It’s the end of August and The Terrace Bar in Omagh plays host to Belfast based Oasis tribute band, ‘Roll With It’, who formed in 2013 to continue on the legacy left behind by Oasis.
As I take a seat at the bar, a constant stream of people can be seen entering the nearby door. The venue might be small, but the atmosphere is electric as the crowd can be heard singing along with Mark as he goes through ‘Some Might Say’ during sound check.
From the beginning, the band effortlessly imitates the swagger and stage presence that Oasis renowned for in their glory days. They perform a number of classics from the Oasis discography such as ‘Wonderwall’ from ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?’, along with ‘Live Forever’ and ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Star’ from ‘Definitely Maybe’ amongst others. They also perform a number of well known B-Sides such as ‘Half the World Away’ and ‘Acquiesce’ from ‘The Masterplan’. Each song is performed with care and attention to the original material which is important for a tribute band to strive for.
Mark is superb in his role as Liam Gallagher; who with tambourine in hand, effortlessly sings through the Oasis discography featured on the set list. He might have a Belfast accent, but he expertly transforms it into the iconic Manchester accent that Liam is associated with. All you need to do is close your eyes and you can picture Liam in his prime, except for the tabloid notoriety. The rest of the band is equally proficient; from their stage presence to the instrumentation skills, they effortlessly fit into their designated roles.
The chemistry within the band is evident as they can be seen to be enjoying themselves while covering the iconic material. I also found that the band paid attention to work on the smaller details, such as the backing vocals in the chorus of ‘Stand by Me’ which were superb. It is details like this that really separate mediocre tribute bands from what a tribute band is meant to represent. During the Noel sung ‘Little by Little’, Mark is able to take a moment’s breath and converse with the crowd, before returning to the stage for a rendition of ‘Whatever’. The band concludes their stellar set with ‘Champagne Supernova’ and their namesake song, ‘Roll With It’, which can only be described as a fitting and epic conclusion to already excellent night.
When starting a tribute band, there is more pressure than usual as there is already a greater expectation from the public and the band members themselves. This comes from the perception that any cover material must be performed as closely as possible to the original. Not only this, but the band’s stage presence must also mirror the chosen band as closely as possible also. If these are not correctly addressed, the tribute band simply becomes just another band playing cover material. From watching their performance, I believe that the band have taken this into consideration and have in turn, created an excellent representation of Oasis.
As the years progress, it is looking unlikely that the dedicated Oasis fan base will ever see the Gallagher brothers put their differences aside. Until the day that hell freezes over, take the time to see Roll With It in a venue near you as they are the closest thing you will ever see that resembles Oasis. Jason Gallagher, GiggingNI.com