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London, Watford Coliseum, 05.02.2002 (Quelle: dotmusic.com)

Oasis are turning into the Rolling Stones. In twenty years time, the Gallagher brothers, now sworn enemies, will stagger onto Wembley Stadium from opposite sides of the stage, for the 'Bridges To Burnage' global slaughter.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with morphing into Jagger and Richards. The Stones have earned their rock and roll pension, having tattooed a glorious collage of sound and vision into the pantheon of music. Years after penning countless culturally defining, sometimes subversive, forever musically rapid tunes and unleashing a spell of unforgettable and persistently namechecked albums, they have nothing to prove.

Oasis, on the other hand, have two albums they want to talk about and two they don't. Their 2022 world tour will, at this rate, consist of this set. Perennially threatening an Ali-style comeback, we're confronted with the fact that just seven years into their career, the band are a creative nonentity, a parody, in effect, almost a tribute band.

So it is that the rather unlikely town of Watford is bludgeoned with another greatest hits set. But, of course, what hits. What brutal volume and what remarkable, primal support Oasis continue to generate. Much like On tour, it seems some things will never change.

Liam and Noel say little during the show - a warm-up for their Royal Albert Hall charity gig - save a few disses to the hometown and the occasional stream of unintelligible gobbledegook from junior. Despite their apparent lethargy, however, there's no undermining the crowd's lager-fuelled excitement.

Fierce receptions greet the dispatching of a collection of the greatest rock and roll songs recorded in recent years - in a two-year period - but there is precious little from 'Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants' and absolutely nothing from the abominable 'Be Here Now'.

Tracks that secured the rise and frightening hold over the populsit zeitgiest of Oasis mid-90s, such as 'Supersonic', 'Cigarettes and Alcohol', 'Live Forever', 'Slide Away', 'Acquiesce', 'Champagne Supernova', 'Don't Look Back In Anger' and 'Morning Glory', are delivered with impressive cohesion, a constant wall of sound rising from the stage.

There is a ferocious, violent power to the current incarnation of Oasis that is undeniable, with the band hitting their stride in swaggering style on the dreams to dust guitar collision of 'Fade Away', a searing 'Morning Glory' and the Beatles swirl and then explosion of 'Go Let It Out'.

Interestingly, comparisons with The Beatles are becoming ever more redundant. Oasis have not developed into the visionary, wildly imaginative geniuses of The Fab Four in their pomp, preferring to travel more in the slipstream of the full-throttle likes of the aforementioned Stones and The Who.

'The Hindu Times'
and 'Hung In A Bad Place', disappointingly the only two new track aired this evening - as at the recent 'Noize And Confusion' tour - are rather typical, strident hedonistic, bulldozers, with the latter snarling "God save my soul / He gave me rock and roll".

Both offer brief glimpses of how the new Oasis material will sound, and the time when we discover whether the band can finally start to live for the future, rather than being marooned by past glories, is at hand.

The Gallagher brothers, who have already been made to look rather cumbersome and out of time in the wake of any number of recent rock discoveries, really need to conjure magic with the new material. Jagger and Richards would surely not have ducked such a challenge.

Ben Gilbert

London, Watford Coliseum, 05.02.2002 (Quelle: dotmusic.com)


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