Standing On The Edge Of The Noise (Apocalypse Sound AS 162)
Professionally shot rehearsal gig (Aug. 14, 2008, Black Island Studios, London) and professionally shot concert (Oct. 26 2008, The Roundhouse, London, England) from the tour supporting their seventh studio album, Dig Out Your Soul.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Star, The Shock of the Lightning, To Be Where’s There Life, Waiting For The Rapture, The Masterplan, Songbird, Slide Away, Ain’t Got Nothin’, The Importance of Being Idle, I’m Outta Time, Supersonic, Don’t Look Back in Anger, Falling Down.
Intro, Rock ‘n’ Roll Star, Lyla, The Shock of the Lightning, Cigarettes and Alcohol, The Meaning of Soul, To Be Where There’s Life, Waiting For The Rapture, The Masterplan, Songbird, Slide Away, Morning Glory, Ain’t Got Nothin’, The Importance of Being Idle, I’m Outta Time, Wonderwall, Supersonic, Don’t Look Back In Anger, Falling Down, Champagne Supernova, I Am The Walrus.
Suppose you’re a band such as Oasis, where your formerly raved-up fans are home having babies, you’re 15 years into a ride from Zeppelin-like heights to brawling-in-the-tabloids fodder, and your very relevance is being questioned. So what do you do? You go back to what you were doing and blow the roof off.
For Oasis diehards, recording No. 7 — Dig Out Your Soul — is a return to all that’s good, and for folks who think 1994’s Definitely Maybe (the band’s debut) is actually a greatest hits album, the DVD “Standing on the Edge of the Noise” (Apocalypse Sound), shows how to combine the sneering, the posing — and a full-fledged choir! — into a textbook for wanna-be rockers. Greatness needs a yardstick, and Noel and Liam Gallagher provide it here.
The DVD combines a rehearsal gig and a live performance, which, in this case, provides different versions of different versions (including the mellowed “Don’t Look Back In Anger”) Adding a 50-member choir isn’t what you might expect with a tune like “The MasterPlan,” but it adds a nice Radiohead kind of touch to things (which is either a high compliment or utter blasphemy, considering on your level of Oasis-ification.).
Because, let’s face it, the band usually referenced with Oasis is the Beatles, and here the lads do not disappoint. Aside from a dandy version of “I am the Walrus” (complete with a chorus melding the Beatles and Beethoven into a wall of guitar fuzz) there’s the Gem Archer written “To Be Where There’s Life,” which would sound at home on the White Album. And for those keeping track, in the lyrics for “Shock of the Lightning,” be advised you’re in for a “magical mystery.”
The biggest Beatles-related news from this tour is that drummer Zak Starkey, Ringo Starr’s son, is gone. This not only eliminates a level of obsessive weirdness, it adds a talent upgrade in Chris Sharrock. One UK reviewer from this tour described Sharrock as Keith Moon, only sober. That’s a bit overstated, but it’s certainly descriptive.
Collectors will appreciate the shout-out to Daniel Craig in the Roundhouse audience, and Noel’s suggestion, along with a few bars of the James Bond theme, to have Craig play him in the Oasis biopic. Certainly could do worse. As to who would play Liam, well, you need someone who can hitch his thumbs inside his back pockets while haunched in front of the mike, someone who can totally leave the stage while his brother is singing, someone who can be a total dick about things while still being the yardstick of a rock ‘n’ roll star. There’s utterly no chemistry onstage, and in an odd way, it’s just perfect.
The production values in this DVD are outstanding, and it’s quite revealing to watch the audience singing along on numbers such as “Champagne Supernova.” That audience is older now and presumably wiser, yet they still pour it out for the band largely condemned to be over-analyzed by critics for all their Beatle-esque touches.
Perhaps those critics should remember the Beatles were the rare case where the best was actually the most popular, and that, as the fans show on this wonderful collection, sometimes a sitar is more than an homage, that sometimes, it’s the perfect entrance point to a wonderfully crafted song. “Falling Down” tears down the house in both performances because it’s straight-up, guitar-driven rock driven by an outstanding rhythm section. It’s a new song that sounds like old Oasis, and perhaps that’s the point driven home by “Standing On The Edge Of The Noise.” This band doesn’t stand or fall on its own merits. It soars. And you can watch it all here live.
So enjoy a smashing version of “Champagne Supernova,” and think of its first line: “How many special people change?” Here are two who haven’t, and for that, rock fans should be glad.