Glasgow was where it all began for Oasis and Liam Gallagher hopes lightning strikes twice as he returns to the city to launch Beady Eye.
Eighteen years ago, in May 1993, a young Manchester band led by brothers Liam, who sang, and Noel Gallagher, who wrote the tunes, played King Tut's Wah Wah Hut and were spotted by Creation boss Alan McGee.
He signed them and Oasis became the biggest band of the Nineties, steering Britpop to chart dominance, seeing all seven of their albums go to number one and scoring eight number one singles.
But on August 28, 2009, the fractious relationship between Noel and Liam finally splintered shortly before Oasis were due to perform at a Paris festival. Noel quit claiming he was sick of the "verbal and violent intimidation".
He'd quit before but this time it was final and as he plots a solo career, Liam has bounced back.
He has taken the ashes of Oasis (Beady Eye are made up of the group's final line-up: guitarist Gem Archer, bassist Andy Bell and drummer Chris Sharrock) and claims his new band will be the biggest in the world. But it's not gone totally to plan so far.
The first single The Roller didn't make the Top 30, scraping in at number 31.
Of course, the fans could be waiting for Beady Eye's debut album Different Gear, Still Speeding which is out on Monday.
What will be a far harder test will be Beady Eye's first gigs at Glasgow's famous Barrowland next Thursday and Friday.
Will the fans just call out for Oasis tunes or allow Liam and his new band to grow into their own? The man with more bluster than the north wind is ready.
"They're gonna dig it, cos we're gonna be on form," he insisted.
And those Oasis fans who just want his old hits? "I've got a microphone, we've got guitars, we'll drown them out. They can shout what they want."
But this is also a different Liam. The brash, strutting man of Oasis days has been smoothed down.
The 38-year-old father of three doesn't have to fight against his brother for his voice to be heard anymore, doesn't have to toe whatever line Noel dictated.
His Beady Eye bandmates claim he's having fun, is chilled and enjoying being part of a team.
Maybe that's why he admits he'll be scared in Glasgow.
He said: "There was never any fear with Oasis. You knew people were going to dig it because it was Oasis. But I'll be honest, when the gigs come round with Beady Eye, we'll be s******g it, because it's a new thing."
Like The Roller, Oasis' first single Supersonic also got to number 31 but that was when they were unknown.
The same placing for The Roller must have been a kick in the teeth, but the band claim it's become about the music again.
What if Different Gear, Still Speeding doesn't match up to Oasis' seven for seven album number ones? "We're not bothered about chart success, but this deserves to be massive," says Liam.
"It's exciting not knowing what's going to happen, but we know it's good enough to change people's lives. We hope it does."
Gem added: "We just want people to dig us, for Beady Eye to have an energy, to keep on rockin'."
Oasis became Noel's band despite Liam forming it and giving it a name, but Beady Eye is a team effort.
And although Gem was close to Noel it seems there was no split. He left and the rest of the band decided to carry on, under another name.
With Steve Lillywhite on board as producer, Beady Eye entered London's RAK Studios in June last year and over 12 weeks put down what Gem calls, "the best thing I've ever been involved in".
He, like Andy, joined Oasis in 1999 working on Heathen Chemistry, Don't Believe The Truth and 2008 Oasis swangsong Dig Out Your Soul.
Liam added: "We're fired up, not because we thought we'd show everyone it could happen without you know who (Noel), we're fired up because we're doing music."
This time there is no boss. Liam said: "The key is just not being afraid to say something when it needs to be said.
"There is nothing worse than being in a band when you can't say anything."
Liam doesn't see Oasis reforming and he wants his old fans and Beady Eye's new ones to move on.
"It was important not to sit and dwell on the past," he said, talking about the weeks after Noel quit.
"We'd just come off a tour and we were on fire, if we'd said, 'let's do something in a few months, or next year', the flame would have burned out or we'd have got the fear."
The 13 songs on Different Gear, Still Speeding sound like Oasis but there's added bounce.
Tunes like Bring The Light and Beatles and Stones sound like a band having fun. Given Liam called his first child Lennon, the Beatle's sound is all over this album from The Roller to Three Ring Circus.
He never hid his affection for The Beatles but his songwriting was hardly Lennon/McCartney.
But his songwriting greatly improved from the clumsy Little James on Standing on the Shoulder of Giants in 2000, to the five songs he had on final Oasis album Dig Out Your Soul which included I'm Outta Time - as good a tune as any Noel was putting in.
The lyrics are direct and will be great to sing along to and as Liam says on album opener Four Letter Word: "nothing lasts forever".
And so to Glasgow next week.
The touring band will see the core four joined by Jeff Wootton on bass (Andy going back to the guitar) and Matt Jones on keyboards.
After the two dates in Glasgow they'll be back in Scotland on April 18 at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange and then play the Sunday at T in the Park on July 10.
They have dates lined up in Europe and Japan but whatever happens with their debut expect a new album sooner than happened with Oasis.
Liam said: "What happened with Oasis was you'd end up on an 18-month tour and you wouldn't have any time to put new music out.
"When you get big, it slows you down.
"When you start out fresh, it's all about the tunes. And remember, we're a new band, we're not going to get above ourselves and start thinking we can play stadiums."
Visit my newly launched Beady Eye fan site www.standingontheedgeofthenoise.com by clicking here.
25 February 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011 stopcryingyourheartout.com 1 comment