Just when you thought old-fashioned Brit pop was dead, along comes Beady Eye, the spinoff group from long parched Oasis.
At Webster Hall, making their New York debut Thursday, Beady Eye did look a lot like Oasis. Liam Gallagher was at the mike passionately bleating through Beatle-esque melodies. The old Oasis guitar team of Andy Bell and Gem Archer flank- ed the singer, but there was no sign of Oasis' chief songsmith, Noel Gallagher, who quit his brother and the band in 2009, saying, "I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer."
Despite the members and a sound that still recalls Lennon/McCartney references in the melodies, Beady Eye isn't Oasis. And that's both good and bad.
It's bad because they don't have a towering, unforgettable tune such as "Champagne Supernova" yet. Still, in the Noel-less formation the music has a vibrancy that was missing from Oasis in the later years, when the group seemed to grow complacent as the kings of Brit pop. At Webster, Beady Eye seemed hungry, and songs such as the pumped-up rocker "Bringing the Light" -- dedicated to New York -- had aggressive three-chord punk power. Here the lushness of Oasis was replaced with edgy attitude. The cherry on top was the end-song thunder by band member Chris Sharrock, one of the best-known drummers out of the UK.
The same power was generated in the songs "Standing on the Edge of Noise" and "The Roller." On the latter, Gallagher's voice took on the tone and phrasing of "Instant Karma"-era Lennon.
The band's stylistic reach is wide. Besides the straight-up arena rock material that dominated the set, there were blues-based boogies and even a couple of songs with a paisley streak of psychedelics, best heard in "The Morning Son," the band's trippy tune before the encore that was punctuated with a stroboscopic light show.
Where Beady Eye were less successful was when they turned in the midtempo power-rock ballad "Kill for a Dream." It started with a load of promise on the wings of a Bowie-based melody, but as it trudged on, it sapped momentum out of what was otherwise a building rock show. Also, because it was slower, it accentuated Gallagher's tendency to slip out of key.
Gallagher remained a stoic figure, standing center stage, planted as if he's made of marble. He was chattier than in the past, but his English accent is thick. Still, from the words that didn't sound like Popeye's drunken mumblings, he seemed to say he was having fun with his new band.