Liam Gallagher struts, gobs and gives a shout out to the ladies – 'it'll all make sense in the morning'
Liam Gallagher is swaggering about the stage at Custom House Square for Belsonic, mac zipped up to his chin, designer scarf round his neck, grunting shout-outs to the punk rockers and the women in the house (though there doesn’t seem to be too many of either).
He gobs at his feet, gestures ape-like to the crowd and babbles incomprehensibly between songs. Business as usual, then.
Gallagher is in town with his new band, Beady Eye. Essentially, they’re Oasis without Liam’s guitarist and songwriter brother, Noel – or as some might say, Oasis without the brains.
To be fair, judging by their prolific work-rate and the lack of punch-ups or bust-ups since their formation in Manchester two years ago, you could also say Beady Eye are Oasis without the drama – be that a good thing or a bad thing.
The frontman is joined by the rest of the final Oasis line-up – guitarist Gem Archer, bassist-turned-guitarist Andy Bell and drummer Chris Sharrock. The foursome could have pulled a Guns n’ Roses and kept the Oasis name, but credit where credit is due for forging ahead.
They don't play any Oasis songs during tonight’s headlining Belsonic set, perhaps because they feel their own material is strong enough – more likely because Liam doesn’t want Noel to receive any royalties.
Instead, they churn out most of their debut album Different Gear, Still Speeding, a fine slab of unreconstructed Britrock. Beady Eye are the indie scene’s answer to AC/DC or the Ramones – one heads-down ditty after another, with little variation in tempo or subject matter.
And fast-paced, chant-along efforts such as ‘Four Letter Word’, ‘Beatles and Stones’ and ‘The Roller’ are exactly what Gallagher’s fans want. ‘Bring the Light’ sounds like Sham 69, ‘Standing on the Edge of the Noise’ sounds like Slade, and it all sounds like Oasis.
Apart from the wah-wah-drenched ‘Kill for a Dream’ – the closest Beady Eye come to a ‘Wonderwall’-style moment – is the epic, Stone Roses-esque ‘The Morning Sun’. It is hard-hitting, four-on-the-floor rock and unlike the band’s Ulster Hall show earlier in the year, there are no backdrops or visuals, so it’s even more stripped-down.
The open-air, Laganside venue is the ideal setting for Gallagher’s followers to indulge in a raucous knees-up. The haircuts and clothes could have come straight from 1994, but no one could accuse this mob of not knowing how to have a good time.
I spot a bloke staggering about carrying seven pints, and there’s a fug of smoke overhead that could ground Air Force One. The atmosphere remains convivial throughout, but I still wouldn’t like to be the gull that craps on one of this lot's parkas.
By the end of the night, the fans down the front are out of their gourds, as they said in the 90s, chucking beer at the stage, security and one another, no doubt hatching plans to keep the party going in whatever nearby bar will let them in.
‘Stick with it,’ smiles Gallagher, who has no doubt seen this melee a thousand times before. ‘It’ll all make sense in the morning.’ There’s no encore, but no one here feels cheated. In fact, they probably couldn’t even spell it.