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The Office's Rainn Wilson: Ryan Adams Should Join Oasis
I don’t normally pay attention to the Twitter musings of actors, but we need to keep a keen eye on The Office’s Rainn Wilson because the guy’s attempting to meddle in music for the second time in recent memory and last time Weezer ended up with a quite unfortunate album title. As we all know by now, Noel Gallagher has quit Oasis following a last straw row with his brother, Liam, and the band has split. Here’s what Wilson had to tweet on the subject:
“Liam. You should grab Ryan Adams. He does y’alls songs better.” He then posted a link to Adams’ Grammy-nominated cover of “Wonderwall,” by Oasis.
I’m sure he’s joking, but nerdy rockers are sometimes powerless against Wilson’s charms. Here’s what Rivers Cuomo said just the other day on how Weezer named their 7th LP (via Pitchfork): [Rainn Wilson] has a super-rock persona. When it came time to find a title for the Weezer album, I asked him what he thought the ultimate album title would be, and he said ‘Raditude.’”
A collaboration between Ryan Adams and one of the Gallagher brothers wouldn’t be that random actually, as Adams did join Oasis for a successful (read: drama-free) tour last year, but he seems like more of a Noel man to me. I’ll spare you my opinion, but once I’m on a hit show, I’ll be tweeting all about it.
What next for Britpop's most conspicuous under-achiever asks John Tatlock. Maybe Amorphous Androgynous point the way forward
It’s 1992, down a Manchester city centre back-street called Little Peter Street. You are leaving The Boardwalk, a combined rehearsal room and gig venue, where local bands play to small crowds alongside better known alternative acts from further afield – Sonic Youth, Husker Du and the like – while Fridays are given over to ex-Hacienda DJ Dave Haslam’s superb Yellow night, a no-rules mish-mash of soul, house and guitar bands. Maybe you’ll be up there later; you often drag the rest of the lads along too.
You turn left, then left again, then right onto Whitworth Street and observe the queue snaking along the opposite corner and into The Hacienda, perhaps past its peak, but still pumping out cutting edge dance and techno sounds to packed crowds. You walk straight ahead and pass The Venue on your left, a gnarly indie / punk club and The Brickhouse on your right, still hosting an assortment of cracking disco and soul nights.
Cross Oxford Road and arrive at the entrance of India House. You put down your guitar case and fumble in your pocket for your keys. You are Noel Gallagher and your walk home from rehearsal through the city centre has taken around four or five minutes, maximum. Maybe you could stay in tonight, or maybe head out for a drink a couple of minutes away in any of the venues you’ve just passed. Or head on out to the student boozers down Oxford Road for some indie sounds, or up to Legends (where the Mondays filmed the video to ‘Wrote For Luck’), or maybe even out to one of the new mixed gay / straight bars that appearing in Canal Street round the corner for a bit of cheesy Italo house.
You don’t mind a bit of that stuff, there are some great tunes; especially ‘Feel The Groove’ by Cartouche, brilliant. You’ve had the band rehearsing a cover version of that lately, just a repetition of the “Better let you know / it’s time for you to go” line over a mental wall of My Bloody Valentine feedback and Stooges riffing, but none of them like it, and it’s soon to be dropped from the set.
Anyway, whatever you decide to do, there’s pretty much any kind of music you can think of being played loud within a short walk, and you’re into it all.
Cartouche – 'Feel the Groove'
Oasis cover version – demo recording
Noel Gallagher has always been great at spinning a myth, and Oasis’s four-or-five-ordinary-lads-from-Burnage-who-shook-the-world back story has certainly played well in the papers over the years. The thing is, while that’s a roughly accurate description of the rest of the band, it barely describes Noel, who had got out of the (actually quite leafy and pleasant) suburb and right into the city centre music-biz action years previously.
India House was, and remains, something of a key institution for sharp youngsters on the make in Manchester. Adapted from an old warehouse into social housing flats, long before the current fad for city centre living, it provided a means of being right in the middle of the city action, but incredibly cheaply and with a landlord sympathetic to the fluctuating incomes of people struggling away in bands, promoting club nights and working in the theatre. (All of which could be supplemented with signing on the dole and a bit of low level drug dealing, if so desired.)
The flats themselves are not palatial, but are a much nicer proposition from the kind of high rise horror it’s all to easy to end up in in such circumstances. There are some nutters in there for sure, but the tenant list over the years has somewhat suspiciously favoured the city’s well-connected hipsters, including members of The Doves and Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown. The whisper around town has always been that if you know who to ask, and how to ask, you can get bumped up the waiting list.
Whether there’s any truth to that rumour or not, there was a certain cut-price boy-or-girl-about-town bohemian lifestyle to be had, and Gallagher grabbed it with both hands. By ‘91 he was well connected with many Manchester music scene movers and shakers (if not quite aristocracy). Having worked regularly as part of the Inspiral Carpets road crew, he’d travelled widely with them and befriended people like Johnny Marr – an important early champion of Oasis – and Mark Coyle, the Carpets’ sound man who later go on to produce Oasis’s first album.
The point of all this, of course, isn’t to suggest that Noel is hiding some kind of privileged past, as you can do all the above and still be horribly skint. It’s rather to point out that there’s always been something somewhat frustrating about Oasis’s self-imposed we-only-make-proper-songs-on-proper-instruments-for-the-milkman-to-whistle stance, especially when you know what broad musical exposure and taste the elder Gallagher actually has.
In an odd piece of serendipity, at more or less exactly the moment on Friday 28th of August that Noel Gallagher was announcing his departure from Oasis, the presses were rolling out the following day’s Guardian Guide, containing an interview with Jay Z, in which Gallagher’s musical broad-mindedness was discussed.
Referring to the storm in a tea cup surrounding Jay Z’s headlining performance at the 2008 Glastonbury festival, and Gallagher’s petulant complaint that “Sorry, but Jay-Z? Fucking no chance. Glastonbury has a tradition of guitar music. . . I'm not having hip-hop at Glastonbury. It's wrong.” Jay Z avoided a war of words with the Oasis man, simply electing to hand Gallagher’s ass to him by turning in an all-time festival highlight show, cheekily opening with Oasis’s ‘Wonderwall’:
Over in the Daily Mail today I have a go at Oasis, the popular beat combo which has just split up. (Or so Noel Gallagher says, and since he’s the only one in the band who can write songs, that’ll be it till he changes his mind for the lucrative reunion tour).
To be honest, I probably don’t loathe Oasis quite as much as I make out in that article. When you’re writing polemic there isn’t much room for nuance like - “Well if someone put on Champagne Supernova right now I’d probably feel a pleasant nostalgic twinge for my lost youth” - which is more or less what I really think about Oasis: I’d never ever put on one of their records myself, but if someone else did I wouldn’t necessarily feel an intense urge to kill him.
But I very much stand by my main point which is that Oasis were derivative and overrated. Their second album (What’s The Story) Morning Glory remains the third bestselling album (after The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper and Queen’s Greatest Hits) in British pop history. Does anyone out there seriously still thinks it deserves a place even in the top 50? Personally, I wouldn’t even put it in my top 100.
It’s not that I don’t like Liam’s son-of-Lennon vocals (and I also like, incidentally, that way he had of placing his mic way too high so that he had to keep craning his neck upwards like a Gerenuk feeding on an acacia tree); and I do agree that a lot of Noel Gallagher’s compositions are very catchy. But there’s a reason for the last bit and it’s very simple: they all sound quite a bit like songs you already know, most of them written by the Beatles.
You might argue that originality is a much overrated virtue in pop, given that from Led Zeppelin borrowing from the blues and every heavy rock band ever borrowing from Led Zeppelin pop has always fed on itself. But to me a truly great band is one that disguises or alters the sound of its influences to the point where you no longer go: “Ohmygod, that is SUCH a rip off.” My true greats would definitely include Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, The Smiths, New Order, Kraftwerk and the Pet Shop Boys. They wouldn’t include Oasis.
So how did Oasis ever get to be quite so massive. Well hype, quotability and attitude clearly had a lot to do with it. But by far the most interesting theory on this is in a new book on the history of recorded sound (which I highly recommend: trainspotterish but lively and compulsively readable) by US journalist Greg Milner, called Perfecting Sound Forever.
Oasis’s career, he argues, coincided with the Nineties trend in studio recording techniques for “loudness” at all costs. By “loudness”, he means music which has been heavily “compressed” in the studio - removing most of the loud/soft dynamic range and instead making it sound like the kind of muddy wall of noise which comes across well in a crowded pub. It’s actually a form of musical brainwashing: stuff recorded like this is designed to lodge in the brain and achieve massive and overwhelming cultural domination. Which Oasis did most effectively.
But the effect this had on pop music generally was disastrous. As one muso purist - a Vermont studio engineer called Chris Johnson - has tried to demonstrate scientifically by comparing the most “culturally significant” albums of all time, the music we really like (as opposed to the stuff that is bombarded at us relentlessly till we succumb) is the stuff which has the greatest dynamic range . The top ones on Johnson’s list - led by the Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 and Led Zeppelin IV - are the ones with the biggest contrast between really loud and really soft. Oasis took us down a wrong alley. On the back of their success, every major label wanted to imitate that big, sludgy sound, in much the same way publishing companies try to replicate Dan Brown novels. Good commerce, maybe; but dreadful art.
The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers is urging warring Oasis brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher to put their feud behind them for the sake of their fans.
Guitarist Noel quit the band on Friday night after a vicious fight with Liam backstage at the Rock en Seine festival in Paris, France. Noel later explained his decision, revealing he had suffered "verbal and violent intimidation," and insisting the atmosphere in the group had become "intolerable."
The star's departure has thrown the band's future into doubt and The Killers singer Flowers is devastated by the news.
He is convinced the brothers should try to work through their issues so they can continue working together.
He says, "(It's) such a shame. They were a great band, iconic. The brothers should deal with their problems.The ones who pay are the fans."
Noel Gallagher leaving Oasis could be just what the band needs to pull itself out of its rut.
His departure gives the rest of the band chance to expand on their writing, hopefully moving into new areas. Or it could be that Noel who will surprise us. His work with Goldie, The Chemical Brothers and Cornershop shows he's not afraid to experiment. Maybe it will prove to be Oasis that was holding him back. Simon Franklin
Noel Gallagher quits Oasis, after the band falsely claimed him to be ill - isn't that how Geri Halliwell left the Spice Girls? They didn't last without her, and the Noel-free Oasis are also on a hiding to nothing. Dionne Jones
About five years ago, there was a story that Oasis were splitting up and Liam Gallagher would form a band with John Squire. If this story belatedly turns out true, Oasis with Squire would be interesting. Lefty G
The break-up of Oasis must be the biggest shock in showbiz since Peter Andre discovered that Katie Price enjoys taking her clothes off in front of other men.
I give them 18 months to allow Noel to get his solo albums out of the way, then they'll have the reunion tour. Perhaps Andy Bell could give us a Hurricane #1 reunion to keep us going, with Gem Archer reforming Heavy Stereo. DJ Gordy
I'd expect Liam Gallagher to continue Oasis. It was originally his band, before Noel came along and took the reins. My bet is Guigsy and Bonehead rejoin as the old team, while Gem joins Noel in his solo career and Andy Bell to reform Ride.
Liam's songs have improved over the years. Little James is embarrassing, but Songbird and Love Like A Bomb show talent. As one of Oasis' biggest fans, I'm gutted, but not surprised. DJ Dave
I'm in disbelief that Noel Gallagher has quit. At least maybe now we'll get twice the amount of albums from Noel solo and Oasis - it's the only plus I can think of. Aaron O'Neill
Oasis splitting up is terrible news. Or that's what I would have said if it had happened after Definitely Maybe. But as everything they've done since 1995 has been rubbish, it's great news. Bye, Noel, please don't bother to come back. Disco Stu
Oasis split because Noel Gallagher never forgave brother Liam for jokingly suggesting he was not the real dad of daughter Anais.
Noel flew at his brother after the comment about nine-year-old Anais - his daughter by ex-wife Meg Matthews.
Liam insisted it was meant as a joke, but Noel could never forget the insult, calling it "unforgivable".
On the band's website, Noel blamed "verbal and violent intimidation towards me, my family and comrades" as his reason for quitting.
And he thanked fans for giving him "glorious memories" and added: "It's been a f***ing pleasure."
An insider said of Liam's joke: "It was a dumb thing to say. They had a big fight when he made the gag. Noel went for him. He was in a blind fury. And he still hasn't calmed down."
The pair never managed to patch things up after the row - and Liam has never even met Noel's one-year-old son Donovan by girlfriend Sara MacDonald. Tensions built up during their recent world tour until a bust-up in Pairs led to Noel finally quitting band on Friday.
Now the warring brothers are set to fight each other again in the charts. Liam has been secretly recording tracks and already has songs ready to hit shops.
He knows it'll take Noel, 42, months to record his much-anticipated debut solo album. Liam, 36, reckons his effort will be so good it will destroy Noel's boast that he was the creative force in Oasis.
Liam told a friend: "If Noel thinks he can just walk away from me and the band then I will obliterate him. He'll be begging to rejoin my band."
Oasis's split was the big talking point at Reading. La Roux singer Elly Jackson said: "If I was Noel, I'd be a bit p****d off really. He wrote all the songs. Liam's just got an annoying voice."
Furious Oasis fans are demanding refunds after the band split amid a flurry of punches in the midst of their European tour.
Founding brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher traded blows in a vicious fight - in which Liam smashed Noel's guitar - just before they were due on stage at a festival in Paris on Friday night.
Noel then said the Rock en Seine gig was off and it was the end of Oasis, after making £52million from selling 50million records.
A backstage witness said of the fight: 'Liam was goading Noel constantly and then the two just snapped. There were proper punches and Liam smashed up one of Noel's guitars. Liam was like a man possessed. He was swearing constantly and was really angry.
'Medical staff were called, along with security. Noel got out of the ground as quickly as he could. This was a truly vicious fight - quite horrible.'
Scottish singer Amy Macdonald, who was also on the bill, wrote on her Twitter page: 'Oasis cancelled with one minute to stage time! Liam smashed Noel's guitar, huuuge fight!'
Noel said in a statement yesterday: 'The level of verbal and violent intimidation towards me, my family, friends and comrades has become intolerable.
'And the lack of support and understanding from my management and band mates has left me with no other option than to get me cape and seek pastures new.'
Now fans wanting refunds in France, Germany and Italy may be left out of pocket, with promoters insisting concerts will go ahead with acts like Kasabian and The Kooks replacing Oasis.
Rob Hart, 19, from Nottingham, spent more than £350 on a ticket, Eurostar and hotel package.
'A few pounds back won't compensate for missing Oasis,' he said. 'What happened was an absolute disgrace.'
Years of rancour between Mancunians Noel, 42, and Liam, 36, had been coming to the boil for weeks. Last week singer Liam said they travel on separate tour buses, no longer speak and only see each other on stage.
Last weekend the band pulled out of the V Festival in Chelmsford which they were meant to headline.
They have split before, though, first in 1994 when Liam sang different words to Live Forever, lampooning his brother.
Songwriter Noel once said of Liam: 'It's a good thing we don't live in the U.S. where guns are more accessible because I'd have blown his head off by now. The problem is that I can't fire him because me Ma would kill me.'
On the latest split he added: 'Dearly beloved, it is with a heavy heart and a sad face that I say this to you: As of Friday, I have been forced to leave the Manchester rock 'n' roll pop group Oasis.
'I would like firstly to offer my apologies to them kids in Paris who'd paid money and waited all day to see us only to be let down AGAIN by the band.
'Apologies are probably not enough, I know, but I'm afraid it's all I've got. 'While I'm on the subject, I'd like to say to the good people of V Festival that experienced the same thing: again, I can only apologise - although I don't know why, it was nothing to do with me.
'I was match fit and ready to be brilliant. Alas, other people in the group weren't up to it.
'I would like to thank all the Oasis fans all over the world. The last 18 years have been truly, truly amazing. A dream come true. I take with me glorious memories.
'Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a family and a football team to indulge. 'I'll see you somewhere down the road. It's been a ******* pleasure.'
Noel Gallagher's announcement last week that he was leaving Oasis brought to an end a long history of arguments and punch-ups that have bedevilled the Manchester band
Barcelona, 2000: Oasis have cancelled a gig, not because of anything to do with Liam or Noel Gallagher, but because drummer Alan White has hurt his arm. With the band out drinking in their downtime, singer Liam oversteps the mark with brother Noel, the group's guitarist and chief songwriter, going much further than the fraternal banter, mickey-taking and occasional outbreak of hostilities that has defined their relationship since the band formed in 1991. He questions the legitimacy of Anais, Noel's daughter by his former wife, Meg Mathews.
Noel is on top of Liam in an instant, punching him, splitting his lip. Afterwards, Noel leaves the tour, the rest of the band dragging themselves around Europe without him. But he does not leave for good. "I've never forgiven him because he's never apologised," said Noel in 2005, talking about the incident for the first time in Q magazine, the five-year silence on the matter an indication of the seriousness of the schism it opened between two people who had been at loggerheads since growing up together, sharing a bedroom in Burnage, Manchester. "He's my brother. I hope he's reading this and realises that. He's my brother but he's at arm's length until he apologises for what he's done."
Liam did apologise eventually and the pair patched things up, as they have done with every big bust-up since Liam hit Noel over the head with a tambourine on stage in Los Angeles in 1994, during their first US tour. Not for the last time, Noel threatened to call it a day.
He didn't of course. This time, though, his departure from a group who've spent the best part of two decades as the biggest in Britain is final, with 42-year-old Noel this time saying goodbye following a pre-gig row backstage in Paris on Friday night, minutes before the band were due to headline the Rock en Seine festival. There was no blood, but 36-year-old Liam is reported to have broken one of Noel's guitars during the fracas.
A spokesperson for the band declined to comment beyond the statement from Noel that quickly appeared on the official Oasis website: "It's with some sadness and great relief to tell you that I quit Oasis tonight. I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer."
By Saturday afternoon there seemed no doubt in the elder Gallagher's mind as he updated with a more substantial explanation. "The details are not important and of too great a number to list. But I feel you have the right to know the level of verbal and violent intimidation towards me, my family and friends and comrades has become intolerable," he said. "The lack of support and understanding from my management and band mates has left me with no other option than to get me cape and seek pastures new."
It is the "great relief" part of Noel's statement that is telling. In the past the Gallaghers had, like many highly successful rock stars who don't always get on, managed to maintain at least a working relationship in order to keep what remains a very lucrative show on the road. Even if much of the attendant compromise often seemed to be on the part of the level-headed, pragmatic Noel, the band's commander-in-chief. "People don't see what I've had to put up with for 30-odd years," Noel has said. "But also they don't see that if we keep the right distance it really works."
Superficially, this has been true of late. The band's current tour has been their biggest. Their last two albums, 2005's Don't Believe the Truth and last year's Dig Out Your Soul, have earned the best critical notices since their mid-90s peak.
While designed to keep the peace, keeping their distance may also have been part of the problem, enabling trouble to bubble up without being properly dealt with. Once the Gallaghers seemed to communicate, as brothers sometimes do, through face-to-face flare-ups. Interviewed together, they would egg each other on, aware that this was what even people who weren't Oasis fans were keen to read. (Or hear, with 1995's classic Wibbling Rivalry CD of Noel and Liam in a highly amusing interview with author and journalist John Harris definitely worth tracking down, especially now.)
"The first time I interviewed them it was clear that Noel was funny, but the sensible one, who knew when to keep his mouth shut," says Q journalist Michael Odell, who has spoken to Liam and Noel at least half a dozen times in recent years, and to whom Noel revealed the truth behind the Barcelona walkout. "Liam was wading in on Patsy Kensit and it was noticeable later on that Noel decided to play along, and they were unleashing volleys about everyone after that."
It has been hard to conclude that they talk much at all, except via the press. Perhaps it's just hindsight but, despite official insistence that whispers of a rift were nonsense, that it was actually business as usual, Oasis-style, the familiar Gallagher ding-dong quotes from the past few months' interviews seem to indicate something more aggressive.
"I don't like Liam," Noel again told Q in March, while revealing that even though both have wives and children, they almost never spend traditional family time together, suggesting a more fundamental aspect to the estrangement. There was further proof of this when Liam replied through the pages of the NME, announcing, "It takes more than blood to be my brother", and declaring: "He doesn't like me and I don't like him." Perhaps Noel summed up his position most succinctly back in February when he declared: "I am eternally spring but my brother Liam is like the blackest winter ever."
Noel has said it was Liam's drinking that often broke the detente, that tipped him over from funny to mean. It's unclear whether this was behind this latest falling out, but that seems unlikely – Liam has been on a health kick recently. Perhaps, as his statement suggests, Noel has simply had it with playing nice for the sake of the greater good. "Noel is the guy who's chained to the Tasmanian devil," says Danny Eccleston, consultant editor of Mojo. "A lifetime of that would wear you down. He's a smart guy, he's knows there's no Oasis without either of them. But maybe he's had enough now."
You can't say they haven't tried, though, to the extent that those around them have suffered while the pair attempted to work out their differences at epic length, with three drummers, two wives, a guitarist and a bassist left behind along the way. "It's a dysfunctional relationship where everyone else is a casualty," says Q's Michael Odell.
Now it seems they have grown too far apart to stomach even working together. In February 2008, while the band were finishing Dig Out Your Soul in Los Angeles, Liam disappeared back home for the weekend, marrying long-term partner Nicole Appleton without telling his colleagues, or inviting his brother, for fear it would all end up in the tabloids. "They had a major unreported bust-up that resulted in a couple of tracks not making it on the album, because Liam hadn't done his vocals," says author and Mojo journalist Pat Gilbert, who joined the band on tour last autumn. "I rarely saw them together then. Liam was living a completely separate life to the band."
There have also been hints of differences over the direction of the band, with conflict on the first day of recording Dig Out Your Soul as Liam reacted badly to the presence of keyboards, which might embellish the band's sound.
"He has an irrational fear of keyboards," explained Noel later. "This is the man who thought we had gone too dance when I wrote 'Wonderwall' because the drums didn't go boom-boom bap, boom-boom bap. Liam is very institutionalised by being in Oasis."
As the band's creative engine room, Noel has been sensitive to charges that the brothers have not evolved at the same rate as their peers, such as Blur's Damon Albarn or Radiohead. Liam isn't quite so bothered. "He's happy for them to be a tribute to their past," says Odell.
Initially long-term Oasis watchers were loth to jump to conclusions in the aftermath of Friday night, but it seems as if Noel now recording his often mooted solo album and Liam perhaps spending more time modelling his new line of smart casual clothing, Pretty Green, is where things are headed. In the past the brothers have always somehow managed to reconcile. "They probably will work together again eventually," said Alan McGee, who signed the band to his Creation label and knows their ups and downs better than most.
It certainly remains hard to imagine one on stage without the other, but Noel Gallagher, never a man to back down if he feels he is right, now seems set on a future without his brother. Oasis are no more, in fact they're already consigned to the past in the mind of the man who steered the ship. "I would like to thank all the Oasis fans, all over the world," Noel's second statement concluded. "The last 18 years have been truly, truly amazing… a dream come true. I take with me glorious memories. Now if you excuse me, I have a family and football team to indulge. I'll see you somewhere down the road."
Bloc Party's Kele Okereke made a joke about Noel Gallagher leaving Oasis during their Main Stage slot at Leeds Festival this evening.
The band were playing second from top of the bill on the stage, before Radiohead's scheduled headline slot, when the singer/guitarist mentioned Gallagher's decision to leave the Manchester band.
"How are we dealing with the news?" he said before 'Mercury', just past the set's halfway mark. "One of the great British institutions is no more. The final series of 'Big Brother'. Did you think I meant Oasis? Just kidding."
New York band were in dressing room next to Gallaghers
Vampire Weekend have spoken about the "altercation" within Oasis that led to Noel Gallagher quitting the band last night (August 28) in Paris.
As previously reported, the guitarist announced his departure from the band after an alleged fight between Noel and Liam Gallagher led to the band dropping out of headlining the Rock en Seine festival.
The Brooklyn band were also playing the event and had the dressing room next to the Manchester band where the incident occurred.
Keyboard player Rostam Batmanglij would not be drawn on the specifics but, speaking to NME.COM at the Leeds Festival, he said: "It's a story for Oasis to tell. We'd just come offstage. It was weird – you feel kind of good [having played], your mind is not in other people's problems. It was a strange time."
Drummer Chris Tomson added that many fans at the event took the news badly, after organisers announced there had been an "altercation" and that Oasis would not play.
"There were some people out in the crowd crying, we went and consoled them," he explained. "They put that sign on the screen, saying there's been an altercation in the band. We saw some people in the front row starting to cry. They were sad – they wanted to see Oasis."
Dearly beloved, it is with a heavy heart and a sad face that I say this to you this morning.
As of last Friday the 28th August, I have been forced to leave the Manchester rock'n'roll pop group Oasis.
The details are not important and of too great a number to list. But I feel you have the right to know that the level of verbal and violent intimidation towards me, my family, friends and comrades has become intolerable. And the lack of support and understanding from my management and band mates has left me with no other option than to get me cape and seek pastures new.
I would like firstly to offer my apologies to them kids in Paris who'd paid money and waited all day to see us only to be let down AGAIN by the band. Apologies are probably not enough, I know, but I'm afraid it's all I've got.
While I'm on the subject, I'd like to say to the good people of V Festival that experienced the same thing. Again, I can only apologise - although I don't know why, it was nothing to do with me. I was match fit and ready to be brilliant. Alas, other people in the group weren't up to it.
In closing I would like to thank all the Oasis fans, all over the world. The last 18 years have been truly, truly amazing (and I hate that word, but today is the one time I'll deem it appropriate). A dream come true. I take with me glorious memories.
Now, if you'll excuse me I have a family and a football team to indulge.
I'll see you somewhere down the road. It's been a fuckin' pleasure.
Could Noel Gallagher be serious about leaving Oasis? If so, this is the end of Britain's greatest ever rock'n'roll band.
Late last night, Noel Gallagher dropped a bombshell. After one scrap too many with brother Liam he announced that he'd had enough of life in Oasis. "It's with some sadness and great relief to tell you that I quit Oasis tonight," he posted on Oasisinet.com. "People will write and say what they like but I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer."
Critics will indeed write what they want, but there's no escaping the fact this probably signals the end of arguably Britain's greatest ever rock'n'roll band. It's telling that Noel ended his note not with a further dig at his brother, but with an apology to the fans for the two forthcoming gigs that will be cancelled. At the end of the day, Oasis were always a band for the fans rather than the many critics who've sniped at them since they formed at the start of the 1990s.
To a seasoned music critic, it was pretty easy to point out the uninspired chord patterns, the lumpen trad rock arrangements, the daft lyrics. To a 14 year old yet to be introduced to the way rock music could make you feel 600 foot tall, none of this mattered. Oasis – their music and their antics - changed the lives of an entire generation of young music fans like myself. Too young for the despair and nihilism of grunge, they arrived to show us how music could lift you up, inflate your ego, temporarily remove you from the grimness of your mundane surroundings. Rock'n'Roll Star, the opening track of their debut album Definitely Maybe, distilled this manifesto to perfection: "I live my life for the stars that shine/People say it's just a waste of time … Tonight, I'm a rock n roll star"
This was music that understood the importance of escape. And it's also telling that none of the songs Noel wrote after he'd escaped himself, from a life stuck in working class Burnage, came close to matching those early euphoric highs. Noel's lyrics on Definitely Maybe matched the mood of the country perfectly in the mid 90's. With the Tory stranglehold on politics loosening, we wanted to feel good about ourselves. We wanted to Live Forever, to get wasted on Cigarettes and Alcohol. Noel knew what it felt like to be trapped in a dead-end job but to still hold dreams that you could wriggle free to somewhere bigger and better.
I don't think I've genuinely liked an Oasis song since that early batch of songs. Their third album Be Here Now was a coke-bloated definition of the word overblown, and the band's subsequent clinging to the same trad-rock template ever since has been depressing. Oasis became a byword for predictability, for lack of invention. Yet they've still retained the same magic as a live band, and their interviews were frequently hilarious. I still laugh recalling how Liam told me that Bloc Party looked more like a panel on University Challenge than a band. Or how Noel quipped that the problem with Keane was that "the three biggest twats in any band are the singer, the keyboardist and the drummer".
Of course, not everyone's convinced Oasis are all over. I'm currently at Reading festival (this has been the year of big music stories breaking at festivals – have they no consideration for our reduced broadband capabilities?) and when the news spread some fans were convinced that this was nothing more than a brother's tiff. No doubt, they say, it was a rash decision, posted whilst Noel still gripped with rage. Yet nothing – not even the time Liam walked out on the eve of a critical US tour – has ever seemed as official as this. Back then, the band and the media revelled in the carnage. Now, Noel just seems fed up. And one thing is for sure, Oasis can't continue with just one Gallagher. We may just have lost one of the best rock'n'roll bands the world will ever see.
Bloc Party's Kele Okereke calls the Gallagher's 'inbred twins'
Bloc Party singer Kele Okereke called Noel and Liam Gallagher “inbred twins” after announcing live on stage at Rock en Seine that Oasis had pulled out last night (August 28).
Okereke and co. were promoted to the headline act at the French Festival after Oasis pulled out.
The Gallagher brothers had a huge rift, of course, which resulted in Noel sensationally quitting Oasis for good. It's alleged that Liam smashed Noel\'s guitar in the Parisian fracas.
On stage, Kele Okereke seemed highly amused at the news and told the crowd sarcastically: “So I'd like to take this moment to say \'ah that\'s a shame isn\'t it guys?' So I guess by default we are headlining.
“I'd like to to dedicate this next song (Mercury) to those who wanted to see, ah, those inbred twins (Noel and Liam).”
In 2007, Okereke called Oasis “the most overrated band of all time” and “luddites”.
He ranted to Uncut magazine: "They have had a totally negative and dangerous impact upon the state of British music... They claim to be inspired by The Beatles but - and this saddens me - they have failed to grasp that The Beatles were about constant change and evolution. Oasis are repetetive Luddites."
ZANI – It’s just half past midnight and news is slowly slipping through about the Oasis split
Alan McGee - It’s like the stones or something, it is probably because they have been through so much, they just thought they were never going to call it a day. But I think that the times we are living in, there seems to be a change in Consciousness whether they feel it or not, whether it seems to be happening
To the individual is immaterial nobody does anything they don’t want to do anymore. And if they are doing it, they must feel pretty bad because the majority of people would rather do something out of love than for the money. That seems to be from everybody from a electrician to a rock 'n' roll star. There is a change of Consciousness in the world, and things are falling away. We are in a different era then in the nineties and eighties, with things that would have Oasis together, and this era that we are approaching that is a reawakening of the consciousness. At the end of the day, if no one is enjoying it, then you break the band up, and I don’t see that Oasis are any different from anybody else , if they are not getting on then they are going to pull the plug.
ZANI – Do you think Oasis went on longer then they should of done, or do you think they had a little bit more longevity?
Alan McGee – To be honest, I thought that Oasis should have been in the Mercury top ten records. I think Glasvegas should win it, I think their last album was their best since Morning Glory. I like "Be Here Now"
ZANI – I loved "You Know What I Mean" and in fact "Don’t Go Away" is in my opinion one of the greatest love songs ever written, up there with Fly by The Jam
Alan McGee - Amazing song, but it won’t surprise me if they don’t get together in five years time and another stadium tour, but there is going to be a big break now. When you see Noel doing the acoustic stuff a couple of years ago in Manchester, and 17,000 Mancs singing along to "Don’t Look Back In Anger", you can see what it is all about and Noel can personally see that he has that power. Liam has also has that power, and they can both do it on their own. It’s of the moment, you’ve got Oasis splitting up and Michael Jackson dying, you can see they are not connected, but they are part of these changing of the times.
ZANI – What do think Liam will do?
Alan McGee – I think they will both be massive stars, I really do, Liam will be Liam and Noel will be Noel. What you do think?
ZANI – I think Noel will work on collaborations, like he did with Goldie and The Chemical Brothers, and I think Liam will be reflective and perhaps travel , and just chill out for a while.
Alan McGee – Liam is really switched on , My friend was at the Rock-en- Seine festival near Paris tonight, and she called up and said that they had split up, and I said are you sure? Now it’s official because I have looked at their website. Personally I am gutted, because one of my favourite ever bands has gone. Is there an upside? Yes, it knocks the ball into the park for Glasvegas to go and become the biggest band in the world, because they are the true inheritors of the Oasis ' spirit, they are the only soulful band that have come out with soul and a spark since Oasis, the same way The Jam, The Smiths and Oasis had.
ZANI – Do you feel it was like a JFK moment when the news had been announced?
Alan McGee – Of course, we wouldn’t be doing an interview at 00.30 if I didn’t. It’s huge, like Michael Jackson dying. But I am glad I am doing this interview with ZANI.
ZANI – Thank you. Do you feel they were your baby because you nurtured them?
Alan McGee – You know I am not nostalgic, but their body of work is so good.
ZANI – Do you feel like you have lost a son?
Alan McGee – I am sad of course, but I am very understanding of it, because changes happen whether it is jobs or relationships, things happen. Things are that meant to come to an end, do.
ZANI - Do you think Liam and Noel will talk again?
Alan McGee – Not for a while, but they will , they love each other
ZANI – What song do you think sums up Oasis’ career as a whole?
Oasis finally split after a huge punch-up in Paris last night
It's a sad, sad day for British rock history as the two brothers' brawling marked the end of The Summer Of Bigness - and the end of an era.
Noel and Liam Gallagher like so many times before in their lives, came to blows before a gig, this time at the Rock en Seine festival in Paris.
It all went wrong before their headline slot had even started with a furious backstage argument.
A witness in the Oasis camp said: "It all kicked off after a few jibes were thrown back and forward between them. It got totally out of hand very quickly and all the pent-up anger just exploded.
"Noel has been so mild-mannered and above it all, but everyone has a breaking point.
"The fight was split up quickly but Liam smashed up one of Noel's guitars to make his point.
"That was it. The last act of anger that Noel could put up with. He just doesn't need the hassle any more."
Any hopes for a reprieve were dashed when Noel made an official farewell announcement on the Oasis website.
He said: "It's with some sadness and great relief to tell you that I quit Oasis tonight. People will write and say what they like, but I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer.
"Apologies to all the people who bought tickets for the shows in Paris, Konstanz and Milan."
But last night Liam was insisting to pals that he would keep Oasis going without his older brother.
A spokesman for the band said: "We are all just so sad that it has come to an end."
I took no pride in telling you earlier this week that relations between the siblings were at an all-time low and the band's days were numbered.
With my heart in my throat I said that the V Festival gig at Weston Park, Staffs, was the last time the band would play on home soil together.
I didn't expect it to be their last live date EVER.
Liam's no-show at the Chelmsford leg of V on Sunday went down like a lead balloon with his older brother.
Viral laryngitis was blamed - but bushy eyebrows were raised about the snarling frontman's late nights leading up to the illness.
An old-school punch-up was the only way they would ever be able to settle their differences.
It eventually happened - and the last scrap sadly signals an end to their incredible career.
Scots singer Amy Macdonald, who was at the French gig, said on Twitter: "Oasis cancelled again with one minute to stage time!!! Liam smashed Noel's guitar, huuuge fight"
The man who first signed the band, Alan McGee, then chipped in on Facebook.
He said: "Just got phoned by somebody at Rock en Seine that Oasis have just split up an hour ago and manager or tour manager made the announcement to 50,000 fans. Madness are now playing 2 sets as they played already at festival. f*** knows..."
In ten years' time, if the money is right and Liam finally calms down from his permanent rage then maybe, just maybe, they will play again.
I hope they do. But it is going to take a long time for this one to blow over.
British rock group Oasis cancelled a scheduled appearance at a music festival near Paris at the last minute on Friday after a fight between Noel and Liam Gallagher, organisers said.
The management of the Rock en Seine festival claimed that the group "no longer exists" after the alleged fight between its founding members, but there was no announcement from the band on their official website.
Several minutes before they were due to take to the stage in Saint-Cloud on Friday, a spokesman for the organisers announced to the crowd that Liam and his brother "had a fight backstage."
The spokesman added: "The group no longer exists. They will not play tonight and they are cancelling the rest of their European tour."
Oasis also pulled out of a concert last Sunday at the V Festival in Britain, with organisers saying Liam Gallagher had lost his voice, but there were rumours that he and his brother were having the latest in a string of feuds.
On Monday, Liam used his Twitter feed to rubbish rumours that the band were splitting up.
Source: AFP Oasis to split? Definitely... maybe
Oasis have cancelled their second gig in the space of a week because of "an altercation within the band", it was announced.
They were expected to play the Rock en Seine festival in Paris but the crowd were told by Bloc Party, who were due to perform before Oasis, the Manchester band would not be taking the stage.
Many of the crowd thought it was a joke - until the big screens at either side of the main stage showed the message "As a result of an altercation within the band, the Oasis gig has been cancelled".
Oasis Call it Quits , Rock En Seine Show Cancelled?
According to tweets and texts from the Rock En Seine venue Oasis has pulled out of tonight's show.
Singer Amy MacDonalds twitter account posted following :
1. I'm gutted :-( feel so bad for all their fans!7 minutes ago from Tweetie 2. Oasis cancelled again with one minute to stage time!!! Liam smashes noels guitar, huuuge fight!25 minutes ago from Tweetie
Several French sites here and here are reporting that it is the end of the band.
Stay tuned as we update this breaking news, L4E can not confirm any of the reports yet. -----------------
JUST IN :
Oasis concert cancellation fuels split rumours
Oasis have cancelled their second gig in the space of a week because of “an altercation within the band”, it was announced tonight.
They were expected to play the Rock en Seine festival in Paris but the crowd were told by Bloc Party, who were due to perform before Oasis, the Manchester band would not be taking the stage.
Many of the crowd thought it was a joke – until the big screens at either side of the main stage showed the message “As a result of an altercation within the band, the Oasis gig has been cancelled”.
Ben Clover, 28, who travelled from south London for the festival said: “I was hoping to see the band on the top of their game – now I am not sure we will ever see them perform live again.
“There are a lot of British Oasis fans who have come over for this gig and they are very disappointed.”
Last weekend the band pulled out of the V Festival in Chelmsford which they were meant to headline.
The band pulled the plug on their show at the annual music event because frontman Liam Gallagher was struck down with viral laryngitis.
However, their non-appearance sparked rumours they were set to split.
Earlier this month Liam revealed his relationship with his brother, Noel, is so bad they no longer speak, travel separately on tour and only see each other onstage.
North London 80s favourites Madness – who played the festival earlier today - stood in for Oasis.
Q The Anthems features the ultimate tracks from the biggest bands. It may not be their most current hit, or indeed the highest charting hit, but it's the track the fans want to hear as the set-closer.
The album brings together all that is great about Q magazine together with an amazing roster of acts including the mighty Kasabian, The Killers and Elbow.
In addition to these stars of today, the album features a number of classic artists from the past including Jeff Buckley and The Clash.
01. Kasabian - Fire 02. Kaiser Chiefs - Ruby 03. The Stone Roses - Fool's Gold 04. Stereophonics - Dakota (Decade In The Sun mix) 05. Glasvegas - Daddy's Gone 06. Ting Tings - That's Not My Name 07. Calvin Harris - Acceptable In The 80s 08. The Feeling - Sewn 09. The Fray - How To Save A Life 10. Paul Weller- You Do Something To Me
1. Oasis - Lyla 2. Razorlight - America 3. Elbow - The Bones of You 4. R.E.M - The Great Beyond 5. Fleet Foxes - Mykanos 6. Vampire Weekend - Oxford Comma 7. MGMT - Kids 8. Queens of the Stone Age - No One Knows 9. Mark Ronson - Stop Me 10. Paolo Nutini - Last Request
The festival takes place just outside Paris, in the Domaine national de Saint-Cloud. We highly recommend you to use public transport to get to the festival as the nearest metro station (Boulogne – Pont de Saint-Cloud) is just 5 minutes walking from the entrance. The gigs are scheduled to enable you to use them for your return.
Métroline 10 (Gare d’Austerlitz / Boulogne – Pont de St-Cloud), nearest stop Boulogne - Pont de St-Cloud. 10 minutes far from the entrance of the festival. Last departure for Paris at 1:47 on Friday and Saturday, and at 0:47 on Sunday. Tram : T2 line : La Défense – Issy-Val de Seine, nearest stop : Parc de St-Cloud Transilien : Paris Saint Lazare – la Défense – St-Cloud line, nearest stop Gare de St-Cloud, then go down on rue Dailly until the Pont de St-Cloud. All schedule on : www.transilien.com En bus Buslines : 52 : Pont de St-Cloud – Opéra (last departure for Paris at 23:05) 72 : Parc de St-Cloud– Hôtel de Ville (last departure for Paris at 00:00) 126 : Parc de St-Cloud – Porte d’Orléans (last departure for Paris : friday 28 and saturday 29 at 1:44 ; Sunday 30 at 0:44) Nearest stop : Parc de St-Cloud ou Pont de St-Cloud Find your own way by public transport with: www.ratp.fr
Find your own way by public transport with: www.ratp.fr
By the Road
From outside Paris : Motorway A 13, outway n°4 : Ville d’Avray / Saint-Cloud. From Paris : Follow the « Quais de Seine » or the « Périphérique » and go out at « Porte de Saint-Cloud ». Then follow « Domaine national de Saint-Cloud ». Parking : 4 €
Oasis will never split, according to Liam Gallagher's sister-in-law.
Natalie Appleton told the Mirror: "Oasis will die before they split up... they're going to go on for ever until they are old men." There had been reports that the rockers were about to call it a day after they pulled out of their V festival gig on Sunday.
The last-minute cancellation was blamed on Liam's "viral laryngitis" but there have been rumours that the constant infighting between him and brother Noel had finally taken its toll.
But Natalie, 36, whose sister Nicole is married to the Oasis frontman, scoffed: "The rumours are absolute rubbish. Even in his sick bed Liam was vowing to get back on stage. We were all hoping to go down to V together but sadly it didn't happen.
"The guys were so devastated. Liam watched from his sick bed."
Snow Patrol filled Oasis's headline slot at the festival in Chelmsford and covered some of their tunes, along with Keane. Speaking at Frankie's restaurant in Knightsbridge at the launch of Adee Phelan's Fabulous Haircare, Natalie added: "Liam was so happy Snow Patrol and Keane sang some of their songs. He thought that was brilliant."
British songwriter, singer, producer, DJ and former member of the early 1990s shoegazing band, Ride, and now, Oasis speaks to Glasswerk about his recent gigs in Korea, the backlash of the Slane gig in Ireland and what the future holds for Oasis. Just don't mention Liam or Noel. Hello Andy. How are you doing?
I'm just gonna move over here - I can hear your voice louder in the room rather than on the phone... give me a minute, ok it's fine now - I'm doing good thanks Kenny. (Andy moves about 10 feet away from me).
So where you at right now? You just finished a number of gigs in South Korea, Liam seemed they went well according to his Twitter updates.
Yeah they went really well actually (nothing elaborated on Liam's Tweet, and I further sense he would rather me not mention the 'brothers' at all. The infamous Q interview with Noel, Liam recently stating he does not know what the future holds etc, it's obvious there's something up in the Oasis camp, but let's forget about that for now).
So what's next and how is your career standing?
(Andy chuckles) Yeah we finished our tour in Korea which went really well, we've got 6 more gigs on this tour, 3 of them in the UK, 2 festivals in Europe then we're done!
My career is doing fine by the way...
How did you feel about the media backlash of the Slane show?
Tell me about it Kenny - I haven't actually heard about it. Slane was a great gig, a brilliant night for all of us.
Absolutely, I was in the pit with Paul (oldest Gallagher) & we had a blast. But for ticket buyers - MCD were blamed for bad organisation, including 3 hour queues for apparently 2 or 3 pints per person. There was trouble going on at various points, fights, reports of people being robbed, (one girl was subject to a guy both groping her as she queued for a drink, while his chum decided to use her leg as a portaloo). And it was apparently a total nightmare getting out of Slane back home. MCD were blamed in the media for overselling the gig.
Who are MCD?
They are the chief promoters who brought the band over. (If Andy doesn't know who MCD are, there's no point in bringing up the Joe Duffy show).
Ah yeah right, I haven't heard of this backlash but I understand the difficulty getting out of Slane - it took us 3 hours to get out ourselves.
It's a problem with Slane Castle - but I actually enjoyed it, I got out of the car at least 3 times and the streets were just full of Oasis fans, they were going wild, and I really enjoyed that whole thing. You know what, I wish there wasn't an aftermath but there's only 1 or 2 ways out of Slane I think... that's probably why.
So touring the world, you must be used to it by now - do you think it suits you?
I think I'm suited to it Kenny, I've been in the same position for nearly 8 years but I am comfortable - like me and Gem (Archer) both kinda do the same thing. But the band is strong and the band is good but knowing Noel & Liam...
Speaking of which, do Noel & Liam still slag you off for not being a 'northerner'?
Yeah that's all settled down now man. We're all really nice about that actually - scousers, mancs, oxfordians, geordies - we've always given each other stick for it but that's why we all love each other.
Yeah, I spent some of my time down the pit with Paul Gallagher and I got to say, he's a manc but a true gent. I was gutted when he contracted Swine Flu as he was due to DJ in Belgium with 3 of my mates. It was gonna be an Irish invasion of Belgium but he had to cancel obviously.
Yeah Paul's a wicked fella - shit hot DJ too. It's a shame what happened, I think he's on the mend thankfully.
Glasswerk would like to bring him over for a DJ set sometime, he recently sold out Eamon Dorans in a flash.
He's got an amazing record collection - he'd rock it anywhere I'm sure. Plus, he's really proud of his Irish roots - big into GAA and that kinda thing. He loves Ireland.
One more thing, is it true that Noel referred to you as like something from the Michael Jacksons Memorial, because of you being the only band member wearing shades?
Yeah Noel says a lot of shit but normally I can't answer for him but yeah, he did say that.
You know from watching from the Pit - I still believe the band has got the spark.
I'm glad to hear it Kenny as I get the spark everytime.
Andy Bell, it's been a pleasure speaking to you. I know you're a busy man, so thank you for your time.
Thank you for talking to me - thanks for listening & I'll speak to you soon mate.
I really wanted to ask about Liam's love for Noel and vice versa, but my gut was saying no - plus this was a man who formed Ride and helped bands like The Verve back in the early nineties, so to me his legacy speaks for itself and it didn't feel like I was speaking to the bass player in Oasis - I was in fact speaking to a singer, seminal songwriter, and currently a shades wearing bass guitarist with (still) one of the biggest bands in the world. But before Oasis Creation Records signed Ride, and before Britpop there was Andy Bell. That's good enough for us.
via L4e / source: Glasswerk.co.uk/ photo: Paul Bachmann
Noel Gallagher looked as if he didn't have a care in the world as he sauntered around the shops in central London yesterday with his girlfriend Sara MacDonald.
The Oasis songwriter and his brother Liam have come under heavy criticism this week for pulling out of their headlining set at the V Festival in Chelmsford on Sunday with only hours to go.
Liam was advised by doctors not to perform as he had 'viral laryngitis', and Noel said after their V gig in Stafford the night before that he hadn't been well either.
Writing on his blog, he said of the gig that he "didn't enjoy it one bit".
He continued: "Don't feel too clever. Outrageous stomach ache. Feel like I'm coming down with summat.
"Might have to get the doctor out in the morning. Hope it came out of the speakers ok. Gutted. Oh well, there's always tomorrow."
But, thousands of fans were disappointed when the gig was pulled entirely - where normally Noel would have filled Liam's shoes to take lead vocals - and Snow Patrol stepped in to close the festival at the last minute.
However, whatever Noel had, he seems to have recovered now - hopefully enough to complete their world tour for current album Dig Out Your Soul.
As many of you may be aware, Liam took to his private Twitter page yesterday to apologise for Oasis not being able to play at Sunday's V Festival and quash tabloid trash about it being the last ever Oasis UK gig:
"The voice may of disappeared but I'm still here.1st things first V I'm gutted your gutted,I'm sorry what can I say fuck all at the moment.
"Secondly, respect to those bands who covered Oasis last night, even though I might of given some of you shit in the past...
"Finally reports in smartarses column about Oasis last british gig ever. The kids talking out his arse, I mean rkids, bware of darkness. LG"
V Festival was always scheduled as the last UK gig for this ‘Dig Out Your Soul’ World Tour. Oasis will complete the rest of the world tour in Europe and then take some well-earned time off before they begin to think about the next album and tour.
After UK news paper The Guardian ran an apology to Liam Gallagher earlier this month the BBC has now posted following on it's website:
Liam Gallagher: An apology
In an article published on 22 July 2009 about the Oasis iTunes gig at the Roundhouse on 21 July 2009, the BBC News website wrongly suggested that Liam Gallagher stormed off stage for almost half an hour, disrupting the performance.
We accept that the suggestion in the article that the performance was interrupted was wrong and that Liam only briefly left the stage whilst his brother sang Waiting For The Rapture and Master Plan as, we are informed, is normal during their performance.
Liam afterwards returned to the stage to continue the rest of the set.
We apologise to Mr Gallagher and have agreed to pay his legal costs of bringing a complaint.
Oasis: is it really over?Oasis are finished, says the rumourmill after they suddenly cancel a concert. But it's just business as usual between Liam and Noel Gallagher as the two fall out (again)
For thousands crowded into a field near Chelmsford, Sunday's news must have been deflating, to say the least. Having fulfilled their commitment to play the Staffordshire leg of this year's V festival, Oasis suddenly pulled out of its southern counterpart, thanks to Liam Gallagher coming down with viral laryngitis – to be replaced at the top of the bill by the eternally lukewarm Snow Patrol. The cancellation is likely to have been expensive for Oasis, and doctor's advice notwithstanding, they will soon be back on manoeuvres: an array of European concerts is scheduled to finish at a festival near Milan next weekend.
Meanwhile, months of whispers about the group's supposed imminent demise have been newly ramped up. This much we know: communication between Noel and Liam Gallagher is currently so poor that they apparently keep up with each other's thoughts via posts on the Oasis website (Noel), and curt pronouncements issued via Twitter (Liam). In an interview published in last week's NME, Liam traced the poor state of brotherly relations to "a fucking ding-dong in the airport", and issued such hopeful words of rapprochement as, "He doesn't like me and I don't like him", and "It takes a lot more than blood to be my brother."
Now the Sun has assumed its traditional role in Oasis bust-ups – more of which later – and forecast their final split. In yesterday's Bizarre column, a splash by the dependably excitable Gordon Smart was headlined, "No more Oasis gigs after band pull out of fest". Slightly lightening the air of doom, he conceded that the Chelmsford show had been pulled "because Liam's throat genuinely wasn't up to the job", but none of that got in the way of the denouement: "Like so many brilliant bands before them, Oasis are bowing out on bad terms . . . Separate flights, different hotels and very little else in common – friends, interests or personalities. Now Milan at the end of the month looks like it could be the last ever Oasis gig."
We have, needless to say, been here before – at least four times, and usually in slightly more dramatic circumstances. Right from the start, Oasis's public face was based on fratricidal nastiness, the Gallagher brothers' amazingly different temperaments, and their habit of indulging in what slightly more bourgeois people call "no-speakies".
For all their shared love of standard-issue rock excess, Noel – who is six years his brother's senior – has always tended to be worldly, witty, admirably polite, and keen to emphasise that his group's reputation rests on its music. Liam, by contrast, runs on instinct, can easily turn belligerent, and seems to take a good deal of pride in his famed habit of breaking things – including his relationship with big brother. The truly painful part of all this was nailed, albeit unintentionally, in Oasis's brilliant 1995 song Acquiesce, whose chorus, bellowed back at the Gallaghers by vast crowds ever since, ran thus: "Because we need each other/We believe in one another".
In other words, the younger needs the elder for his songs, the reverse also applies on account of Liam's unrivalled charisma and flash, and they both know it. So how to manage the resulting tensions? When I first interviewed them in the spring of 1994 – an occasion on which they got close to chucking one another from the windows of their Glasgow hotel – Liam seemed to have little doubt where all of this was headed: "I hate that twat there," he said of his brother, "and I hope one day there's a release where I can smash fuck out of him, with a fuckin' Rickenbacker [guitar], right on his nose, and then he does the same to me, 'cos I think that we're stepping right up to it now. There's a line there and we're right on the edge of it."
For better or worse, the Gallaghers have been balanced in that delicate place ever since. In the autumn of 1994, when they were in the midst of their first burst of British success and on their inaugural American tour, they arrived in Los Angeles to be met with what one observer recalled as "a binbag full" of that well-known relationship-aid, crystal meth. Inevitably, things did not go as planned: in front of a sold-out audience, Liam served notice of his feelings by coshing Noel with his tambourine, and repeatedly making the British hand gesture for "wanker". His brother then took $800 from the tour manager and disappeared – to San Francisco, and then Las Vegas. "The band's over," Noel told one of Oasis's aides. As it turned out, the Gallaghers were soon reunited in Texas, and the tour resumed.
Some months later, while recording their second album, Noel's decision to take the lead vocal on Don't Look Back In Anger sparked another famous scrimmage, during which he reportedly attacked his brother with a cricket bat, and once again vowed that Oasis were kaput. They weren't, but in September 1996, there came yet another bust-up – when, having already watched his brother miss the first few dates of a much-hyped "breakthrough" American tour (Liam was house-hunting with then-girlfriend Patsy Kensit), Noel seemingly called time on Oasis after a huge row in Charlotte, North Carolina, and flew home on Concorde. Having just played to 250,000 fans over two nights at Knebworth Park in Hertfordshire, Oasis were then at the peak of their imperial phase, and the media treated their apparent break-up as some kind of national bereavement. All major TV news bulletins kept up with the fall-out from the ruckus, and camera crews and photographers anxiously awaited the Gallaghers' separate returns.
Under the careful supervision of Oasis's management, the two soon met up in an undisclosed rural location, and patched things up, allowing their friends at the Sun to claim credit for their reunion. "The Sun saves Oasis," was the headline on the resulting splash, claiming that in its panicked coverage of the spat, Britain's favourite red-top had reminded the Gallaghers of their place in the nation's affections and thereby made everything all right. Of course it had.
After that, give or take the departure of two of Oasis's original members, things went rather quiet – until May 2000, when on a night off in Barcelona, Liam apparently made an off-colour comment about Noel's then-wife Meg Mathews, and Noel once again packed his bags. This time, to massed gasps of incredulity, the show went on: the singer-songwriter Matt Deighton was flown out, hot-housed in Noel's guitar parts, and introduced to Oasis's Italian public in Milan (strange, perhaps, how the regional capital of Lombardy has been given two cameos in this story).
I saw that performance, and the next night's show in Zurich: they were both a real thrill, boosted by the sense of a group flying without their usual radar. If the Gallaghers' relationship really is all over, this may just be the way ahead: Liam starting a career pitched somewhere between Wembley stadium and the end of the pier, based on a simple enough realisation – that you don't need Noel to do Noel's songs.
Still, that is mere speculation and mischief. When it comes to the latest rumours, the most likely conclusion is that Noel and Liam are passing through another relatively inconsequential bit of frostiness, and Oasis – if not the world-beaters of yore, still a very, very big group – will gamely carry on.
It's a thought that puts me in mind of an interview I once did with their former guitarist Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs, who has long since stopped watching Gallagher fur fly, and these days has a much quieter life in one of the more verdant corners of Cheshire. When I asked him for his memories of one of the Gallaghers' previous scraps, he recalled steadying the nerves of one of their associates when Noel had once again called it quits.
"We said to him, 'Noel's gone home'. He was going, 'Do you think that's it?' I said, 'It'll be all right. Give him a week at home.' By then it was just, 'Oh – another fight.'"