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London, Shepherd's Bush Empire, 07.10.2001 (Quelle: dotmusic.com)

If any band has a point to prove it's Oasis. Thankfully tonight they're on world beating form yet again. Did you ever doubt them?

The last time the Gallagher brothers graced a London stage at the crumbling Wembley it looked like Oasis were going the same way as the condemned stadium. Liam was barely able to stand let alone sing while Noel looked on apologetically.

Tonight there's little sign of tension just an underlying sense of a job to do. There's an absence of onstage banter, no drunken ranting, bottles of water replace cans of beer, no bickering or back biting just foot down to the floor from start to finish exceeding all the highest hedonistic expectations.

It may be a worn cliché but tonight Oasis wisely 'let On tour do the talking' plundering 'Definitely Maybe' and their enviable b-sides catalogue to achieve this. As the lights dim, the swirling drums of 'Fuckin In The Bushes' precede the madness. A camouflaged Liam swaggers on, assuming the position and only rarely venturing to the edge of the stage to acknowledge the crowd's adulation by taking tambourine to temple. Noel conducts affairs with majestic authority while Gem and Andy Bell resemble young boys at a party they still can't believe they've been invited to.

Any lingering doubts about tonight are instantly dispelled with the foundation-shaking opening salvo of 'Go Let It Out', 'Columbia' ("There were were/Now here we are"), 'What's The Story' and 'Acquiesce' topped off with 'Supersonic' that can't have ever sounded better.

Both new tracks - 'The Hindu Times' and 'Hung In A Bad Place' - were positively received and signal Noel's welcome abandonment of the pompous in favour of a return to blood-and-thunder rock n'roll last witnessed on their debut album.

It's not until they dust off some oldies - the first live outing of 'She's Electric', 'Half A World Away', 'The Masterplan', 'Slide Away' - that you realise this is no ordinary show and no run of the mill band. There's something special in the air tonight and, to take things from special to the sublime, they roll out 'Live Forever', 'Cigarettes and Alcohol' and the Paul Weller-enhanced 'Champagne Supernova'. Does it get any better than this?

Yes, is the immediate answer with the almighty 'Rock N'Roll Star'. All those ill-fated tours, millions of sales, petty tiffs and icon status means nothing. As Liam spits out "tonight I'm a rock n'roll star" you realise that none of the above has any bearing on what Oasis are and what they do. Ten years later it's still delivered with as much venom as if it was penned that day. Truly awe-inspiring.

Encoring with 'Don't Look Back In Anger', 'I Am The Walrus' and 'Roll With It' they exit with minimum fuss just a simple tambourine salute from Liam and a round of applause from Noel that sums up the show. Simple but highly effective.

Not the biggest gig they've ever performed but definitely the most important.

Chris Heath

London, Shepherd's Bush Empire, 07.10.2001 (Quelle: dotmusic.com)


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