Sunday, February 20, 2011

"Oasis is an entity that is to do with Liam and Noel," agrees Bell, the mild-mannered former Ride guitarist who, like Archer, joined Oasis in 1999. "It was much better to go, 'Right – new band, new songs.'"

After a summer spent recording with producer Steve Lillywhite, the result is Beady Eye's debut album, Different Gear, Still Speeding. It is, predictably enough, a rock'n'roll album in thrall to the Stones, the La's – an old band of Sharrock's – and, of course, the Beatles. What's more surprising, given that Noel Gallagher was widely regarded as Oasis's only songwriting talent (and then as a diminishing one), is that it's quite good.

That's not to say it's a masterpiece. There are moments of toe-curling banality, but there are some fresh and impressive songs, too. If you didn't like Oasis, Different Gear, Still Speeding won't convert you. But if you found anything to enjoy in their last few records, it will be a treat.

If it had been an Oasis record, that band's fiercely loyal fanbase would presumably have already done the preordering necessary to have made it their eighth consecutive No 1 album. But success for Beady Eye isn't so assured. The band's first proper single, The Roller, stumbled into the charts at No 31 last month – not the ideal result for a singer who enjoyed 22 consecutive top 10 hits with Oasis.

"You'd prefer it to go in at No 1, wouldn't you?" shrugs Gallagher. "But it didn't happen."

Karl Marx: "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce"

But what if was farce the first time round? What is stage 2 after that?

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