"I've had a few coke fests 'round mine," Noel Gallagher deadpans during some between-song banter. And chances are that the legendary late-'90s cocaine-fuelled parties at his Supernova Heights home were a damn side wilder than Oasis' headlining slot at the Coke Zero Festival.
While the elder Gallagher ? guitarist, songwriter, brains of the operation ? once again proves he's the band's driving force, even noodling with his effects pedals to add just the right feedback to a song's dying seconds, his brother just can't be arsed. Staring at his shoes or some imperceptible point in the middle distance between songs, limiting his dialogue to the equivalent of "nice place", he's most active when scowling or skulking on and off stage. Disappearing during Noel's time at the mic ? for a storming 'Waiting For The Rapture', hardcore-fan favourite 'The Masterplan' and singalong 'Don't Look Back In Anger' ? Liam's main contribution is to look bored, annoyed and well 'ard.
Certainly providing a hint of tension ̬ when's he going to brain the cameraman with that tambourine? ? "our kid" (as Noel calls his younger brother) rarely removes his hands from behind his back as he spits outs questionable lines like "Tonight I'm a rock 'n roll star" and, more appropriately, " Need a little time to wake up". After sounding downright off-key during classics like 'Rock 'n Roll Star' and 'Morning Glory', his vocals (if not attitude) perk up during newies like 'The Shock Of The Lightning' before reaching a peak with the triumphant double-hitter of 'Supersonic' and 'Wonderwall'.
But it's too little, too late from Liam, who could only have shown more disinterest by staying home in Manchester. Pity, since with even the slightest effort he could truly be a magnetic frontman rather than an anoraked tosser with giant sideburns who undermines the hard work of his brother, the solid new drummer and the faceless other two.
In complete contrast to the couldn't-give-a-f**k attitude of Liam Gallagher is the obvious and infectious joy of Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody. Grinning at shouts from the crowd, prone to sprinklings of laughter as fans up front scream requests, and clearly surprised by the 10 000-strong backing vocals for 'Run' he's well up for it.
The band ? bolstered by a percussionist ? are tight and powerful, roaring (melodically of course) through foot-stompers like 'Hands Open' and 'Take Back The City' with far more muscle than suggested by the studio recordings. Even the slow burning anthems that ultimately explode into giant choruses (yes, 'Chasing Cars') rock harder and soar even higher than one might expect.
As Lightbody told me earlier in the day: "People who slag us off for 'Chasing Cars' only need to accidentally walk into one of our shows and they'll see that it's not even the half of it."
Performed with passion (take note, Liam), these are rousing songs for the heart, rather than the head, that are perfect for open air love-ins like this. Throw in a shameless bout of audience participation and Snow Patrol connect with the crowd in a way the headliners simply can't ? or just don't want to.