by / July 11th, 2011 /

Oxegen 2011 – Saturday: The Vaccines, Beady Eye, Eliza Doolittle, The Pretty Reckless

The Pretty Reckless – Heineken Green Spheres Tent

In the odd category of non-music-based celebrity performers today, The Pretty Reckless (or The Pretty Rockness, as the Green Sphere’s tent’s line up poster lists them) is the clear winner. Sure, that’s largely because the competition if absolutely dire, but to be fair to Gossip Girl’s Taylor Momsen, she really can sing. At 17, fronting a heavy rock band in your underwear and what looks like a motor-racing crash barrier see-through dress takes some balls, but Momsen brings what really matters, in screeching and squealing her way through a set that feels a million miles from celebrity self-indulgence. It works, and while it might feel slightly wrong to the post-teens like ourselves in the audience to watch such an overtly sexualised performance from a woman of that age, this certainly is heartfelt and at times manically yet tunefully heavy. There’s an air of a model version of Courtney Love to Momsen, fragile yet pointedly aggressive and sure of herself in a kind of backwards, assertive way. She’s not about to break up the rock n’ roll hierarchy, but the band is very, very watchable. And yes, we do mean in the musical sense.

Eliza Doolittle – 2FM Hot Press Academy Stage

Eliza Doolittle and her four-piece backing band and two backing vocalists draw a huge crowd on the Hot Press stage, and if one things for certain, it’s that the pint-sized singer has one of the best voices on offer this weekend. At just 23, it already seems like Eliza’s been around forever, and she plays like she’s strolling down a street in a fashion commercial. Strangely, that comes across like she absolutely owns the stage, especially when shes goes tearing down the front row offering high fives, or perches briefly at her tiny piano before leaping back into action. It’s a delicate yet confident performance, one reliant on a boisterous cuteness that permeates both her lyrics and general demeanour. Of course, the entire set is a build up to closing, monster single ‘Pack Up’, but tracks like ‘Rollerblades’ and ‘Go Home’ certainly don’t let the side down, either. Based on today’s show, Eliza probably deserves a touch more attention than she gets.

Beady Eye – Main Stage

Ah, Mr. Gallagher. Beady Eye’s debut Different Gear Still Speeding might be a passable effort if you’re into the Brit-Pop throwback thing, but let’s face it, it’s hardly a dramatic change in style. Throwing in a touch of blues piano on top of the front man’s trademark gurning, crowd-abusing collection of on-stage affronts creates just one feeling: it’s like watching Oasis, except 20 years after their peak, and minus every iconic track they ever wrote. Sorry Liam, but for all the attitude in the world, Beady Eye – and your vocals in general – belong to another era. Without the classics, this just doesn’t cut it. File under ‘you never know, they might reform for the money’ and hope Noel does better, as Beady Eye –like Oasis’ less notable moments – are just dull.

The Vaccines – Heineken Green Spheres Tent

Now this is how a rock show should be done. The Vaccines are fiery, snappy to the point of abrupt and – lyrically – so inane it’s almost embarrassing. Having said that, spend a few minutes in front of their live show and you’ll see just why the odd media outlet has them tagged as the saviours of rock. We’re not sure rock needs saving, but the likes of ‘Wreckin’ Bar’, ‘Post Break-Up Sex’ and ‘If You Wanna’ cause the kind of manic front-row leaping that has even the bouncers cracking a few wry smiles. Any signs that front man Justin Young might still be struggling with those delicate vocal chords are brushed aside in a blaze of glory, with smooth, leery vocals and on-stage bounciness the band’s greatest live assets. And that’s before the even get to ‘Norgaard’, which is as good as 90 second piece of accessible rock music’s ever likely to be. Put aside the fact that most of their lyrics are genuinely, comically awful and these guys are lovable as hell, and we can’t ask for much more than that. Though Young’s exes might…

Photo by Peter Neill.

  • Micklynham

    Beady Eye Live – Review
    Beady Eye – The six-piece (live ranks swelled by session bassist and a keyboard player added to the mix) have a huge undertaking to establish themselves as a creative outfit in their own right. 
    Liam Gallagher, Gem and Andy left such a legacy in their shadows in their previous outfit Oasis that some might say they have alot to prove. Nowadays Beady Eye might look like Oasis, and sound like Oasis, and feature all the members of Oasis apart from erstwhile leader and chief songwriter Noel Gallagher, but – let’s be clear about this – they are definitely not Oasis but in one way that is a good thing.  There can only be ONE OASIS!!!  Oasis provided a musical landscape that no one could touch or match and I think it would be a little unfair to compare Beady Eye to Oasis. 

    For Oasis fans Beady Eye provides an alternative – heavy licks of psychedelic synth rock with a drummer who hits his kit like he has two tree trunks in his hands. 
    Beady Eye clearly said they would not be writing singles, and if you are looking for that magical Oasis connection with an audience – “The Singalong Moments” you wont find them here. 

    Beady Eye takes to the stage with a palpable thrill in the air as they launch into aggressive rocker opener ‘Four Letter Word’, with Liam’s big-chested voice booming out of the PA.  When Liam sings “A Four Letter Word Really Gets My Meaning, Nothing Ever Lasts Forever”, It is clear he is settling old scores and fighting back to those who doubted his musical ability. 
    Playing a fairly brief but enthralling set, they hammered through almost every track from their debut album “Different Gear, Still Speeding”.   
    Gallagher seemed revitalised, attacking every track with an attitude not seen since the early years of Oasis.  It is also clear he seems a lot more relaxed and confident on stage without hanging in the shadow of his brother.  Beady Eye are different from Oasis in many ways but Liam is still the undoubted star, his bandmates are each given their chance to shine also, with Andy Bell’s blistering solo over “Beatles and Stones” and Gem Archer’s regular sixstring fireworks being particularly impressive, this is a band of equals unlike Oasis which seen Noel mainly putting his stamp on every performance with his huge guitar solos and powerful backing vocals.  
    One track that stands out on the evening is the powerful melody of “Three Ring Circus” which comes close to been a Oasis-like B-Side, but is given a sharper edge which would grab any audience by the ballxx (advance apologies for the flowerly descriptive).
    Fortunately it is an anthem in the shape of “Morning Son”, a massive psychedelic heavy guitar epic that ended with Gallagher standing like a bouncer at his own gig as his band build to a huge crescendo.  Chris Sharrock (The La’s) superb drummer is clearly evident on this track and he shows that he knows how to hold and play with two sticks of wood.  
    It is an awesome cover of World Of Twist’s “Sons Of The Stage” that I feel shows a promise that Beady Eye have the potential to match any of their modern day counterparts both in the writing and performance stakes.  
    To some up their live show, they are loud, full of attitude with punchy guitars that is well worth keeping an Beady Eye on!!!!
    P.S. You may see the occasional Liam Gallagher lookalike in the audience too. 

    Mick L

  • Vincent

    Ya they look and sound like Beady Eye or Oasis fans!!  Immature kids alot of them in my opinion!!! I dont like Coldplay so Id rip them out of it however still doesnt stop me praising them if they preform well

  • Fair enough, they’re probably not Beady Eye fans, but it’s certainly the case that when the pictures went up, the majority’s immediate reaction was to point out how awful they are. I certainly don’t believe in agreeing with the majority for no reason, but in this case I thought Beady Eye had an absolute shocker. Horrible performance,and I’m clearly not alone in that opinion. I completely stand by it.