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Oasis lacked energy, aggression, focus, freshness
Eamonn McCann, 04 Oct 2002
The biggest gig ever gathered in Derry went right on ahead and enjoyed itself hugely, setting the night sky a-sway at the end with a gorgeous, billowing ‘Champagne Supernova’. What percentage of the choral ensemble realised that the band had left the stage and that they were singing along to a CD fed through the PA wasn’t clear. Nor was it clear how much this mattered. Oasis’ presence on stage had been bizarrely near-enough irrelevant through much of the 80-minute set, with much time spent ambling around uncommunicatively between songs.
It would be an overstatement to say that Liam Gallagher’s voice was shot, but from an early ‘Look Back In Anger’ it lacked the signature edge without which it is ordinary. After half an hour of mainly Heathen Chemistry, the band ambled off-stage. Five minutes of “OIe, Ole” later, Noel emerged, sat on a chair and asked all to sing along only with the chorus and not the verse of a solo acoustic ‘Wonderwall’. Nobody paid heed. Song over, confusion reigned, then the band returned, Noel taking main vocal duties.
Throughout, Oasis lacked energy, aggression, focus, freshness. Sure, the big lad-rock reflective ballads are eminently singable and were gutsily sung, with the punters putting more into the performance than anybody on stage.
Liam took the mike for an intendedly climactic ‘My Generation’. Somebody should tell Oasis that doing ‘My Generation’ when you are out of puff and incapable of a combative snarl is very, very risky.
Oasis were a great band and hit the note exactly in the mid-1990s at the tail-end of Toryism. Since then, they have been seen drinking wine with the Blairs in No.10 Downing Street. Here in Derry, it showed.