Liam Gallagher’s voice crackles down a bad phone line from South America. When I ask him to speak up, he snaps back: “That’s the story of my life, mate, I’m always having to go one louder.”
Fans of Spinal Tap will recognise the reference to the comical rock band whose guitar amps have dials that go all the way up to 11. It seem entirely appropriate for Gallagher, who has always had a cartoonish edge to his persona, an almost comically exaggerated intensity and aggressive confidence that helped make him Britain’s loudest, lairiest, coolest and quite possibly craziest rock star for much of the past 20 years. Two years on from the end of Oasis, the group who made him a household name, he remains on fighting form. “I speak the same talk, I walk the same walk,” he declares of his role in his new band, Beady Eye. “When I go on stage I try to eat that microphone. That’s it really. I’m not Jumping Jack Flash. I stand as still as I possibly can. I’m in a bubble, man, singing them songs, trying to blast through people’s souls, change their lives. I’m not thinking about anything except getting the message across. I don’t even know what the —-ing message is! I just wanna blast them with rock and roll.”
The problem for Liam is that the public no longer seem entirely convinced by such bellicose self-confidence.
October 25th, 2011
So Q readers have voted U2 the greatest act of the past 25 years. Well, obviously they would say that. Q is a magazine of white, middle-aged rock fans. If you had asked the Radio One audience to vote on the same question, you might have got a rather different answer. Take That and or Robbie Williams maybe. Actually, scrap that. Those guys are way too old for Radio One. They would probably have voted in One Direction or Justin Bieber.
I was asked to defend the choice of U2 on BBC 5 Live last night. Now, I find myself saying time and time again, music is not a competitive sport. There is room for all our favourite acts, and nobody is forcing you to listen to anyone you don’t want to (though Simon Cowell is certainly doing his best). And before the habitual U2 and Bono haters start hurling the traditional levels of comical abuse in the comments, lets get it out in the open. Yes, I am biased. They are the band I grew up with. If I may quote legendary journalist Hunter S Thompson: “objective journalism is a contradiction in terms”. So get over it. But, like them are loath them, I think the case for U2 being the greatest act of the past 25 years is pretty unequivocal. Here are five reasons why (and why not some of the other artists mentioned in last night’s debate):
23 Feb 2011
‘People know me as Oasis, so it will be weird for a bit. It’s like a transvestite walking into a room and going, ‘Right, that’s it – I’m called Lisa now.’ But people will be calling their kids Beady Eye by the end of the year.”
Oh, it’s good to have him back. Liam Gallagher, last of the great, unreconstructed rock stars, returns next week with his new band, Beady Eye. So named, apparently, in order to be placed in record racks next to the Beatles “instead of the fucking Osmonds.”