WARNING! If you are offended by the ‘word’ that is “fook”, you may wish to go somewhere else pretty much right now. There will also be a certain cook that will be rather upset...
Quick - he’s in the loo (again)...
It seemed like such a simple plan at the time. In our continuing quest to go the extra mile for our DVD.net readers, I was going to pop over to London, get dressed up to the nines, hit the Met Bar and pick up Liam Gallagher simply to get a few comments for this review of a DVD from the band that has ten arms, ten legs and eight eyebrows – Oasis.
The London bit wasn’t a drama, nor was the dolled up bit – and naturally I just swanned my way into the Met Bar without a hitch. Sure enough there was Liam – a couple of eyelash bats and I had him in my tractor beam... a quick “seeya Nicole” from him later and now I can’t seem to get rid of him! Even changing my return flight to Cathay Pacific didn’t work – he must have managed to pass for a dog or something and followed me from within the freight hold. It’s cool though, I got onto his brother Noel and he’s on his way – maybe he’s gonna be the one to save me... oh, hello Liam!
“’Ere, wot the fook are ya doin’ there, Amy?”
“Actually I’m writing that review of you and your band’s (editor’s note: nice politics there) DVD called Live By the Sea – you know, that gig you did at the Southend Cliffs Pavillion back in April 1995?”
“Wot the fook’s a DVD then? Looks like a fookin’ CD to me, dunnit?”
“Well, it’s kind of like a video tape, but they squish it and squash it until it’s round and LOOKS like a CD...”
“I’ll put it on for you if you like, sweetie – there we go...”
“Yeah! It’s got pictures an’ everything!”
Right, so anyway... Live By the Sea is a great opportunity to catch a band who, despite their penchant for fisticuffs and other media-baiting shenanigans since, are definitely one of the greater rock bands to have emerged in the last ten years – and to catch them in their infancy. Recorded not long after the release of that first album, Definitely Maybe, which had music writers wearing out their ‘Z’ keys as they rediscovered the word ‘zeitgeist’...
“Oi, Amy! Who’s that ugly fookin’ curly-headed twat playin’ drums? He doesn’ look like Whitey!”
“That’s Tony McCarroll dear – you sacked him not long afterwards...”
“Serves him roit, he’s fookin’ crap, in-e?... ‘ey, who’s that playin’ the four stringed guitar thingy that sounds all bassy? And who’s that coont playin’ guitar?”
“Ah, that’s Paul McGuigan on bass – you got rid of him too – as for the guitarist, does he have one eyebrow or two?”
“Umm, one, two... two... two... erm, TWO!”
“Well, that would be Bonehead then – he left too – then you got that guy from Ride and the one from Heavy Stereo in...”
“Heavy fookin’ Stereo? What a fookin’ pansy name! At least Oasis isn’t wet...”
“Right dear – hey, Columbia’s on...”
“Ooh yeah! Alright!
Sigh. Where on earth was I? Oh yes – look, I’d better be quick - Definitely Maybe rocked, and this concert gives us all but two of the tracks off the album, one glaring omission being the single Shakermaker, which sounded an awful lot like I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing...
(Amy jumps and screams in fright)
“Whaddya fookin’ mean it sounds like that poofy song? What happened, roit, was the New fookin’ Seekers jumped in that tardis thingummywhatsit that that Doctor guy – er, doctor, who? I dunno, anyway – they came and nicked OUR fookin’ song, took it back to the fookin’ daggy ‘70s, and caused us so much fookin’ grief later on – as if we’d rip people off - googoogajoob. Seriously, like Nowaysis – what the fook was that all about?”
“Hon, I’m trying to write here – ooh, Some Might Say is on – YAY!”
(Actually, that’s an Ash song – same producer though...) Sorry, you can’t honestly expect me to concentrate here! Umm... Look, it’s a great gig, complete with flubs – Noel breaks from his perma-sneer long enough to forget the words to D’yer Wanna Be a Spaceman during his acoustic spot and packs it in half way through - lots of rock speak (well, Liam mumbles “fanks a lot”, erm, a lot), the inevitable Beatles cover and most importantly a swag of top tunes from a kick-arse rock band in their prime – before the drugs, drunkenness, wives and possibly maybe definitely kind of sort of the egos got in the way and brought us such unmitigated shite as Be Here Now...
“Oi Amy – you and I gonna live for-e-ver!”
“Umm, thanks Liamikins, that’s sweet...”
Hmm, full frame and hence non-anamorphic...
“Anna Morphic, who the fook’s she?”
“It’s a nerdy word sweetie...”
“Is she cute?”
“Erm, umm... hey, isn’t Acquiesce a top tune?”
(Deep breath) – it was all shot on the rather ineptly titled “super” 8, and hence is as grainy as foo... erm, it’s very grainy throughout. Full of Batman angles and startlingly bright coloured lights, it captures a great rock gig really well, but if you’re expecting great vision you’ll be sorely disappointed. Detail is minimal at most times with what essentially amounts to a gauze-like effect over everything, blacks are more dulled greys and there are a few spots...
“Oi, I’ve got spots on me...”
“I DON’T wanna know!”
This is what really counts, and sadly as much as the disc’s promotional guff declares there’s a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, all that’s here is a Linear PCM one. Still, it captures the Oasis wall of sound well, and is murky enough to tell us straight from the start that their producer of the day, Owen ‘Wall of Mud’ Morris, was twiddling the knob...
“I’ve got one of th...”
“That’s a fookin James song ya daft slapper! Right city but... MAN-CHES-TAAAHHHH!”
(Calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean... PLEASE hurry up Noel...)
It comes complete with the typical buzzes and hums you expect from a rock gig and is still fairly impressive despite a lack of surround or subwoofwoof activity. Pleasingly it’s all synched well too...
Ooh, the peanut gallery remains silent...
“’ere, did you say you’ve got peanuts?”
“Umm, I only typed the word hon...” (Spooky!)
In all this 80-minute gig is a fabulous opportunity to catch Oasis in their prime, and all complete with THAT Liam stance® - which reminds me...
“Why DO you stand like that with your hands behind your back the whole gig?”
”Haha, silly Amy! It’s so me fookin’ poo doesn’t fall out, innit?”
Oh goodness, how do I follow that? Umm – look, just don’t expect incredible vision or audio and you’ll do alright with this release. The more casual observer may prefer to pick up one of their later DVD releases such as Familiar to Millions, but then you’ll also be saddled with their later songs, so I’ll leave that decision up to y...
Ooh, my doorbell – hang on...
“Noel! Hey, hey! My, my it’s SO good to see you!”
“Mmm, yeah, Amy is it? Phwoar, you’re a bit of awright... Fancy a quick sh...”