Liam Gallagher, Gem Archer & Andy Bell - Melody Maker - 28th June 2000
Prior to their headlining set, all five members of the band, including new guitarist Matt Deighton, sat backstage in the hospitality area, chatting to each other and looking relaxed.Liam gave a short interview to European MTV and seemed happy both before and after the gig to speak to journalists and others who asked for pictures and autographs.
For the most part, though, the privacy of the band was respected and they were generally left to themselves. Liam's comments to Melody Maker were typically forthright. When asked how the tour was going, he replied, "Yeah, pretty well, considering. We know what we're doing, d'y'know what I mean? We're not f***ing idiots. We've been doing this for 1O years now."
Asked if he was planning on writing new material of his own, he said, incredulously, "Am I planning on it. Yeah, man, I've already done it. Of course I have. What's it like? It's just really good. I love it, and that's what matters. And it's honest, and it's good." Perhaps still feeling the sting of the lukewarm reception accorded to "Little James", he added: "You'll probably hate it. But never mind."
The set, which included songs from all four oasis albums, found Liam effortlessly confident, communicating more with the audience and looking completely at home onstage - as he has been at all of the European gigs since Noel's departure.He said of the 15,000-strong audience's "Oasis!" chant: "it sounds like, OAPs', man! We're youngsters!" and introduced "Cigarettes And Alcohol" by saying, "This is for all the people from England, if there is any."
Liam briefly removed his sunglasses at one point to contemplate the crowd, at other times straddling the microphone stand, puffing his crescent tambourine between his teeth like an enormous grin, and holding up a Heineken towel with a smirk (although not all at once!).
He altered the lyrics to "Roll With it, to sing, "Don't lot any f***er get in your way", and thanked the audience more than once for their applause. The band played cautiously and consistently, Gem taking most of the lead parts, while Matt Deighton played rhythm. However, they took the end of "Cigarettes And Alcohol" into a jam involving the riff from Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" and a reprise of "F***in' In The Bushes" (itself reminiscent of Zeppelin's "The Immigrant Song").
Backstage after the gig, the atmosphere and circumstances were much as they had been before, with the band returning to the same table in the hospitality room and celebrating well into the early hours, remaining after most others had left.
The band seemed unanimously pleased with the performance. Guitarist Gem Archer, asked for his verdict on the show, laughed, "Not guilty!", then admitted, "I loved it. I love it every night. Some nights more than others, but I love it every night."
Bassist Andy Bell was similarly passionate, enthusing: "it was great, it's always great, but I thought the encore tonight ["Champagne Supernova and "Rock'N'Roll Star"] was just that bit special."
Liam seemed in a sociable mood, but when asked how he thought the gig had gone, he shrugged: "it was all right. But it's never gonna be the some, is it?" He then broke into a brief rendition of the chorus of "Hello", the opening track on "(What's The Story) Morning Glory?", singing the line, "It's never gonna be the same".
Primal Scream's Mani had no doubts that Liam could carry Oasis on his own if need be. "Course he can! He's a big personality. Easy! Piece of piss for him, that. I can understand why Noel did it, as well, he's got a young kid and he wants to spend time at home. Once you've done them European tours eight times, it must really get on your tits. He'll be all right. Don't worry about Oasis."