Oasis Reviews Archive

Reviews from as many Oasis albums, singles and concerts as I can fine. Hopefully in the future incorporating pictures, audio and video.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Melbourne, Australia (The Chapel)

1. (It's Good) To Be Free
2. Talk Tonight
3. Fade Away
4. Cast No Shadow
5. The Importance Of Being Idle
6. Listen Up
7. Half The World Away
8. Wonderwall
9. Whatever
10. Slide Away
11. Strawberry Fields Forever
12. Don't Look Back In Anger
13. Married With Children

Noel Gallagher
Gem Archer
Terry Kirkbride

Sydney Morning Herald
Julietta Jameson

Hearing an acoustic, solo Noel Gallagher perform his band's magnum opus, Wonderwall, it was hard not to wish he'd sung it in the first place. Of course, it was his brother Liam - the surly one - who belted the Cool Britannia anthem out in his usual unmeasured style on the the 1995 Oasis release (What's The Story) Morning Glory?. (It was great, of course. Liam Gallagher has never been one of England's most technically proficient vocalists, but he is one of the most compelling.)

In the hands of its writer Noel - the curmudgeonly one - the song might not have had the energetic angst of the record, but it had light, shade and nuance and it was apparent the song actually meant something to its composer.

The feeling was typical of Noel Gallagher's performance during an intimate gig in Melbourne recorded for MTV's Live At The Chapel series on Monday night. The gig was held before Gallagher's sold-out show at Enmore Theatre in Newtown on Wednesday night.

Accompanied by Oasis guitarist Gem Archer and percussionist Terry Kirkbridge, Gallagher performed a handful of Oasis hits as well as a whole lot of B sides with which only fans, or those in possession of the recently released Oasis best of, Stop The Clocks, might be familiar.

Introducing the Kinks-esque 2005 British hit The Importance Of Being Idle, Gallagher called it the "last great song I wrote" with a wistfulness that provided a deliciously voyeuristic insight into the psyche of the loudmouth as artiste.

No such intro for Talk Tonight, the gorgeous B side of the hit Some Might Say. But Gallagher's delicate (yes, delicate) performance of a song containing the lyrics "I wanna talk tonight ... 'bout how you saved my life" left a lingering sense of his vulnerability and not just a whiff of boyish charm.

Gallagher hadn't gone completely soft though. A few choice digs at his favourite sources of derision, brother Liam and Robbie Williams, kept his motormouth rep well intact. His taped performance, Noel Gallagher At Vodafone Live At The Chapel, will screen on MTV December 26.

Paul Nassari

Noel Gallagher has long been one of Britain's most talented - and outspoken - musicians. On his visit to Australia this month he performed an intimate set for Vodafone Live at the Chapel.

It was a very excited audience that greeted 39 year-old Oasis leader and main songwriter Noel Gallagher as he fronted up for an exclusive acoustic performance for Vodaphone’s Live At The Chapel to promote the new, 2CD Oasis compilation, Stop The Clocks.

Earlier in the week, the famous Manchester-born musician was quick to point out this was not a greatest hits offering, but a ‘best of’.

"Your greatest hits are the hit singles that are most popular ... your ‘best of’ is what is considered your best work,'' the Brit said.

“Thereby lies the difference.”

The double CD features a selection of what Gallagher considers the band’s best work, including such hits as Wonderwall, Champagne Supernova, Don't Look Back in Anger and Morning Glory.

“It could easily have stretched to three CDs, but that doesn't really appeal to me, do you know what I mean?'” Gallagher said.

“Three CDs is a bit much, seeing as how the Beatles only had two on their ‘best of'. It would be taking the piss to have three I think.”

Unsurprisingly, a number of the Stop The Clocks tracks featured in his Chapel performance; the most recent being The Importance Of Being Idle from the recent Don’t Believe The Truth set.

With uncharacteristic modesty on the night, the usually cocky guitarist declared this song to be “the last great song I wrote.”

The performance was littered with comical asides, crowd putdowns and insights into the origins of several songs.

He also included a surprise cover of The Beatles’ Strawberry Fields and a large amount of the group’s celebrated early b-sides - including the lovely Half The World Away, which he explained to the captivated audience came from a miserable time in his life when he “was confused and lonely. The irony is, I was surrounded by people.”

Which is literally what he was for this performance… Noel Gallagher in the round.

The crowd was abuzz with media-types and a number of ‘friends of Oasis’ (whatever that means – quite possibly fan-club members and competition winners), with the latter being admitted first and getting pride of position right behind Gallagher - a first for the Live At The Chapel series.

The rest could hardly complain as they snuggled up closer to the stage than most would ever have the opportunity to do, reclining on luxurious red beanbags and couches surrounded by the gentle glow of wax-dripping candelabras.

The organisers and hosts for The Chapel made no bones about declaring this particular performance the largest crowd they’d ever had.

The elder of the two Gallagher brothers admitted the choice of material for Stop The Clocks was mostly his, with just a little help from younger brother Liam.

“I done all that,'' he said.

“I get to pick the songs, that is my right as the oldest living member of Oasis.'”

This was not a true solo performance per se, as Noel was accompanied throughout by Oasis’ Gem Archer on guitar and organ and newcomer Terry Kirke-Brien on a stripped down drum-kit; but there was little doubt this show was all Gallagher Sr.

When it came time for his mystery drummer’s introduction, Noel pointed out Kirke-Brien was no stranger to the Oasis camp and had appeared on the track Monkey Fingers from Don’t Believe The Truth.

Inevitably, someone in the crowd fired up about the whereabouts of infamously temperamental younger brother and Oasis lead vocalist Liam, who immediately came under rapid smart-arse fire from Noel.

“What d’ya mean?” Noel asked. “Spiritually or mentally? Spiritually he’s all over the place. Mentally, he was never really there anyway.

“He’s just bought his first mansion and is currently turning it into Disneyland. Oh you laugh, but it’s not far from the truth.”

When a heckler asked if Liam was turning into Michael Jackson, Noel warned, “Watch it, he is family… but I’d be up for it if he started hanging out with a chimp. But who’d have the higher IQ?”

The Gallagher brothers, famed for their thick Manchester accents and bitter sibling rivalry, burst on to the British music scene more than a decade ago before going on to sell millions of albums worldwide.

Their volatile relationship, fights, drug problems, celebrity relationships - and their prodigious talent for producing catchy pop songs - have filled thousands of news pages around the world.

But it seems the brothers are going through a rough patch at the moment.

“We are not on the best of terms,” Gallagher said.

“I haven't seen him for a couple of months. I am not interested.

“I am generally not interested because he is generally not doing anything interesting. “They're not fighting though, he said.

“We aren’t fighting at the minute… but could well be the next time I see him though.”

Brotherly feuds and record label contracts aside, Oasis have enough material to release another album in 2007.

“There is this project going on that will probably take us to spring next year,”' he said.

“We have got most of our next album already recorded, stuff that was left over from the last one - we could start mixing it tomorrow.”

Sadly Gallagher couldn’t stay on hand to offer more as he was due at an exclusive Q&A after a Melbourne screening on the new Oasis doco Lord Don’t Slow Me Down.

Stop the Clocks is out now.

The Noel Gallagher episode of Vodaphone’s Live At The Chapel will be on Ch 10 on Boxing Day at 11.15pm.

Was broadcast live to Vodafone 3G Mobile holders in Australia. Slide Away, Don't Look Back In Anger, The Importance Of Being Idle, Wonderwall and Married With Children were broadcast on in Australia on MTV and on Channel 10 on December 26. A stream was due to appear on http://www.liveatthechapel.com/ from December 28.




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