For all intents and purposes, Noel and Liam Gallagher are Oasis. So in Oasis: Lord Don’t Slow Me Down, it doesn’t really matter that the rest of the band (which includes Ringo Starr’s son Zak Starkey on drums) wasn’t in the lineup when the group made it big in 1995 with songs such as “Wonderwall.” The two-disc DVD offers a documentary as well as a concert filmed in the group’s native Manchester, England, in 2005. In its heyday, Oasis was at the top of its game.
It was a sad day for Anglophiles when John Squire left the Stone Roses. Without their lead guitarist and primary songwriter, the Roses withered away a few months after Squire quit last year. But he didn’t waste any time crying over what could have been. Instead, he put together the Seahorses, a tight rock ‘n’ roll outfit that made its Chicago debut Tuesday night at Metro.
In Great Britain, Oasis isnt just any band–it is the band. To get a perspective of how popular they are in their homeland, check this out: The five-man group from Manchester performed two nights at Englands Knebworth Park to more than 250,000 people. It was the largest audience for any single band in Britain.
Blur – which also includes guitarist Graham Coxon and drummer Dave Rowntree – is not as abrasive as Oasis’ Noel Gallagher, whose wish that Albarn and James contract AIDS and die was blown up to front-page news in England. Gallagher downplayed the statement, saying the quote was taken out of context and that Blur was OK. Damon Albarn’s not buying it.
Blur has always been a band that mainstream America just didnt get. Maybe it was vocalist Damon Albarn’s exaggerated accent or the quintessential British characters he likes to write about, but it seemed that Blur’s fate was to play to a small group of Anglophiles who adored them. That should change with their self-titled record, which was released last week. At their sold-out show at the Riviera Theatre Saturday night, the four-man group (supplemented by a keyboardist and a two-man horn section) went top heavy on cuts from Blur, which is the most accessible of their five albums. They gave their fans a deliriously fun 1-hour 40-minute set that had music, style and showmanship.
Noel Gallagher appeared comfortable taking the stage without his brother. Whether he stayed in his usual spot–stage left–out of habit or respect for his brother is debatable (although I’m guessing the former). But if there was any question about his ability to command a crowd’s attention with his voice, it was quickly dispelled when he started their 15-song, 85-minute set with “Acquiesce,” a track not included on either of their albums. As he sang the telling refrain, “‘Cause we believe in each other,” the crowd furiously pogoed its approval back at him.