This month has been a trial. I won’t deny it. One of those find-out-what-kind-of-person-you-are months, if you know what I mean. And when I say month, I’m talking about September and October up until this evening. For some reason only known to a handful of accountants ensconced somewhere in Central, my pay is still in transit. It’ll arrive this afternoon, at the close of day. A few weeks later than expected and needed, but hey, life goes on.
It took Liam Gallagher to remind me of this. Stupid, I know. Liam Gallagher is not one of my favourite people by a terribly long stretch of anyone’s imagination. I’ve always favoured Noel. Saw him just recently, too. He did a gig here in Hong Kong and he was BRILLIANT. Put up with some pissed-up teenagers’ heckling, and their Oasis requests, with much more patience than I would have done. He gave as good as he got, too (“You want what? You’re ten years too late, my inebriated friend. You should have been here then - it was fucking brilliant.”), and we all had a great time. He did a few of my personal favourites, such as If I Had a Gun, and AKA... What a Life!. He even did an ambitious arrangement of Wonderwall, and his version of Supersonic was ace. All in all, a very good night out. It was out in Bumblefuck, north Kowloon, but it was worth it.
So, Liam Gallagher. I knew he’d continued his Oasis-ness with the remaining members of said band after Noel had decided he’d had it up to his famous eyebrows with his brother’s temper tantrums and changeable attitude to live gigs (ask anyone if they remember Liam singing half a song and then walking off the stage last time they came to Hong Kong because he ‘wasn’t feeling it’, and you’ll get the full force of non-refunded ticket fury). I knew Beady Eye, as they were now called, had put an album out, but Liam was still a twat in my mind and I made no effort to get a copy. Noel’s new turn, ‘Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’, and his new album had been my priority, and I wasn’t disappointed, as you already know. Loved it. Got a few of the releases for the B sides and all. Again, not disappointed.
But what of Beady Eye? Out of sheer curiosity, I got their album ‘Different Gear, Still Speeding’ literally three days ago, and gave it a tentative listen. Reaction?
Surprise. In a good way. All in all it’s a cracking record. And it was The Beat Goes On that came up with these lyrics - hardly a new concept, but definitely needed just at the moment I was listening:
And it’s not the end of the world, oh no.
It’s not even the end of the day.
Simple but effective. Thing is, with every track I heard, I kind of missed Liam. He’s sounding very grown up here, and his voice has lost a lot of the harsh arrogance he used to bring to everything without even trying. Instead he’s beginning to sound disturbingly like John Lennon, both vocally and lyrically. Tracks like The Beat Goes On, The Morning Son, For Anyone, and Wigwam are something like what might happen if John Lennon wrote Oasis choons - and it works very well. Four Letter Word (“I’m not really sure what I’m feeling, a four letter word really gets my meaning”) and Bring the Light (“Standing tall? Well fucking tough”), are louder, more attitude-laden, more ‘old Liam’ but by ‘new Liam’. And I have to say I approve. The Roller (his voice is quite haunting here), Beatles and Stones, and Millionaire are - dare I say it - lighter, almost jaunty. But still definitely New Oasis type songs. All in all, it’s an absolute amazement. I don’t mean that Noel was everything and what was left of Oasis - especially Liam - couldn’t have written their way out of a paper bag with him gone, but it’s interesting to see how the two groups have fared without each other. Maybe because of a lack of sibling rivalry and suddenly not having to spend so much time together, the brothers have explored their personal favourites that were probably held back by sharing a group. While Noel has tended toward introspective lyrics in some Sunday afternoon mellow philosophical choons, and then some happy loudness, Liam seems to be torn between bringing the house down with tempered rock rage and making us all believe there’s more to life than smashing things. Which is odd, coming from Liam.
So far, Beady Eye’s ‘Different Gear, Still Speeding’ is stuck on random + repeat on my iPhone and I can’t seem to make myself change it. Perhaps it’s my album of the summer (yes, it’s still summer-like out, even though we’ve just had Mid Autumn Festival and it’s six weeks to the Christmas term break), perhaps it’s my album of 2012 - I can’t be sure.
That’s about it for now. I know, I know - I never update any more. What I’d love to do is fill everyone in regarding the trials and tribulations (I always try to type tribbleations there!) of being a NET in a mahoosive school in the New Territories, but I don’t think that would be a wise idea. Instead, I’ll leave it here.
Peach and lube, everyone.