Oasis – Lord Don’t Slow Me Down (Sony Music) The British big mouths come back with a tasty tour diary documenting their 2005 tour in support of Don’t Believe the Truth and prove there’s more to them than fights and outrageous press quotes.
We understand, you know. Oasis fans know why you don’t like the band. We know that they’re all attitude and that their music veers awfully close to parody of classic British bands of yesteryear. We get that the Gallagher brothers’ drama and arrogance wears thin on most people. Yes, we get it. We just think you’re being uptight dicks about it.
Lord Don’t Slow Me Down is the concert diary of the band’s 2005 world tour supporting their sixth studio album, Don’t Believe the Truth. The film is marketed as a documentary but it’s hardly that. If you had never heard of Oasis before seeing the movie you’d never know after watching it that the only remaining founding members are Noel and Liam Gallagher, that they were instrumental in a massive British music resurgence in the mid-1990s, that they helped get Tony Blair elected as Prime Minister (and then subsequently snubbed), or that this tour was for an album that ranks as one of their best since their 1995 breakout, What’s the Story Morning Glory, which catapulted the band to enormous success and established them as the rock and roll stars they live up to every day. All you’d know after watching the film is that Oasis is a band of British mush mouths who have a lot of fans and are clearly bored with the media trappings that are required to support a world tour in this day and age.
But for fans of Oasis, this is pure gold. Disk One is a black and white peek into the daily touring lives of the most contentious rock band in decades. You get to see how First Chair bandmate Noel has to deal with drunken fans who don’t know how to graciously exit a backstage party without gulping everything in sight and then demanding a photo with both Gallaghers, lest it be less than the “whole shebang.” You also see Second Chair Liam get pissy when berating his older brother for doing another music tabloid cover story without him. Liam makes it very clear that his musically prodigious brother would be nowhere without the distinctive whine and growl of his younger brother’s voice to give the songs that edge that makes them hits.
“Show some fucking respect.”
It’s not all bitching and complaining though. In fact, most of the film shows the Gallaghers getting along just fine and showing mutual respect while deflecting the never-ending questions from lazy journalists and morning zoo goobers who know nothing more of the band than the sometimes combative relationship of its fraternal front men. Want to know why some rock stars come off as douche bags when having to answer an innocuous question? Watch Liam Gallagher answer yet again if he hates his brother, the man he’s grown up with and who has given voice to the songs that have put both men in the pantheon of British rock bands…all while making a pretty penny.
“I love my brother, he knows that.”
For those who don’t quite get Oasis, take a gander at the concert footage on Disk Two. Pulling in elements from 50 years of British rock and roll history, Oasis is confounding on stage. The hooks and melodies are sometimes lifted directly from 1965 while the volume and attitude is firmly seated in 1977. It’s hard to believe that the band who is standing nearly stone still on stage—a nod to their not too distant shoe gazer past—is making this kind of racket and inciting this kind of madness in the crowd. Rather than jump around like some sort of lunatic between verses, Liam Gallagher steps back from the mic and glares at the crowd as if to say, “what have you got for me?” He often strikes the pose of the working class tough in a party waiting for a fight to break out. He may not necessarily jump in but he’s hoping for violence just the same. It is this detached cool that seems to egg on the actual toughs in the crowd who crowd and clamor for their hero’s attention and basically provide the agro entertainment he’s looking for in the first place.
Lord Don’t Slow Me Down isn’t Don’t Look Back or The Song Remains the Same and thank god. I don’t need to understand the psyche of the Gallagher brothers or see how their career is arcing before our very eyes. Sometimes I just need to grab a pint and sing at the top of my lungs. You should too. I mean really, loosen up.
Video: Oasis – “The Importance Of Being Idle” (Great video for my favorite track from the last album. Another Noel-sung gem.–DP)