x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Fans pack Yas venue for Beady Eye

Liam Gallagher and his band Beady Eye make their UAE debut at Abu Dhabi's Flash Forum on Yas Island last night.

Liam Gallagher performs last night at the Flash Forum on Yas Island.
Liam Gallagher performs last night at the Flash Forum on Yas Island.

ABU DHABI // The award to the sweatiest man at the Beady Eye concert goes to… Liam Gallagher.

Despite the impressive air conditioning in the huge Flash Forum tent on Yas Island on Friday night, the outspoken singer's outfit choice of a zipped up jacket was still rather daring. And just quarter of an hour after swaggering onto the stage, hands behind his back, in his own unmistakable fashion, the tell-tale damp patches were beginning to show around his shoulders.

An hour later, having blasted through almost the entire content of Beady Eye's debut (and only) album, Different Gear, Still Speeding, and come on for an encore, the battle between light and dark on Gallagher’s coat had been lost altogether.

"The heat was a bit of a shock when we first arrived on Thursday," said Andy Bell, Beady Eye's guitarist speaking before the gig, admitting that the band had spent their brief time in Abu Dhabi living in constant refrigeration. Thankfully, the temperature wasn't enough to ward off the crowd, who began arriving slowly to the 5,000 capacity venue but had nearly packed it out by the time Beady Eye arrived on stage, following support from local band Beat Antenna.

And although there weren’t any Gallagher-esque cagoules or parka jackets on display, among the masses there were a few Manchester City football shirts and least one T-shirt with a picture of John Lennon.

Having opened with the track Four Letter Word, Beady Eye blasted straight into Beatles and Stones, a song whose title almost defines the band’s sound, blending two of Gallagher’s strongest musical influences. And, as promised, throughout the entire set, absolutely no Oasis was played.

Usually somewhat verbose on the subject, Liam opted to keep quiet regarding his former band, which broke up in 2009 after his older brother Noel left. Liam went on to form Beady Eye with the remaining bandmates, while Noel has gone on to pursue his own solo career, something that Liam has also poured scorn upon.

"I don’t actually know Beady Eye that well," said one member of the crowd, Ian Dickenson, from inside the Flash Forum's fan pit. "I’m really just here because of Oasis."

Thankfully, there were enough people singing along to the words to indicate that not all were here to celebrate Gallagher's previous musical endeavours.

However, there were some there who had no idea what they were listening to. "Beady who?" asked the man next to me after I'd enquired whether he was a fan. "Beady Eye. The band on tonight. It’s fronted by Liam Gallagher. From Oasis." I fired back, hoping to jog his memory. "Never heard of him. I’m just here because someone gave me their ticket."