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What difference does it make? In our complex world, even the brilliant lyrics of songwriters such as Morrissey make none
Even before Morrissey collapsed on stage there on Saturday, the Oasis Leisure Centre in Swindon had a claim on musical history. Looking at a flyer for Inspiral Carpets, for whom his brother Noel was a roadie, Liam Gallagher noticed the venue in the background: the Oasis. This odd coming together of the man who wondered whether nature would make a man of him yet and the man who pointed out that “toys, they make noise” raises one of popular music’s oldest questions: do the words count?
All lovers of classical music should look away now, but my heart has always sunk at the knowledge that an album contains an instrumental. Why would you bother to write a backing track and not add some words? Even if they are about being in a hall, faster than a cannonball. It is the presence of the lyric that makes music into song. But does it matter if the words are literate and comprehensible?
The art of the spoken word is alive and well, thanks to Barack Obama — and the best of his speeches are like popular songs. When the President’s speeches take wing, the flight comes from the rhythm of the sentences, not the elevation of the language. The lyrics yield no great mystery on the page but set to the right music, the meaning is heightened. The Black Eyed Peas producer Will.I.Am proved the point when he turned Obama’s New Hampshire primary concession speech into a song.
Suddenly, a popular music form was carrying a highly serious message again. That was something it used to do all the time: Peter Seeger’s adaptation of the Book of Ecclesiastes in Turn, Turn, Turn; any number of Bob Dylan lyrics; Crosby, Stills and Nash’s Ohio, which tells the tale of the National Guard opening fire on students at Kent State University. Vietnam sparked lyrical protest: Edwin Starr’s War, Phil Ochs’s I Ain’t Marching Anymore. The civil rights struggle inspired state-of-the-nation addresses such as Sam Cooke’s A Change Is Gonna Come and Marvin Gaye’s epic What’s Going On?
Robbie Williams has taken another pop at his old rivals Oasis.
The singer, back after three years out, says he thinks Liam and Noel Gallagher are better off apart.
Robbie says: "Originally I thought they'd inevitably get back together because they are the band.
"But reading between the lines, they're both really stubborn so I don't think they will. To be honest, I know there's history between us and this isn't very complimentary, but they've been doing a lap of honour for the past 13 years. There's been the occasional gem here and there, The Importance Of Being Idle, and, well, that's about it."
Fairly harsh words from the man who was made an honorary member of Oasis when he quit Take That. It came after Robbie spent a "lost" summer hanging out with Noel and Liam after meeting them at Glastonbury in 1995.
Last night Liam was spotted giving a homeless Big Issue seller 50 quid outside a pub in Hampstead, north London.
Speaking at the Q Awards, Kasabian frontman Tom Meighan put an end to the rumours that Noel Gallagher would be making a guest appearance with his band.
There to collect the Best Album Award for West Ryder Paper Lunatic, Meighan took the chance to squash a rumour that's been growing since Oasis split at the end of August.
He said: Noel's just quit a band, so why would he join Kasabian? He wants a break. I'd love for him to join the band but it's not happening.'
British rockers Muse beat recently disbanded Oasis to Q magazine's Best Act in the World Today award on Monday.
Songwriter and guitarist Noel Gallagher announced he was quitting Oasis two months ago, but the Manchester band was still nominated for the award alongside Muse, Coldplay, Kings of Leon and Arctic Monkeys.
Oasis also lost out in the Best Live Act category, which was won by the Arctic Monkeys.
I wonder how Liam Gallagher might have responded if, a decade ago, he was told that in 2009 he would be giving an interview in which the journalist had been specifically instructed not to ask him about Oasis. It is, after all, the band which defined 1990s Britpop and, in the public's eyes, defines Liam Gallagher.
And, after 18 years, it is no more. On 28 August this year, Liam Gallagher had the latest in a long line of fights with his older brother and fellow band member, Noel, just minutes before the band was due to go on stage in Paris, and the gig was cancelled. Two hours later a statement from Noel appeared on the band's 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." There has been very little since by way of an explanation, or hints as to what either Gallagher might do next.
Today I'm meeting Liam for a drink in his local boozer in Hampstead on the premise that I am not to ask him any questions about Oasis, Noel or the split. So what exactly can we talk about? The answer is the Oasis frontman's clothing line, Pretty Green, which he developed this year alongside British tailor Nick Holland, of Holland Esquire fame.
Named after a song Paul Weller wrote for The Jam, which was recently reprised by Mark Ronson ("I've got a pocket full of pretty green, I'm gonna put it in the fruit machine…") and initially released in June, it comprises casual menswear pieces including hats, T-shirts and scarves. The premium line, which includes more classic, grown-up designs in silk and cashmere is released at the end of this month and will be stocked in Cruise in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
It's difficult to know how to approach an interview with Liam Gallagher. The 37-year-old father of three (he is married to All Saints singer Nicole Appleton) is one of those people whom it's difficult to imagine in real life. His public image is so cartoonish that it seems impossible that he maintains it when he's having a pint down his local.
His own brother describes him thus: "He's rude, arrogant, intimidating and lazy. He's the angriest man you'll ever meet. He's like a man with a fork in a world of soup." Still, I rationalise, there's only so much rock star behaviour you can get away with when you're promoting a clothing line.
I needn't have worried. Sitting across from me in a dimly-lit corner of The Garden Gate pub, Liam doesn't smile. A hint of a smile doesn't pass his lips once over the course over the interview, yet he is friendly, polite, accommodating, even warm. He jokes, he asks me questions, but is always unsmiling, to the extent that I find myself wondering if he's ever smiled. He's a serious man, but there are no hints of the petulant child his brother has described, or of the lairy troublemaker he has been portrayed as in the media.
"Obviously I've got kids and you know, just took me foot off the gas a little bit," he says by way of an explanation. "I've definitely chilled out. A lot of people sort of get scared…" he switches into mock hard man mode, jutting out his chin and mumbling as if he's picking a fight, before waving a hand dismissively. "I've definitely changed, I think for the better."
He is handsome in person, shorter than he seems on stage, and looks relaxed, fit and healthy. These days, he gets up at the crack of dawn to go for a run around Hampstead Heath. He does the school run every day. And, perhaps most shocking of all, today he is sipping mineral water. He is sharply dressed in a Pretty Green parka and jeans, his hair is cropped. He looks stylish, if a little stuck in 1995. But then the younger Gallagher brother has always been obsessed with clothes.
"It's just as important as the music for me. Yeah man," he says, taking a gulp of water. "You can write a decent tune, but if you look like a dick, that doesn't cut it with me, you know what I mean? There's plenty of bands I've heard and I've gone, 'F**king hell if they look good man, if they look cool then we're over.' Then you see them on the TV and go, 'Thank f**k; they look s**t.' If you look good and you've got the tunes then you're away man."
Critics of Oasis have observed that the band has stuck resolutely to a musical style – one heavily influenced by the past and by artists such as The Stone Roses, Paul Weller and The Beatles – refusing to change or to move with the times.
Critics of the clothing line might say the same thing. Much like his approach to music, Liam clearly knows what he likes and likes what he knows.
Where 15 years ago, young men copied Oasis in bucket hats, parkas and Clarks wallaby shoes, today they want skinny jeans, skinny shirts, skinny ties and pointy shoes, an aesthetic which Gallagher describes as "a disease" and refuses to pander to, preferring to channel the mid-90s – with parkas and bucket hats.
However Pretty Green has been selling well, with some pieces (the parka included) selling out almost instantly. Its website crashed seconds after it was launched, such was the interest from fans, and the premium line has been well-received by buyers. Martin Lacey, the buying director at Cruise describes it as "a fantastic first collection surpassing all levels of expectation".
"Pretty Green brings a whole new look to the market that could match any mainline brand for quality, attention to detail and design," he says. "Unlike previous celebrity collaborations, it can stand the test of time and stand up in its own right."
Certainly Gallagher is an unlikely figure in the fashion world. He has been to a fashion show once before, he tells me, with his ex-wife Patsy Kensit, "and I nearly threw up. It's not my thing. Sipping champagne and talking s**te? They're only clothes aren't they, really, at the end of the day."
He's a showman. He holds court physically, gesticulating, shuffling around in his seat and occasionally leaping up to emphasise a point. When I remark upon the ponyskin shoes he's wearing today, he jumps to his feet, planting one foot on the low table and flinging his arms out in a pose that seems to ask me to come and have a go if I think I'm 'ard enough, not, as is the case, to admire his cheetah-print loafers more closely.
"These are Yves Saint Laurent," he says proudly, pronouncing every consonant, "and these are the nuts. You want to see the reaction when I take the kids to school in these. They're just like, 'Woah your dad's got Flintstones shoes on!'"
I ask him about Scotland, where Oasis were first signed back in 1993 after Creation Records co-owner Alan McGee saw them perform at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow. "Scotland's f**king cool man I love it," he says, leaning forward in his seat. "The crowds up there are top. People are always cool and you know how to drink. You don't know how to drink as much as me but… nice people. I don't know about the Mars Bar thing, though." He shakes his head ominously at the thought of tackling a deep-fried Mars Bar, before gesturing at his manager who's sitting at a nearby table eating chips.
"What did we try up there Steve, with cheese? What the f**k was it? It was like f**king loads of mad s**t, chips and gravy with cheese on it wannit?" Steve shrugs, his mouth full of chips and Liam looks at me incredulously, as if asking me to account for my country's bizarre dietary habits.
He leans back repeatedly, knocking his head on a fringed lampshade behind him. He sits with his knees as far apart as possible and swats distractedly at a fly. I ask him about fame. He has been one of the most recognisable faces in British music for his whole adult life, after all. His eyebrows furrow.
"Fame means nothing to me. It means that people have seen you on TV or whatever. I'm in a…" at this point he pauses and abruptly corrects himself; "I was in a band who made music and that was it. Fame is just a f**king disease."
His short-term future, he says, is "Pretty Green all the way. Relaxing at home, just getting out of the music for a bit and then gonna start up maybe after January, do something, see where it goes. Not Oasis. Something else. But having a breather from the music for a bit without a doubt. I'm always gonna miss Oasis. It was my f**king thing, you know what I mean? It's who I am. But it's only a name. I'm still who I am and I can go and do something else. I've got music in me. I'll never leave it behind but we'll see where it goes. It might be s**te but you don't know until you try."
He will give me no more specific clues as to his future in the music industry, but states repeatedly that he will get back into it in the new year and that it "won't be Oasis" and he won't go solo.
"Getting away from the whole Oasis thing is gonna be a good thing I suppose," he says. "Don't wanna do anything solo, it's not my thing. I want to be in a band. But we can do things a lot differently these days. Who knows man, but it'll definitely be rock'n'roll."
Is this an opportunity, I wonder, for him to try something a little different, to explore a new avenue? "Without a doubt. But at the moment instead of going straight into it I think we definitely need a breather from people's heads cos it's a big thing, Oasis, so that needs to be put to bed and let people get used to it and obviously let us get used to it. But I think what comes from it could be f**king pretty cool. You don't just turn s**t overnight."
Given the apparent openness of his personality, his restraint is admirable. I get the impression that he might reveal more were Steve not sitting nearby. He can, however, always be counted upon for a barb or two about the brother with whom he has been bickering for three decades. While the relationship has always been a tempestuous one, today they rarely speak. Before the split they were travelling separately and only met up on stage. To describe the relationship as strained would be an understatement.
"I gave him some (Pretty Green] stuff out of courtesy. And he took it." Liam's tone is one of incredulous outrage. "Which pissed me off cos he should have threw it back in me face cos we weren't talking. But he f**king took it and he probably put it in the bin."
He pauses, annoyed. He's wound up now, and on a roll. He continues: "He probably wears it round his house when his missus is out. Soon as she comes back in he probably takes it off cos he's not allowed cos he's under the f**king thumb." He sticks his fist out and points his thumb down petulantly, like an unimpressed Roman emperor.
With the exception of this one rant however, he seems calm, unmoved by the recent dramas, and insists that he's had very little time to turn his thoughts to it all. He's in the process of moving house, which is taking up most of his time, his children have started back at school after the summer, and his beloved Man City are doing well, "which is taking the heat off". If he is fazed by the drama or worried about the future, he isn't showing it.
The wound, perhaps, is still so fresh that he hasn't yet fully processed things or decided how to proceed. Like a difficult marriage that's spanned nearly two decades before coming to an abrupt end, the journey with Oasis has been all-consuming, and I can't blame him for being unclear on how he will move on with his life.
When I ask him if Pretty Green will be his main focus in the long-term, his answer is firm: "No." Then he quickly changes his mind. "It is, yeah, just like the music though. Music and the clothes without a doubt."
Will music take a back seat? "No way man. You don't just stop making music overnight. We're having a bit of time off. Or I am. You know we're doing the Pretty Green stuff and then maybe after Christmas, we'll start banging out some tunes. And it won't be Oasis and it will be something else. You don't just do 18 years of music and then go, 'Right that's it I want to do f**king clothes.' There's no point in looking cool and having no tunes either is there"?
Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, 'Definitely Maybe' was Oasis' debut album and an instant commercial and critical success in the UK, having followed on the heels of singles "Supersonic", "Shakermaker", "Live Forever" and "Cigarettes & Alcohol".
It was the fastest selling debut album of all time in the UK when released, and has gone on to sell over seven million copies worldwide.
This gift set includes an original `Definitely Maybe' design T-shirt, a thin, lightweight scarf with the band's logo on one end and an early days badge set, all held in an embossed tin featuring the band's logo.
It seems Liam Gallagher isn't sitting on his lazy backside waiting for Noel to come back to Oasis. He teamed up with his brother in law Liam Howlett and the wives as art of a fitness regime. Wearing tights.
Michael Spencer Jones, the celebrated photographer best known for his work with Noel and Liam Gallagher's Oasis, has released a beautiful portfolio entitled "Out of the Blue - The Oasis Photographs" containing 15 limited edition prints and a deluxe coffee table book, all hand signed by the photographer. Available to purchase on Hypergallery.com, an on-line gallery specializing in limited edition fine art prints of album cover and associated art.
Hypergallery is proud to present a beautifully-produced portfolio box set containing 10 signed limited edition photographs of Michael Spencer Jones' iconic artwork as well as a large format book of mainly previously unseen images of Oasis as you've never seen them before.
The box-set represents a publishing first and offers the discerning collector with an investment opportunity which can be enjoyed for many years to come.
Unlike most bands of their stature, Oasis seemed to burst onto the music scene 'fully formed'. This, of course was partly due to their innate understanding of the history of rock and their own place within it. It was also due to the public image that was projected by the pictures of the band, which adorned their first single, and album releases…pictures, which were created by Michael Spencer Jones. In a five year journey which began with a photo-shoot of an unknown band at Manchester's Out of the Blue studios in 1993, Michael Spencer Jones worked closely with Oasis to create a series of enduring images which adorned the bands first three albums and their accompanying singles.
Appearing in a strictly limited edition of 250 copies worldwide, Out of the Blue brings together for the first time an important collection of extraordinary photographs of one of England's finest ever bands during what is often referred to as their 'golden years'.
The portfolio comprises 10 signed original limited edition photographs of Oasis' iconic sleeve artwork. They include their first 3 album covers, Definitely Maybe, (What's the Story) Morning Glory? and Be Here Now; together with 7 of their single covers, Supersonic, Shaker Maker, Cigarettes & Alcohol, Whatever, Roll With It, Wonderwall and Don't Look Back In Anger. All the photographs have been printed onto crystal archive paper using the original camera negative, and are of stunning quality. Furthermore, all the photographs have been individually mounted within museum acid-free window mounts, and all have been individually signed and numbered by Michael Spencer Jones.
Michael Spencer Jones had unprecedented access to Oasis; backstage, in the studio, in concert, and off duty. The photos featured in the book, the majority of which have never been seen before, have been carefully selected from Michael's vast Oasis archive of over 8,000 images. An illuminating 12,500 word text written by Michael of his experiences with the band also accompanies the book.
The 198 page large format book is only available as part of this portfolio box set and is strictly limited to 250 copies worldwide. Each book is individually signed and numbered by Michael Spencer Jones, hand-bound in quarter leather and printed on 200gsm acid free matt art paper with silver gilt edges. The book has been printed and bound by Grafiche Milani of Italy, one of the world's leading makers of fine limited edition books. All images in the book have been spot varnished and have been printed using the finest offset printing technology. The book has been beautifully designed by Wherefore Art? who designed the multi million selling The Beatles Anthology and many other fine books.
To maintain the integrity of the edition the plates used to produce the book were destroyed after production ensuring the books investment potential.
The book reveals not only a deep insight into Oasis, the making of these great covers and the shoots surrounding them but also into the mind, art and surreal world of Michael's photography
In order to accommodate and protect both prints and book for posterity, a beautiful and stylish bespoke case has been designed. Handmade by craftsmen, the portfolio case is made from durable and hard wearing Pellaq and luxuriously lined with silsuede. The book is housed in its own 'secret' recess beneath the limited edition photographs.
The Photographs The image size is approx. 28 x 28cm, the mount size is approx. 38.5 x 39.5 cm. Each limited edition photograph is housed within its own archival acid-free museum mount and is personally numbered and signed by Michael Spencer Jones and is further authenticated by his photographer's seal. They have been printed on crystal archive paperusing the original camera negative or transparency. These are limited edition are first generation photographs, not inkjets.
The Book The book contains 198 pages of full colour including pages of trace and acetate. Each copy is ¼ bound in leather with silver foil blocking on the front and spine and has silver edged gilt pages. It weighs 1.9 kilos and has been printed on 200 gsm acid free matt art paper with spot varnishing to each image. Each book has been individually numbered and personally signed by Michael Spencer Jones.
The Portfolio Box The box measures 42 x 40 x 8cm and has been hand-made by craftsmen in durable dark blue pellaq. It is lined with dark blue silsuede with in its own silsuede recess to house the limited edition book.
The Internationally popular ‘Ask Liam’ series returns to the Pretty Green community next week. On the 21st October, Liam will pick a selection of your questions to answer by video.
You can Ask Liam in a variety of ways:
Twitter - Simply tweet a question and add #askliam at the end. Email - Send a question via email to email@example.com Community - Post your question using the Liam button on our sidebar. Video - Use your favourite video site to post a video question and send us the link (using the above options)
Eyewitness Account Of The Fight That Split Oasis Emerges?
A gossip website is claiming to have more details about the Paris fight that effectively led to Oasis' split.
As previously reported, the band failed to play the Paris Rock en Seine festival on August 28 after a fight between Noel and Liam Gallagher backstage, and now Holymoly.com is claiming to have an account from "a mole" who saw the dispute that triggered the split.
"The papers quite rightly reported the fact that Noel stormed out from their gig in Paris a minute before they were due onstage because Liam smashed his guitar - but the whole five minutes the saga lasted were proper comedy," explained the site.
Allegedly Liam had brought his own acoustic guitar to play in the dressing room and a row erupted when Noel made a "pithy comment about Liam's playing".
"Without thinking, Liam stood up and hurled the guitar at Noel. Naturally it missed and landed next at his feet instead," writes Holymoly.com.
"Realising Liam had mistakenly thrown his own guitar, Noel looked down, shrugged and stamped seven bells of shit out of it until it resembled the bottom of a hamster's cage."
It was then, as reported by NME.COM at the time, that the singer made his way to the stage and smashed up his older brother's guitars. Noel then "flicked the Vs, walked out of the backstage area, got into a taxi and went home".
The following day (August 29), Noel Gallagher then issued his full statement confirming he had left Oasis permanently.
Devendra Banhart Would Like to Work WIth Gallaghers
Devendra Banhart, who counts the Gallagher brothers among his fans, recently collaborated with Beck and is teaming up with GZA from hip-hop group Wu Tang Clan.
It’s a tie-up that got started after some high brow conversation at Coachella festival earlier in the year.
"We talked about how general relativity and quantum physics don’t agree with each other and then talked about maybe doing a song where I get to be general relativity, and he gets to be quantum physics, and we’re arguing," explained Banhart, who later sent GZA his catalogue of music.
Confirming a collaboration, he added: "I’m going to write some music for him to flow over and we’ll see where it goes."
The news comes ahead of the release of his new album What Will We Be on 27 October.
Banhart worked on the record with members of Isle of Wight band The Bees and singer/guitarist Rodrigo Amarante from Little Joy, a side-project of The Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti.
It’s his first album on a major label, Warner, having been with independents like XL in the past.
Banhart explained one of the reasons he chose them: "The White Stripes had signed to XL and about a year later I signed to XL, and then about a year later they left XL and signed with Warners, so I’m just kind of following them around."
"I don’t know what’s next, it’s pre-determined by whatever Meg [White] wants," he joked.
He revealed his second reason for choosing Warner: "They gave us the most freedom and brought us sandwiches. I think after being financially crippled, the Goliath has been toppled, with them re-examining their approach and their business model."
Meanwhile the former members of Oasis are big fans of Devendra's music.
He's covered the Gallagher brothers’ music in the past and they asked him to remix a song from their last album Dig Out Your Soul.
We asked him if he’d like to work with Noel and Liam now they've split.
"Yes, I’m gonna see if Noel is going to start a new band, if he needs a didgeridoo player," replied Banhart. "And I’m going to go buy some Pretty Green jumpers to support Liam’s fashionista aspirations, because he’s got top style."
Reality TV, song wars and new dance directions? NME’s Martin Robinson considers what’s next for Gallagher Jr
That’s it then, Oasis are officially dead.
Liam Gallagher fired the final bullet into the group’s lifeless body during an interview last week, declaring, “Oasis is no longer. I think we all know that. It’s a shame but that’s life... I’m thinking of what the next step is musically, which is all my mind’s on.”
It was a bit of a surprise, since the rumour was that Liam was going to continue Oasis without Noel, but it seems common sense has prevailed, and we’ve been spared the sight of Liam berating crowds for bottling new lead guitarist Spongebob Squarepants.
So what will Liam do next? His Pretty Green project will continue, but the itch to belt out some songs will hopefully result in new music from him soon.
Maybe when Noel starts releasing tunes. This could actually be the start of a highly productive beef to rival that between Jay-Z and Nas, as the two brothers trade diss songs, and try to prove who’s the best songwriter.
Liam’s improved considerably since ‘Little James’ and could hold his own, but his problem is that, unlike Noel, he’ll need collaborators. Since Noel slated all his bandmates when he left, you’d imagine Andy Bell and Gem Archer will be there for Liam, but we’d prefer to see him branch out a bit.
He’s been on Prodigy records before, and his appearance on Death In Vegas’ ‘Scorpio Rising’ was a sensation – Liam goes dance? Well, since in the same Times interview he revealed he used to breakdance and was into “old electro”, it could happen. Hey, it worked for Ian Brown.
If Liam isn’t up for pushing things on – and we really hope that he is – then perhaps Brownie can help in a different way. If King Monkey isn’t up for a Stone Roses reunion, then why doesn’t John Squire reform them with Liam as singer?
The youngster has certainly, “borrowed” some style tips from Ian Brown over the years and though the lad-rock community would probably implode, it’d be amazing.
Still, Liam’s so entertaining that there’s more open to him than just music. His brief appearance on Hell’s Kitchen provided a tantalising glimpse into Liam as a reality TV star.
We’d love to see him chinning snakes on I’m A Celebrity... or, having done food, we’d actually like to see Liam on something like What Not To Wear, dishing out his oddball-zen musings (“Just be, man” or “The comb is your friend”) to the great unwashed.
Seriously though, Oasis may be over, but the Gallagher Song Wars are just beginning; there’s a helluva lot of good music to come.
'DIG OUT YOUR SOUL IN THE STREET' WINS UK MUSIC VIDEO AWARD
We're very pleased to announce that last night the film 'Dig Out Your Soul In The Streets' won 'The Innovation Award' at this year's UK Music Video Awards. The award recognises a "piece of work that extends the definition of the medium of music video, and the visual representation and promotion of music generally, through the most innovative and creative use of technology."
The film was shot by directors The Malloys while Oasis were in New York in September 2008. It was inspired by a competitionBig Brother Recordings ran at the time for fans of the band to record versions of four of the (at the time) unreleased tracks off the 'Dig Out Your Soul' album. The Malloys extended this idea to a group of street musicians in New York. 'Dig Out Your Soul In The Streets' documents the musicians learning the songs with Oasis then going out and performing them.
Kasabian's Tom Meighan has said he is not fussed about breaking America - because he can't be bothered to tour there.
Tom told #5 magazine: "I'm not a**ed about it mate, the record (West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum) went to No 98 on the Billboard which is s**t, sold about 10,000.
"To break America you have to tour the motherf****r, and that takes a lot of time, it's massive..."
Tom added: "No-one but Coldplay and U2 are breaking America. It might happen, but we're certainly not going to change what we do. We're so dangerous for them, and we're not going to become non-confrontational."
The Shoot The Runner rocker also said Kasabian couldn't fill the void left by Oasis' split as the two bands are too different.
He said: "Well everyone keeps tipping us to fill the void, but you can't fill that void. Oasis are a big, anthemic sing-along band, while we're more of a dance-along band, we're completely different. If you're gonna call them The Beatles, then we're the Stones, you know what I mean?"
Noel Gallagher Working on England's World Cup Song?
Wonderball! Noel Gallagher is writing a song for England's World Cup campaign.
But the track will be an unofficial anthem, rather than a tune approved by the Football Association. A music insider tells me: "After all the drama with Oasis, Noel has been taking an extended break from music. He plans to come back with strong solo material next year and he thinks a World Cup anthem is the perfect way to kick it off.
"He wants to return to classic World Cup songs of old and is taking inspiration from tracks like Three Lions which have been sung on the terraces for years."
A World Cup song would be Noel's first attack on the charts since quitting Oasis in August after falling out with brother Liam. Not one to hang about, Manchester City fan Noel is already working on ideas for the track.
The pal added: "It's early days but he's got plenty of ideas. He's been talking to his celeb friends about getting involved with the track. He's keen to get his good friend, Tom Meighan from Kasabian, to join him on vocals."
Would you tell Liam Gallagher he looks like a man in a white coat? No, nor would we (we were scared even to mention the leopard-print loafers)
'No, no, no, no, no,' shouts Liam Gallagher, rolling his eyes.
'The day I ask my missus for advice on what I should wear, I'll just pack it all in and go home.
'I know what looks good on me and that is as far as it goes. No one can tell me what to wear. I do what I like.'
I'd innocently enquired whether the multimillionaire Oasis frontman, better known for lager and brawling, might possibly have been influenced by his pop-star wife in launching a clothes label called Pretty Green. Clearly not.
'But then I don't interfere with her either,' he continues. 'She'll come down and ask how she looks and I'll go, "Great", but the minute you say anything, like "What about that?" or "That looks better", they bite your head off. You can't win man, not ever.'
His label's style is 'subtle', he explains, his wide Manchester accent unaltered by years down south.
'No big stripes, nothing flash or loud. It's classic stuff - trench coats, parkas, desert boots, nice cashmeres. Nothing wild, man - just good clobber. It's more about style than fashion - because it's me and I won't take any notice of trends. I don't do fashion. In my opinion a girl has to look like a girl and a lad look like a lad.
Look at them pointed shoes. They're for girls and that. I don't like those skin-tight jeans, either. I don't mind a bit of slim, but I can't tell whether you're a chick or a bloke...
'A lot of people are having a pop at these,' he says, plonking a foot on the table to show me his faux (I hope) leopard skin, Yves St Laurent driving loafers.
'They're my pride and joy. I love them.'
Gallagher is like a firework - light the touch paper and he's off ranting about every subject under the sun. So while he's on a roll I decide to ask him about Michael Jackson.
'He was genius, without a doubt. Not my kind of music, though. I preferred him when he was in the Jackson Five but then he turned into a bit of a nut job. But it was always on the cards, wasn't it? Anyone who has their own fairground in the back garden has to go nuts. I have a couple of trees and a garden shed so it keeps me well on the ground.'
Born William John Paul Gallagher 37 years ago in Burnage, Liam was never expected to make any money - at least, not by his teachers. After being expelled from school aged 15 for fighting, he found a job creosoting fences and, to fund his clothes habit, sold knocked-off Stone Island and Calvin Klein from a huge holdall on street corners.
'He used to smother his hair in gel, nicking my deodorant and aftershave,' wrote eldest brother Paul in his book Brothers: From Childhood To Oasis.
'He wouldn't go out unless he looked perfect.'
Liam says, 'I was into clothes big style and saved up to buy me clobber. I'd get my giro and buy a Patrick tracksuit top or a nice bit of Lacoste, Levi's, Dunlop Green Flash. You know the stuff. Football gear we'd wear down Maine Road (Manchester City's former ground).
'It's a working-class thing - you work all week and then on the weekends you can have a bit of style, be the rock star, you know what I mean. Look cool. Style is what counts, man. Fashion comes and goes. Style remains. It's about class. These things have been going for years. It's about what you put them with.
'I love style - proper style. To be honest I get a bit nervous when I do these interviews about the label because you might ask me about cloth or something and I haven't got a clue. But I know what looks good and feels good and that is enough for me. I hate it when people say one thing goes with something else. I'll wear what I want.'
'Caning it doesn't work with kids. You wake up the next day after a session and you're looking for bits of homework and football boots. It's rubbish' That swagger saw Gallagher invited by school chum Paul 'Guigsy' McGuigan to join his band, Rain.
Liam's natural presence as frontman soon saw it become his band. After inviting his guitarist older brother Noel to join, they changed their name to Oasis and in 1994 released their first album, Definitely Maybe, which became the fastest-selling debut LP ever released in the UK. Since then they have broken all previous records with an unprecedented 22 successive singles in the UK top ten.
Noel left the band in August, and Liam is currently auditioning for a replacement guitarist.
But it wasn't just the band's phenomenal success that kept Liam in the headlines.
Among many other incidents, he's been banned from Cathay Pacific over an argument about a scone (he later said he'd rather walk), charged with assault in Australia, arrested for fighting in Germany and had an alleged tear-up with Paul Gascoigne in London's Groucho Club that ended with the singer setting off a fire extinguisher in the footballer's face.
So when, one week ago, Gallagher tore through our early-morning photo-shoot in a distracted fug, refused to look at any of the pictures and went home, cancelling our interview, I was hardly surprised. Must have been a heavy night, I thought. But I couldn't have been more wrong.
Today, he bowls up with that trademark Liam swagger, right on time at midday for a chat in a pub on the edge of Hampstead Heath. He's dressed in jeans, a Pretty Green parka and those Yves St Laurent loafers. While I plump for a pint of bitter, I am shocked to hear him order a bottle of water.
'Last week,' he says, not looking me in the eye, 'I was really sick. I was moving house and my kids were going back to school. I didn't want to do this and not give it my best, you know what I mean? I wanted to do it right.'
No more hellraising, then?
'I've knocked all that (he makes a sign to indicate cocaine use) on the head since last November. I'll have a drink now and again. But not for the time being - I'm having a rest.
'You must remember, though, that I've caned it for 20 years and not just on the sauce but with all sorts. I've had a great time and now I'm having a break. It doesn't work with kids, man. You wake up the next day after a session and you're looking for bits of your kids' homework and football boots. You're all over the place - it's rubbish.'
Gallagher has even been sighted running, knocking out ten miles a day around Hampstead Heath. He's not as rock 'n' roll as I'd expected, even admitting to moisturising.
'I'm bang into all that,' he says. 'I'm into my haircuts and keeping clean and I will moisturise now and again. If you've been sitting in a pub for three weeks you dry up a bit, don't you?
I'm into smelling good and looking good. I do a bit of Christian Dior and there's another one I like - Very Sexy: For Him, by Victoria's Secret. But once it's done and the bottle is finished I'll move on.'
Gallagher lives in north London with his second wife, former All Saint Nicole Appleton, and their son Gene, eight. He also has a son, Lennon, ten, with Patsy Kensit.
The boys attend the same school but, while Gene lives in Hampstead with his parents, Lennon shuttles between there and Kensit's house. Then there's 11-year-old Molly, who lives with her mother Lisa Moorish.
'I don't really have any hobbies,' he says.
'I just like meeting people and hanging out. I like people. And I love being a dad. Family is the most important thing in the world. Kids are the nuts, man. I did all the nappy changing - all that. I am hopeless at putting up light fittings but I do my bit elsewhere. I'm up first every morning with my kids. I do the school run. It sorts my head out. I love it.'
Private or state school?
'Private. I've worked hard and they've got just as much right to be there as any banker or broker's kid.'
Gallagher's own school days bore no comparison: 'When I was in school I got in a scrap and got hit over the head with a hammer. I see all these hoodie kids on the street and I suppose that was me once, hanging on the street corner, up to no good... only I was dressed much better.
'We used to get dragged to church, all three of us boys (he is the youngest and Paul the oldest), dressed in jumpers that my mum had knitted. She would take the body and blood of Christ then go home and get battered by my dad, so she left him when I was ten.
But when she went back to take Communion again they said you can't take it, you're divorced. So what they were saying was, if you stay at home and get a kicking on a regular basis, you can have one of these. If not, there's the door.'
A passionate man, he cites George Harrison, John Lennon ('the coolest nerd in the world'), Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones and Paul Weller as his style heroes. The least stylish rock star of all time? His brother, Noel.
'He dresses like Liz Hurley's son,' says Gallagher, who didn't invite Noel to his wedding last year and admits to not having a civilised conversation with him in over 12 months.
'He's on the posh vibe. Loves a cardigan and all that. He had some of the Pretty Green gear when we were almost on speaking terms, but I don't think he's happy about it. A few of my mates were backstage wearing it and he was like, "Why are you wearing that?" And my mates were like, "Cos you bloody can't." What does he know anyway? His fashion sense is massively overrated.'
At this point, I really want to ask how Liam feels about the Oasis split. But the subject is totally off-limits.
The week before our chat I was told by his publicist not to ask about the subject - not once, but four times.
And today Stevie Allen, Liam's personal minder, driver (Liam has never driven a car) and partner in Pretty Green, sits behind right me all through our interview. Not the best circumstances for an open conversation. Nevertheless, I carry on regardless and pop the question.
Sitting back in his chair, he lets out a big sigh and says, 'I'd love to talk to you about it but I can't because I haven't had the time - after 18 years in Oasis - to think about the situation. It's only just been a month and I have to sit down and work it out because as far as I'm concerned my comments would be on my musical headstone. But I'm gutted. I love being in Oasis. When I'm ready, you will hear my side of the story. It wasn't a shock to me that we split - but there has been enough said about us.
'What I will say is that it took the members of Oasis to knock it on the head. All the people who said we wouldn't last? We did - and in the end no one got to us except for us. We were the ones who brought Oasis down and not our critics. I'm very proud of that.'
Gallagher's Pretty Green range (named after a Paul Weller song) might be described as late Mod-influenced smart casual wear, although never before has that kind of clothing been made to such luxurious specifications. 'We just went for it, man,' says Gallagher, who conceived the range with tailor Nick Holland.
'I wanted it to be the best 'cos there's no point in mucking about, is there? If it don't look good on me, then I'm not having it. And, if no one else buys it, at least I've got a nice wardrobe out of it.
I just wanted to make things that I couldn't find for myself in the best fabrics and in the best quality that look and feel great. It's not about making money. 'I am not forcing anyone to go out and buy it but I meant to do it for us and those that are into it - those people who've stopped me and asked where they could buy stuff from. 'I love the clothes and the music so if you like it, buy it. If you can't afford it, save up like I did.'
Pretty Green Black collection is available from the end of October at Selfridges, Cruise, Flannels and selected independents. new.prettygreen.com
You can see a number of pictures of Liam in a number of the items from the new range by clicking here.
£495 for a Ronnie Wood dress? What planet are these rock stars on?
When Ronnie Wood isn't in rehab or leaving the wife and kids for an "adventure" with a teenage cocktail waitress, he's reforming the Faces (without Rod) or preparing to record the 1765th Rolling Stones album with Mick and Keef. He's also an accomplished painter – despite sinking so many pints of Guinness it's a wonder he can hold a brush. But the ace Face is nothing if not talented and resourceful. His latest venture is a clothing range, unveiled in one of the Sunday supplements last week.
Allow me to lead you to Liberty's website, where you can gaze at the togs in all their glory. I'm particularly taken by the "unisex black guitar crew-neck top", emblazoned with a giant axe and signed by the man himself. Suits you, Sir! (mine's a medium, Ron, if you're reading). And for the lady, the "blue orchid shift dress", "a sleeveless shift with a round neckline, nipped in at the waist with dart detailing". The breathtaking dress (size 8 for the girlfriend, Ron, if you could) is covered with brightly coloured flowers, reminiscent of Picasso. What more could any style-conscious music fan want? Money, it seems. And lots of it. The top was a whopping £195 before last night's reduction to a still-pricey £110, whereas those on a shoestring can take comfort that the dress has dropped from £550 to just, er, £495.
Basically, to afford any of Ron's clothes you'd have to be one of the toffs who posh it up with Mick at the Henley Regatta. Or in the Rolling Stones. I mean, those are the sort of prices you might pay for an Alexander McQueen or similar – and, as Ron might put it, "'e's a proper designer, inne'?"
Ron isn't the only rocker selling eye-wateringly expensive clothes. Liam Gallagher's Pretty Green range also seems designed to part long-suffering Oasis fans from their money. Still, at least no one can accuse the singer of being original – Pretty Green is a Jam song. Gallagher's account-draining £125 "lime monkeys" look like green Harringtons to us. They're not quite in Ron's cash-hoovering league, and for £40 you can have a T-shirt "created to Liam's exact specifications" (it's a T-shirt, with the Pretty Green logo on it). Or how about £35 for a "cricket hat" But didn't we once see the Stone Roses' Reni modelling something similar? And can't you buy that sort of headgear at the beach for just a fiver?
In fact, if we weren't being charitable (and we're not – we can't afford it if we're going to buy Ron's T-shirt), we'd suspect that Ron has spent too much time hanging out with millionaires since officially joining the Rolling Stones in 1976. Or that Gallagher has forgotten his roots and thinks he can have a career in fashion after the Oasis split. But the fans aren't happy. "I don't mind paying if they're worth it, but they're worth s**t-all for their prices," writes one perturbed punter on Gallagher's Facebook, while another adds, "Oi Liam! Your Pretty Green clothes suck ...!"
Ouch. We think this is particularly unfair, because at least the Pretty Green range isn't as inadvisable as the lager-lout shirt-over-jeans look Liam and Noel modelled circa (What's the Story) Morning Glory?
Maybe Burnage's finest should take his cue from hip-hop, whose stars make their clothes affordable to the fans that made them famous. Gallagher's fellow skint-boy-turned-rich-kid 50 "Fiddy" Cent offers a fetchingly ghastly "G-Unit jewel dropper T-shirt" for a mere $14.99. Or how about Tinchy Stryder's affordable "Star in the hood" hoody? – all the rage, if you're too young to get into grown-up grime.
Are these rockers taking the piss, or would you rather blow £125 on a Liam "lime monkey" or £195 on a Ronnie tee than a cheapo Tinchy? Or would you rather be seen dead in a 1986 Bros tour-shirt than any of this clobber?
Oasis is dead and buried but Liam Gallagher has a new gig. Just don’t call it fashion
Backstage, Paris, pre-Oasis gig, August 28, 2009. Noel and Liam, those Gallagher brothers, have yet another spectacular row. Noel reportedly smashes Liam’s guitar (which had been given to him by his wife Nicole, née Appleton). The show is cancelled.
This is drama, but surely not particularly out-of-the-ordinary drama — after all, the Gallagher brothers, defining members of the defining British band of the past 20 years, have been rowing since they were toddlers. Fraternal aggro is programmed into their DNA. It turns out, though, that this spat is, for Noel at least, an Oasis-killer. Shortly afterwards he formally exits the biggest British band since the Beatles. He posts this explanation: “People will write and say what they like but I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer.”
Liam — the only Gallagher still in Oasis — has so far kept shtoom about that bust-up and the future of his band. Informed speculation has it that Oasis is not over; that Liam (the lead singer, the charismatic one, the one the fans chant for even if Noel wrote all the big tunes) will carry on.
Liam Gallagher pronounces Oasis dead, over, kaput, when we are more than halfway through a running-late, already-cancelled-once interview that I had expected — given his boorish, hard-to-handle reputation — to be neither enjoyable nor revelatory. Under no circumstances, ran the edict, would Liam be discussing Noel, his brother’s departure from the band, the future of the band, or anything band-sensitive. Get it? This was to be an interview about clothes; Liam’s passion for them and, most of all, his new fashion label Pretty Green, which some have suggested was a factor in Noel’s apoplectic departure.
Yet by the time Liam, barely prompted, answers the question over which fans and music journalists have been angsting, I am already unsure whether Liam’s reputation is entirely justified. First, though, in barely edited Liamese, here is the bit about which Oasis fans will care most.
Liam: “We’ve always had a lot of fun [he means on tour with the band]. I’ve always had a lot of fun [his eyes flash devilishly]. “That’s why it was never hard work for me. It was a joy and it was always a bit of a bummer when the tour ended. You know [he pauses wistfully], it was great. Obviously you’ve got to get back and see the missus and the kids and all that. Nothing lasts for ever. But it was never, ‘Uh, f***, I need to get off the tour because my head’s up my arse’.” [Could he be referring, obliquely, to Noel? Most probably.]
- Oasis is your band. Is it fair to say that this [gestures at rack of Pretty Green autumn/winter 2009 collection] is a solo projection?” (I meant “solo project” but was nervous. He is a bit unsettling.)
Liam: “Well, Oasis is no longer. I think we all know that. So that’s done.”
- You genuinely feel that?
Liam: “Oh, I know. Without a doubt. And it’s a shame but that’s life. We had a good run at it. The thing about Oasis is, no one … we ended Oasis. No one ended it for us. Which was pretty, kind of … cool (the word “cool” is enunciated with venom). I’m thinking of what the next step is musically, which is all my mind’s on.”
Apart, that is, from Pretty Green, the Liam Gallagher collection of clothes and shoes (and more, but that’s for the future) dreamt up one day last November, in mid-tour, when he was sitting by a pool in Los Angeles with Steve Allen, his security man turned man Friday.
Here’s Liam again: “We started talking about clothes — mainly shoes. I’ve got a big thing for shoes and that. And we just got this Pretty Green thing … it happened. We started writing the name and that, wrote it like a Paul Smith [logo] kind of thing. It looked a bit naff, so we put it in a circle — and away we went.”
Last November, perhaps not entirely by coincidence, there had been a swirl of speculation that Noel planned to go solo. Liam (majority shareholder and ultimate boss of Pretty Green) and Steve (its CEO) all but finalised their logo at the poolside and decided to go for it. Nearly a year later, and this month Pretty Green will put out its first full collection, created by the Nottingham-based menswear designer Nick Holland but utterly subject to Liam’s approval. Apparently he sent back 19 prototype T-shirts because they were not the right weight: Liam hates heavy T-shirts.
Just like Oasis’s songs and the Pretty Green logo (reminiscent of the Rubber Soul album cover), there are a lot of Beatles references in the clothes. There is the majorette hat that Liam calls the Lennon and the fantastic heavy melton coat that he calls The Fool on The Hill. Then there are collarless leather jackets in green, black and burgundy, made from super-soft Wagu leather
Liam: “Remember the old Beatles jackets when they had to wear the suits and that? Before they were aware of their own clothes and Brian Epstein used to make them wear them? So I just thought of like that, get rid of the collar and stuff. And that’s basically my kind of take on it. People might not kind of like that kind of thing. But f *** ’em.”
- Well, f*** ’em to a certain extent, perhaps, Liam. But this is a serious concern, isn’t it, not a sideline vanity project? You want people to like the gear and buy the gear and make Pretty Green a business venture?
Liam: “Yeah, but my take on it is the way I took my music thing. You can’t force it down people’s throats. You either dig it or you don’t. I’m not going to cry overnight, worrying if people are going to buy the clothes or not.”
- Well, I suppose you don’t need to (as in, you’re a multimillionaire). He knows what I mean: “I know what you mean but I’m not going to ram it down people’s throats. I think it’s a lot cooler when you go (spreads his arms) ‘there it is’. And you let people decide for themselves, you know what I mean?”
Liam: “I do. So without ramming it down your throats, let’s just say that is an extremely fine collection of clothes for men. Best of all are the jackets — a gorgeous, I-want-it pea coat in stretchy, yielding, wicked British wool and a beautiful slim-cord number that I imagine Peter Sellers would have leapt upon. That Crimea-cut melton is lovely, too: less expensive and more attractive than D&G’s recent version.
This season’s collection is exclusively black and white but next spring the palette gets more adventurous, the musical references broader. That’s when the sea island/cashmere mix knitwear, my favourite element after those jackets, will come into its own. Other bits are rather too Liam — too dress-up — for me, such as the Liamdesigned Paisley Nehru kaftan (very Ringo-ish, very Donovan-esque) and that Lennon hat. But the desert boots — the first thing that Liam decided Pretty Green would produce — are top-notch: simple and tasteful.
Liam is a connoisseur of desert boots. “The Clarks ones are a bit pointy, I’ve always found,” he says. “I wanted to bring a bit of a square toe back in. They come in black, like this” — he waves at the pair on the coffee table between us — “and a dark brown and a camelly colour. But it’s not quite right yet, the camelly colour. It’s too camel.”
Liam talks about, in the long term, opening a Pretty Green shop and “banging out” furniture, art and everything else he loves. “We’re going to be F***ING massive!” For now, though, he is focusing on the clothes.
Pretty Green is no passing fancy, he insists. Could it be a retirement scheme, post-Oasis? After all, Liam is 37 now. I suggest that the label could be the perfect project on which to focus in his rock’n’roll dotage, if he doesn’t fancy doing a Mick Jagger and shaking his hips into his sixties. Liam leaps on that one: “There’ll be no shaking me hips, man! I’ve had 18 years of not shaking any-f***ing-thing!
“If I’m into it, then I’ll do it as long as I can, you know what I mean? Clothes and music are totally the exact same for me. So I’ll be doing music to the day I die and I’ll be doing this till the day I die. Hopefully.”
Liam loves his clothes. We are in a studio in Kentish Town, northwest London, where he has just finished shooting the Pretty Green look book. He is wearing a green parka by the label (accessorised with a Stone Roses badge), his own desert boots (black) and jeans “by a friend of mine”.
He has almost always been into his gear, since he was “ about 13, 14. Even before that. You want to look good. Girls are involved, you know what I mean? I was into the old tracksuits. I used to breakdance years ago, so I was into, like, Tacchini [Sergio] and stuff like that. That was good.” B-boyish? “Well, I never wore silly ’ats and that, turned sideways. I just wore the tracksuit.”
I say that I didn’t know he had an electro heritage. “Yeah, that was the first kind of music I got into, really. It was before gangsta rap. Old electro music. I used to go out with this girl called Gina Armitage, who was a beautiful lady — she’s not alive any more — and we used to just go around with a piece of lino, doing a bit of breakdancing in town, trying to get some money.” Were you good? “Not as good as her. She was good, man.”
Reeling from the “Liam Gallagher: breakdancer” revelation, I bowl him an underarm: Steve mentioned that he, Liam, loves shopping? (Steve also mentioned, though I don’t mention this to Liam, that on tour he has to carry Liam’s shoe bag on his person at all times, after a German hotel made the cataclysmic error of losing it). “Yeah, mate. I just love clothes. I can’t sit in a room. Our Kid used to sit in his hotel room all the time. I haven’t got a f***ing clue what he got up to, probably cross-dressing or summat. But I’d be out. Bags in and that’s it, find out where the shops are.”
That pop at Our Kid — old Noel — is classic Liam shtick. He likes to provoke, whether it’s other bands, the press, politicians, whatever. When I ask about his new house (in Hampstead, northwest London, just up the road from the old one but with more room for his sons Lennon and Gene to roam), he delights in claiming that his wardrobe is bigger than that of Nicole, “the missus”. And how does she feel about that? “She ain’t got much say!” Then he backs off: “I’m only joking. There’s enough (wardrobe) space for the both of us.”
He doesn’t back off, though, when I raise the F-word. Isn’t there a perception that men with a strong interest in fashion are a bit effeminate? Liam: “I can go with that. I’m down with my feminine side, without a f***ing doubt. But I’m not a fashion designer. I’m not into the fashion side of it [he says the word “fashion” with far more bile than he does his favourite F-word]. I’m just into making top clobber that I like. You won’t see me at a f***ing fashion show.
You’ve never been? “A couple of years ago. It was rubbish. They talk a load of shit, don’t they? About nothing. It’s not real.”
There are lots of attractive women in that kind of world, though, I provoke. “If that’s what you’re into, man. If you’re into f***ing chopsticks.”
OK, so if you don’t see yourself as entering the “fashion” world, then the emphasis stays on music? “I just see myself as Liam Gallagher, musician, making some proper clothes for people who think like me.” - Which is how?
Liam: “I don’t know. I wouldn’t like to just spit it out, I’d like to have a think about that. But someone who is passionate about both, you know what I mean, but not in a f***ing … it’s not going to save the world. It’s not going to cure cancer. It’s just a f***ing quick fix, isn’t it?”
- So you’re not going to oversell it?
Liam: “No, I’m not going to oversell it. And I’m not going to oversell me, either.” - That’s important, isn’t it?
Liam: “It is to me. The way we are doing this is important to me.” - Are there misconceptions about you?
Liam: “Yeah. Millions.”
- Would you like to point some out?
Liam: Not really. I’m not arsed, I don’t give a f*** what people think about me, except the people I care for, you know what I mean.”
Hm, I say, what shall we talk about now? We’ve got straight into a lot of serious stuff already.
Liam: “That’s the thing about [my] music. I get to it straight away with lyrics and that. And then I’m stuck and I think, f***, I’ve got to write another f***ing verse and I’ve said everything I want to say in the first verse.”
- Are we done, then?
Liam: “Yeah, 28 minutes. There you go, f***ing perfect!”
He slaps my back. Dictaphone off. And it’s “cheers” and, by the way, you do understand that this interview will have to post-mortem all those recent spits and spats and splits with Noel, despite that PR edict not to talk about it? He knows what I mean.
And then, infuriatingly, he starts to talk about Noel and the break-up. He wants to wait a while before really giving his side of what happened between them. He doesn’t want what he says — his “Oasis headstone” — to be said in anger and irrevocable. He wants the dust to settle. Anyway, it’s not all for the worst, he adds, because Noel can do his thing and I can do mine. I press “record’”.
Liam: “People will be able to buy his records. People will be able to buy our records. So everyone’s happy.”
- And maybe, in time, the relationship (with Noel) will be different? And it won’t be all about the music and the management?
Liam: “Exactly! Exactly! Well, that’s a long way off yet, man, but who knows.”
Liam Gallagher: a semi-scary, tightly wound wind-up merchant — absolutely. But also serious, sensitive, impassioned and, from the look that flitted across his face at the end there, a man who misses his brother. Furthermore, a producer of rocking clobber for men. Who knew?
Echo and the Bunnymen: Seems Like Noel Gallagher's Been Bullied
The greatest Macca to come out of Liverpool pulls up a bar stool with AP Childs and shoots the shit about accidental heroin use and PiL, before agreeing to our steak cookery challenge . . .
You reformed at the arse end of Britpop and released Evergreen, and despite your solo endeavors, you’re still doing it as the Bunnymen; it even looks like you’re going to outlast bands such as Oasis. Are the Bunnymen going to remain a going concern?
Mac: Definitely! Yeah, we will do more records. When we got back together as the Bunnymen for Evergreen it was obviously a calling kind of thing rather than just a reunion. And we have proved that. The Bunnymen, despite the problems, get better and better. We go from strength to strength.
What are your thoughts on the latest Oasis split?
Mac: I feel sorry for Noel. After all, it was his fucking band man. Looking at it, it seems like he's been bullied from all those behind the group. What do you do when that happens? He's had to walk out on his own band. But Noel is a good songwriter and he'll be OK. He's got projects . . . the rest of the band . . . well that guy from Ride, I like him, he's OK. At least the rest of them have still got him if they want to continue together.
"The Importance of Being Idle" Up For Best Video of the Decade Award
So, as the end of the decade draws ever-nearer (so soon!) those 'Best Of...' polls have begun and we're happy to hear that the excellent video for 'The Importance Of Being Idle' is up for 'Best Video Of The Decade' at BT Vision.
Early Demo, Strange Thing , Oasis: Track #4 from the ' infamous 'Live Demonstration' demo tape of which a copy was handed to Creation Records boss Alan McGee on the night he saw Oasis live for the first time.
Liam Gallagher comes out in support of 'Save the honey bee' campaign
Frontman says 'We've got to save them before they all buzz off'
Oasis' Liam Gallagher has come out in support of a campaign to save the honey bee from disappearing.
The singer was apparently made aware of the plight of the insect after honey helped him cure a throat virus that forced Oasis to pull out of the V Festival, before the band split in August.
"The bees are vanishing. We've got to save them before they all buzz off. It's important. It's a really worthwhile cause. Liam told The Sun. "Without them we're in proper bother." He explained.
Join the honeybee's campaign to save Liam Gallagher
We hunted down the last honeybee in England to find out why it is fighting to rescue that other endangered species – Oasis
Having been accused of emotionally torturing his bandmates and going on a rampage around Paris like some kind of guitar-smashing Cloverfield, Liam Gallagher today unveiled his inner Earth Mother by pledging his support for … saving the honeybee!
"We've got to save them before they all buzz off," Gallagher said, perhaps signposting a new career as the third Chuckle Brother. Elsewhere, his grasp of the devastating shift in pollination levels hinted at a future in environmental sciences: "Without them we're in proper bother."
So now we know where Gallagher stands on endangered flying insects. But how do the bees feel about that other endangered species – Oasis? We hunted down the last remaining honeybee in England – we'll call him Stripey McDiesinexplicably – to get the bee's response to Liam's support.
"Christ, don't worry about us," he said, "we'll be fine. The real crisis here is the extinction of Oasis. We don't think people fully realise the catastrophic effect this will have on lad-rock's natural order. Without the availability of the band's stadium support slots to nourish them, an entire strata of gormless, plodding, mid-paced rock poseurs will be destroyed. We're particularly concerned about the fate of Ocean Colour Scene, Wolfmother, Jet, and Kasabian."
"We've started a campaign to protect the most promising of the batch – New Education – but there's a long way to go: at the moment they just keep swatting us away from their pints and screaming. We estimate that within four years there will be no real music played on real instruments and the charts will be nothing but a desert of original, innovative, forward-thinking electro crossover acts. Paul Weller has already started to noticeably wilt."
So there you have it. Oh, and when we joked that Mr McDiesinexplicably could now buzz off, he witheringly replied, "Yeah, right, hilarious. I don't hear that one every day."