers. Five venues with four bands each performing at Staggered times — except that no-one is on when you think they are, or in some cases, where you think they are. The List's mission for the night: to see aS many bands in as many venues as possible. And, purely for our own amusement, to toast each group with a different alcoholic beverage.
First up is Monk and Canatella at a sparsely-populated Garage, where Mr Monk (or is it Mr Canatella?) is so caught up in the crazy jazz sounds emanating from his motley crew of squawking saxophonists and acid beatniks that he decides to Stagedive, even though there's nobody in the moshpit area to catch him. Dusting himself off, he does some funky gibbon dancing instead. Drink of choice: marguerita.
Next, The Dub Pistols at The Cathouse attract the lunatic fringe, including Mr Monk (or is it Mr Canatella?) who has followed us here to inflict more of his dance masterclass on us. The big beats boom and everyone does the lindyhop. Drink of choice: Southern Comfort.
Then everyone follows us to King Tut’s to see The Lo—Fidelity Allstars who are a funky dance/rock crossover brigade with a baggy frontman and a barrage of dance pulses underscoring a groovy collage of sounds. Drink of choice: brandy.
Tanya Donnelly, at the same venue, is boring. Drink of choice: (a swift) spiced rum.
Onwards to Nice 'n’ Sleazy to sample Sean Dickson’s latest combo The High Fidelity, who take a run at their set but only really clear the hurdle with recent single 'Addicted To A TV’. Drink of choice: whisky.
The Art School IS the final resting place for many Crawlers. The Dub Pistols DJ and the drink of choice is everything not already sampled, by which point the Intercity Crawl is The List's besht pal. (Fiona Shepherd)
High Fidelity: only clear the hurdle with ‘Addicted to a TV'