Beady Eye at The Barrowland was always going to be a lively gig. After launching their live career as a band at this very venue in March 2011, they returned to kick off their UK tour amid a frenzied Glasgow crowd.
Instead of the customary support band, Beady Eye opted for a DJ set before they took to the stage. I’d never been to a gig where a DJ played before the band and it was excellent – a mix including disco, R&B, The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones; the crowd were eating it up. By 20:30, still half an hour until the band appeared, the hall was packed with fans singing along and having a great time.
30 minutes later and the lights drop out. The inimitable buzz of a Barrowland crowd was a different level tonight given the passion of the ex-Oasis/current Beady Eye fans who, as well as catching their hero, Liam, performing live again had also caught wind that there were a couple of Oasis covers thrown in to this tour’s set. Opening with ‘Flick Of The Finger’ the band made an immediate impact on the already electric crowd. Gem Archer, recovered from an injury earlier in the year was back and bearded. Andy, Chris and Jay were driving the opening track along and Liam sounded better than I’ve heard him in many a year.
Cue the “Beady Eye” and “Liam” chants, the opening track from BE was a top choice. Fittingly, following track ‘Face The Crowd’ was up next. I don’t think the band ever had to fear not having the crowd on their side tonight and facing the crowd was never going to be an issue for them. With the crowd in fine voice and the band equally so, the second track had The Barrowland bouncing and singing along.
The opening guitar from ‘Four Letter Word’ worked the crowd into a further frenzy; arm-in-arm bounces, pints everywhere and a few topless guys were already aloft on the shoulders of their friends. With ‘Soul Love’ slowing the tempo down a touch it was the first big sing-along of the night. Allowing the crowd to catch their breath, it sounded as chilled live as it does on the album.
Moving on with ‘Second Bite of the Apple’ the band kept the chilled vibe going from the previous track and the sing-along continued all the way into ‘Iz Right’ with the crowd still burning with energy. Now that the crowd had a couple of tracks to catch their breath it was time to burst back into the bounce-along ‘Shine A Light’. When Chris Sharrock’s drums kicked in, the pints went up in the air again. You could see the band were feeding off the crowd’s energy and enjoying it as much as they were.
“Sing along if you know the words” proclaims Liam as Gem strums the opening chords to ‘Live Forever’. The entire venue erupted. It was a true moment to stand back for a few minutes and hear the crowd singing along with Liam. At least it would have been had I not been right in the middle of the crowd and singing along just as wildly as those around me. It was a great experience catching the track live again and hearing the crowd singing to not just the lyrics but the guitar-solo too.
‘The World’s Not Set In Stone’ was up next and fitted perfectly after ‘Live Forever’ with a good chorus for everyone that had a voice left to sing along to. Staying with the so far BE-heavy track selections, ‘I’m Just Saying’ burst into life with a few more people minus t-shirts and a 2-man tower collapsed next to me, freeing a guy of the person on his shoulders, spilling him on top of a group of people now minus their pints.
Bringing the tempo down a bit again ‘Soon Come Tomorrow’ was a welcome switch in the set, it was always going to be a 1,900 person version of the song and it most certainly was with the crowd almost drowning Liam out at points.
The crowd was certainly on fine form with seemingly endless energy levels that, being right in the middle of, I got caught up in. The opening riff to ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’ took that energy to a new level and, in all honesty, it felt like being caught in a riot. It was great. People were flying all over the place, bouncing up and down, screaming along to the song with their friends, pints were going across the ceiling like shooting stars and someone next to me lost their shoes in the melee. Oasis certainly don’t need to worry about no-one caring if they ever decide to get a reunion together.
Back to first album Different Gear. Still Speeding stand-out track ‘The Roller’ the crowd maintained the passion and the band were still driving forward with the same energy they started with, allowing for a calming ‘Start Anew’ which is what the gig needed at this point. To a man, the crowd were matted in sweat (and pints for some), the condensation in the venue was rising off the bodies and forming on the ceiling above.
Sticking with Different Gear. Still Speeding, ‘Bring The Light’ brought the energy back up to fever-pitch again before closing the set in a chilled-out, psychedelic vibe with Wigwam from the same album, signing off in the sing-along fashion it started in.
Of course, when the band left the stage no-one went anywhere. Instead, opting for a mass sing-along of KC And The Sunshine Band’s ‘Give It Up’, replacing “baby give it up, give it up, baby give it up” with “Beady Eye, Beady Eye, Beady, Beady Eye”. The band re-appeared acknowledging the new chant and ending the gig in tremendous form with an immaculate cover of The Rolling Stones classic ‘Gimme Shelter’.