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Beady Eye

When songwriting brother Noel decided to leave OASIS in August 2009, singer Liam Gallagher and the remaining members (Andy Bell, Gem Archer and Chris Sharrock) vowed to plough on regardless. Obviously, keeping acrimony down to a minimum by not taking the OASIS moniker, the name BEADY EYE was chosen to represent a new beginning. And in a way, this was some sort of London-based indie supergroup, guitarists Archer and Bell hailing from Creation bands HEAVY STEREO and RIDE respectively (the latter also HURRICANE #1), while journeyman drummer Sharrock had played for The ICICLE WORKS, The LA’S, The WILD SWANS, WORLD PARTY and The LIGHTNING SEEDS; bassist Jeff Wootton and keyboard player Jay Darlington were added on tour.
After a year putting the final touches and played the odd promotional tour, BEADY EYE finally unleashed their Steve Lillywhite-produced set DIFFERENT GEAR, STILL SPEEDING (2011) {*7}. If one thought OASIS took The BEATLES clonal attributes a tad too close to the bone, then Top 3 act BEADY EYE were the virtual embodiment of the early Fab Four. Anyone who listened to `Millionaire’, `The Roller’, `Wind Up Dream’, `For Anyone’… and even the part-name-check track `Beatles And Stones’, was clearly in a world of their own if they didn’t hear The BEATLES in every anthemic chant and strum. But for that, the formula seemed to work.
The band’s sophomore delivery, BE (2013) {*8}, was kept off the UK top spot by ‘Sabbath’s “13”. Ironic, if Brit-rock had thought itself rid of “the dinosaurs”. Produced by TV ON THE RADIO geezer, Dave Sitek, the album had one foot in “Revolver”-esque psychedelic age and the other in classicist Britpop. No surprise there then. Almost segued into each other by swirling winds, opening salvos `Flick Of The Finger’ and `Soul Love’, didn’t have to conjure up much of an imagination to find that Liam was enjoying his usual shoulder-shrugging swagger. Ah, the 60s, a time when people had flowers in their hair. That decade’s grandson of-sorts, Liam, was now swapping the blooms and simply spreading the pollen in every direction. The 7-minute `Don’t Bother Me’ was truly a modern-day classic, Liam spraying lyrical cliches and effectively turning metaphoric nettles and weeds into red roses. One imagined that brother Noel might be a tad envious of his former bandmate and, in other sing-a-longs such as `I’m Just Saying’, `Shine A Light’, `Face The Crowd’ and `Off At The Next Exit’, “Be” might well’ve seen BEADY EYE come of age. Not a hope, as Liam split the group in October 2014.
© MCS Feb2011-Mar2015

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