Blitz of hits from Oasis

PROVING that arrogance and attitude will get you everywhere, Oasis swaggered into Dublin last night, holding aloft the golden…

PROVING that arrogance and attitude will get you everywhere, Oasis swaggered into Dublin last night, holding aloft the golden fleece of international pop success. It hasn't changed them, however, and the band delivered their usual no frills rock n roll roadshow with no concession to the showbiz ethic which usually infects artists who have "broken through".

Instead, Oasis gave the tans exactly what they wanted a fistful of fine songs for everybody to sing along to numbers like Supersonic, Some Might Say, Roll With It and Hello were tailor made terrace anthems for today's pop kids. Singer Liam Gallagher strutted to the mike with that cocky shuffle of his, placed his hands behind his back and belted out the lyrics with the ease of a footballer passing the ball, while big brother Noel banged out the stock riffs and standard solos. Bonehead and Guigsy kept the rhythm guitar and bass chugging away like any old gravy train, but drummer Alan White displayed the dynamics needed to match Noel's sparkling guitar work.

Shakermaker saw Liam acknowledging the song's similarity to a certain soft drinks ad by singing a verse of I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing, but, alas, there were no T. Rex out takes during Cigarettes And Alcohol. A brass section joined the band for a rousing Round Are Way, which segued nicely into a raucous Morning Glory. The best moment was yet to come, however, and Champagne Supernova popped the cork on yet another Noel Gallagher masterpiece. OK, it's probably as derivative as all his other songs, but, like each of his best tunes, it just clicks. The coda gives Noel a chance to really show his aptitude with an axe, and, as the song fades in a flurry of flanged soloing, Liam hops up on to the speaker stacks, temporarily disrupting his big brother's star turn.

Noel got to hog centre stage for a solo acoustic set, and it's here that the universal appeal of Oasis began to make sense. The crowd sang along with gusto to Whatever, then all but drowned Noel out as they joyfully joined in on Wonderwall. These are songs which have embedded themselves in pop's collective consciousness, and no matter what shapes Oasis may throw at awards ceremonies, or what ill considered remarks they make about rival Britpop bands, it can't change the fact that they write songs that people want to hear.


Noel's evening glory ended with a full electric rendition of Don't Look Back In Anger, after which Liam rejoined his brother for a return to the innocent optimism of long ago, two years ago to be exact, when Live Forever was just a hope and not a market forecast.

A dizzy, disjointed version of The Beatles' I Am The Walrus was the nearest Oasis got to sheer mayhem, Liam throwing drum sticks to the crowd while Noel cranked out the feedback on the guitar and the brass tried vainly to be heard over the cacophony.

Disappointingly, there was no encore, but then we didn't need one. Oasis are a comforting reminder that rock n roll can be constant, unchanging, uncomplicated, and whether they play a blinder or a hummer at least they reassure you that rock n roll stardom is just a cliche or two away.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist