Thursday, December 13, 2007

DVD Review: Lord Don't Slow Me Down

Lord Don't Slow Me Down
Directed by Baillie Walsh

Last month, Oasis released the road film DVD, Lord Don’t Slow Me Down stateside here in the US. A document of their extensive 2005/06 world tour in support of their 05 release, Don’t Believe the Truth, Oasis allow fans access to the offstage shenanigans of the band and their entourage, as well as the absurdity of life on the road as they streak across Europe, Asia, the USA and Down Under.

By now, either you get Oasis or you don’t, so if you’ve never liked Oasis, this film will do nothing to alter that perception. All the mugging and posturing that Noel and Liam Gallagher do for the press should be taken, in Noel’s own words, “with a huge pinch of salt.” That said, the coked out excesses and tabloid fodder of the mid 90s has been replaced by a band more concerned with putting on a grand show and taking the piss with their mates backstage.

The live footage is superbly shot and the current configuration of the band (including drummer Zak Starkey, guitarist Gem Archer, and bassist Andy Bell ) shows that Oasis can actually play. Despite the fact the band plays the identical setlist night after night, and the fact that Liams voice can either sound good or like a frog has taken a shit in his throat, Oasis have their show dialed in for the throngs of faithful that populate the gigs.

Fans looking for a diary of road debauchery will be sorely disappointed. What you’ll see are band members celebrating each others birthdays (sometimes with midgets no less) as well as Noel and Liam Gallagher slogging through inane interview after interview. The backstage scenes are often hilarious for the verbal exchanges between band members and their Mancunian-stocked entourage, as well as for the mundane ways the band amuse themselves as they wait for show time.

Much like Radiohead’s torturous mediation on touring life, Meeting People is Easy, by the time Oasis reach Japan, the band is jet lagged/delirious and punch drunk, and the results include Noel almost dozing off in an interview and the brothers exchanging words with each other over dinner. But where Radiohead contemplated throwing in the towel, Oasis understands the therapeutic power of a fucking off for a few days and some ice cold beers. Calm is quickly restored and the band hit Australia and New Zealand for the final shows of the tour.

As a bonus, a second disc includes the entire show from their hometown show at the City of Manchester stadium. While the sound and footage is again top notch, Oasis is not the most exciting band to watch visually. The band stands near motionless while performing (Noel notes in the documentary that people seem to find this approach riveting) which leaves the editors to use many jump/quick cuts to spice up the action. A person can only enjoy Liam mugging for the crowd for so long (Liam would most likely disagree at this statement), but give the band credit for not sticking with a greatest hits setlist and giving fans many cuts off recent albums Don’t Believe the Truth and Heathen Chemistry.

So if you’re a fooking fan, grab a fresh pint of Guinness, light up a fag, and crank up Lord Don’t Slow Me Down on the home theater.

No comments: