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The Review - MUSIC - grooves with RóISíN GADELRAB
Published: 30 July 2009

Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher
Liam still a ruck ’n’ roll star



LIAM Gallagher rampaged, his brother smiled patiently, Kasabian’s Tom Meighan swaggered, Kanye squeezed in on the act, Bat for Lashes was barefoot and Morten Harket smouldered.
Yes, the Roundhouse iTunes Festival has been a month of madness. You’ve seen our reviews for Jamie T, Passion Pit, Franz Ferdinand et al so here’s the best of the rest.
Liam Gallagher got off on the wrong foot almost immediately when someone threw beer at him. Not even through the first song, he was on his knees wiping his stage with a towel. Oasis played on but Liam was off, furiously eyeballing the crowds, wandering on and offstage. He injected fury into his every word, at times seeming to refuse to sing, making the band wait while he enjoyed sipping his water. He infused his songs with angry lyrics, turning Songbird, written for his beloved Nicole, into a snarling aside. But give him his due, he could have played for the contracted 45 minutes but Oasis stuck it out for two hours and the edgy atmosphere only added to the excitement.
The next evening, Kasabian gave a gargantuan performance. But after Liam, Tom Meighan looked genuinely good-natured. He still strode around like he owned the world, but unable to stop smiling and loving every second, with faithful Serge standing by to complete an unconquerable partnership.
Our own Graham Coxon played the next night, giving us a magical, enchanting selection from his new album The Spinning Top. Bloc Party squeezed a festival-sized performance into the Roundhouse, with often dazzling visuals behind them. A set from across their back catalogue showed how the band have pulled off the tricky feat of evolving musically in a more electro-dance direction without losing their way.
Early songs like Blue Light and This Modern Love sat happily next to Hunting for Witches and The Prayer, and new single One More Chance.
Bat for Lashes came with great support from Polly Scattergood, an unassuming lady with pink plumage set against a silver glitterball dress.
Bat for Lashes upped the presence, Natasha entering the stage to immediately take off her boots so she could dance barefoot. She pranced through songs from her albums of Fur and Gold and Two Suns. Solo Prescilla was superb, her voice haunting and mesmerising.
A-ha, although originally dismissed as an 80s boy band, have since become a group of universal appeal.
With a set as sharp as Morten Harket’s cheekbones, highlights included Scoundrel Days, Stay on These Roads, Summer Moved On and new release Foot of the Mountain.
Magne, Paul and Morten (particularly) have clearly made some kind of Dorian Gray-style pact for eternal beauty.
The one hint of trouble in paradise occurred during Hunting High and Low. Magne’s keyboard playing got a bit too slow – so they stopped, had a chuckle about it and started up again. It was actually reassuring to see that they aren’t quite perfect – just very close.

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