September 4, 2009

Well, I want Oasis to party like it's 1995

Like a Cassandra to his own Trojan war, it might just be that last year Liam Gallagher saw the events of the past few weeks advancing over the horizon and felt unmoved to avert them. If, as sources close to the band suggest, the rest of Oasis plan to continue beyond Noel Gallagher’s departure, then the Liam-penned final tune on last year’s Dig Out Your Soul will assume some prescience. “Who’s to say/You were right/And I was wrong?/Soldier on.” Would they dare to, though? What kind of an ego would it take to continue Oasis without their songwriter Noel Gallagher, the man who gave them Live Forever, Wonderwall and Supersonic?

There’s no shortage of anecdotal mater-ial to suggest that Liam has succumbed to many of the clichés that surround the pampered rock frontman. Own dressing room? Check. Boutique clothing range? Check. Personal security guard? Check. From here, it would be natural to infer a gulf that has Noel and the rest of Oasis on one side and Liam — who has long since relinquished even the need to be present at soundchecks — on the other. And yet it’s worth noting that — in the wake of the fight that nixed their appearance at Friday’s Paris en Seine festival — Liam and his wife Nicole Appleton high-tailed it to Lake Como in Italy with the Oasis bassist Andy Bell and his girlfriend in tow. According to one insider: “People are scared of Liam. And if he wants to carry on the band, Andy and [guitarist] Gem Archer will probably go along with it.” In the statement released hours after the Paris altercation, Noel pronounced himself disappointed with the “lack of support and understanding from my management and bandmates that left me with no other option than to seek pastures new”.

The history of brothers in bands — from the Bee Gees to the Kinks — is dotted with recriminations and subsequent reconciliations. Oasis have had their fair share, most seriously in Barcelona nine years ago, when Liam goaded his brother by casting doubt on the legitimacy of Noel’s daughter Anaïs. Wasn’t there every reason, then, to assume that these latest wounds would also heal? Their mother Peggy seems to think so. “They love each other,” she says. “They’ve had fights before and got over it.”

Mothers often know best, but mothers are also rarely able to view their children’s spats as, well, anything more than children’s spats. In the wake of Oasis’s no-show at the V Festival — attributed to Liam’s laryngitis — the singer had seemed similarly keen to play down rumours that the band’s future was in jeopardy. Bypassing the spellchecking software on his phone, he issued a reassuring tweet to his fans: “The voice may of disappeared, but I’m still here ... I’m gutted your gutted what can I say f*** all at the moment.”

Friends of the guitarist, however, were left with an altogether graver picture. Noel told friends that Oasis would never play a British show again, the implication being that if they could just see out their remaining European festival shows, he could walk away quietly. If Oasis had fulfilled the Paris obligation, they would have had just one more show left to play.

So what happened at Rock en Seine to tip Noel over the edge? Despite occupying the neighbouring dressing room, the New York band Vampire Weekend have kept their counsel, merely hinting at the weirdness of coming off stage following a triumphant set to encounter ugly scenes. The Scottish singer-songwriter Amy McDonald was less discreet: “Oasis cancelled again, with one minute to stage time! Liam smashed Noel’s guitar, huuuge fight!”

Speaking to The Times, a source close to Noel said: “The problems began even before Liam arrived in Paris. He travelled separately from the band, as he does these days, on Eurostar. By the time he got to the venue he was his usual confrontational self. He said things about Noel’s family and made pointed personal insinuations about Sara [MacDonald, Noel’s partner].” What we now also know is that the guitar smashing involved an acoustic guitar given to Liam by Appleton, to which Noel laid waste before walking away.

In any band of Oasis’s stature there are usually systems in place to stop the build-up of tensions. If pre-gig drinking has the potential to become an issue, management and the security staff employed by them can ensure that group members make it onstage in a state of relative sobriety. In the days when Liam Gallagher was merely the frontman with Oasis, such matters would have been dealt with by the group’s management company, Ignition. In 2009, however, things have ceased to be as simple. Accompanying Gallagher on Eurostar was Stevie Allen, Liam’s personal security guard and the business partner with whom the singer set up his clothing line Pretty Green. As anyone who has kept up with Liam’s Twitter updates this year will know, the singer’s enthusiasm for Pretty Green seems, at times, to have eclipsed his enthusiasm for his band.

Sources close to Noel say that he is furious at what he sees as Liam’s willingness to use the goodwill earned by Oasis’s music to sell clothes. The confusion between Liam’s band and brand was further heightened by the singer’s recent interview with NME, arranged through the PR he uses for Pretty Green. Parading various garments on his label, Liam confirmed that the pair were no longer on speaking terms, alleging: “It takes more than blood to be my brother.”

Others have questioned the wisdom of a band with Oasis’s fractious history committing to a ten-month world tour — not least because of issues around the recording of Dig Out Your Soul that were still not resolved before its release. After eight weeks of sessions at Abbey Road studios, Liam had yet to record a single vocal. Speaking to Q magazine, Noel revealed that Liam waited until mixing for the album commenced in LA before recording his vocals. Even then, halfway though the fortnight-long stay in LA, Liam fled to London, saying he had “some business to attend to”. This, it turns out, was his wedding to Appleton, to which none of his bandmates had been invited. As a result, Noel told Q, the band were forced to shelve two album tracks, including “an epic, Champagne Supernova song with backwards Are You Experienced-type rhythms” and a 50-piece choir. Anything but contrite, Liam tweeted: “A 50-piece choir on it ... more like 50 shit guitar solos on it.”

And that’s the way it’s been with the Gallaghers this year. “He’s constantly going on about how much soul he’s got,” Noel said. “I assume Bob Marley had soul ... I don’t see Bob Marley at the Rainbow [the scene of the famous Wailers concert in 1977] wailing about the colour of the napkins in his dressing room.”

Paul Rees, the editor of Q, remembers being struck by the way that, throughtout their interview, Noel kept bringing the subject around to his brother. “He seemed so tired,” Rees says. “People who have seen them on tour this year have noticed that he seems to be going through the motions.”

Beneath the weariness, however, is hurt. “He’s never seen my little lad [one year-old Donovan]. Just pictures,” Noel confided (a claim strenuously refuted by Liam). “If you were in the circle of people that we are in, you wouldn’t have him in the house if he spoke to you the way he speaks to me and my family.”

One bone of contention appears to be MacDonald herself, who Liam is said to have consistently sought to antagonise. “At the Brits in 2007 Liam snatched her glass of wine and allowed it to smash at her feet,” one insider alleges. And the source of the acrimony? “They move in different circles. Sara knows journalists and people in the media. He sees her as sleeping with the enemy. Liam seems to prefer celebrities. He’s friends with Gok Wan and Holly Willoughby. Noel, meanwhile, prefers the company of musicians.”

Rees echoes the sentiments: “Noel has always been keen to broaden his musical horizons — perhaps more than Oasis would allow at times.” The man who discoverer Oasis, Alan McGee, reckons it’ll be less than five years before the brothers end up on the same stage together. Friends of Noel suggest that ten years is a more realistic assessment. But If Liam’s ego has spiralled out of control, Noel may want to stop and consider whether he inadvertently had a hand in the process. Seven years ago, when his younger brother brought his maiden songwriting effort Little James to the table, Noel encouraged him to write more. Now, with three creditable efforts on Dig Out Your Soul, it’s conceivable that Liam — who, lest we forget, started Oasis without his brother — feels bold enough to carry the burden of their reputation.

In a funny way, he may even have a point. In this divorce, Liam may come off surprisingly well — at least in monetary terms. It may not excite the critics, but an Oasis that functions as a travelling jukebox — Britpop’s first heritage act — may play in Liam’s favour. Hard to imagine? Go and see Oasis live and the beery mass you see bellowing the words to Wonderwall bear far greater resemblance to Liam than Noel. Will they mind if Oasis never record another note? Or do they just want to party like it’s 1995?

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Another article on the Oasis split.

An article from the Independent in the UK covers the effect of Noel Gallagher calling it quits with Oasis. It seems a lil misguide really as Noel constantly claimed he wanted to be in the biggest band in the world and to do that you gotta play all the big gigs... He also says it ended with a whimper, not so true as word on the street is that Liam smashed one of Noel's guitars in an argument just before Oasis were due to hit the stage....


Noel Gallagher's decision to quit Oasis is years overdue, says Nick Hasted. The band were no longer relevant. And yet there is much to celebrate about their Champagne Supernova.

When the end finally came for Oasis, it did so with a whimper. The violent altercations between the Gallagher brothers, a source of knockabout humour in the good days, had turned sour and abusive, said Noel, so he walked out with relief. One of the biggest bands in the history of British rock had just imploded, and the music world reacted with a bored shrug. Everyone, it's quite clear, had lost interest long ago – Oasis, perhaps, most of all. It makes you wonder what legacy all those tens of millions of the band's albums in homes worldwide amounts to. What mark have they left on the rock history books that they were more in thrall to than any band before them?

The ledger looks thin to most critics, these days. It has been more than a decade since Oasis made an album that mattered for any reason other than to justify another money-vacuuming tour. In that sense they were like the modern-day Stones, 20 years earlier in their careers. Watching last year's shows in Liverpool and London, with Noel, wounded after a moronic fan crashed into his ribs, hunched in the shadows, and Liam still standing motionless, singing the same old hits, Oasis looked like a rusting machine, running down fast.

Their lasting influence on music seems at first to be unremittingly awful. The critical fashion for bands of angular intelligence and artful arrangements, for Arcade Fire, Fleet Foxes and the rest, is in response to a so-called "indie landfill" of their desperately unimaginative guitar-toting peers. That hole seems populated entirely by Oasis support acts: The Enemy, The Fratellis, Twisted Wheel. It was fellow Mancunians The Stone Roses who first let the British musical clock, relentlessly futuristic till then, turn back to acknowledge The Beatles, in 1989, while welding them to brand-new acid-house. Oasis only looked at rock's past, permitting no future in a way Johnny Rotten never meant. Noel's kneejerk protest at Jay-Z's Glastonbury appearance last year said everything about a band paralysed with fear of progress.

But there is a flipside to Oasis's influence. The exhilarating, arrogant demand for success of early songs such as "Rock'n'Roll Star", delivered by council estate kids from Burnage with nothing to aid them but the self-belief that burned through Noel's writing then, motivated a generation of working-class boys just as powerfully as punk. If Noel had nothing concrete to say to that generation once their dreams had awakened enough to pick up a guitar instead of working "when there's nothing worth working for", as Liam once sneered, he had still done more good than today's more refined indie kings.

The mass audience that resulted, filling global stadia irrespective of their creative decline, is Oasis's glory and curse. Theirs has always been the crowd most likely to hurl pints of piss and turn to violence, in a throwback to the rock shows of Noel's beloved 1970s. Horrified reports from their huge Manchester gigs this year even mentioned a man flinging his own excrement at those around him, as if there was something feral, barely human, about their fans. These hooligans were enfranchised by Oasis, and no other rock band. They are part of a football-style support; faithful as if to a home-town team, irrespective of form, and constantly replenished by fresh generations.

Other "people's bands" have followed in their wake. And not just the cluelessly conservative likes of The Enemy, whose album title We'll Live and Die in These Towns denies Oasis's dreams of escape. Fiercely intelligent, underestimated working-class bands in their teens and early twenties have also been inspired by the Gallaghers. At Oasis's Liverpool gig last year, I bumped into Dundee's The View, giddy with excitement at seeing their heroes. Uxbridge's brand-new 12 Dirty Bullets have the requisite football-style fans, but also a songwriter, Jamie Jamieson, who literately questions his environment as Noel never would. "They were massively inspirational," he tells me, "because they represent where we come from. Rock stars like David Bowie seem like they come from another planet. Oasis could be the lads next door, who just happened to take over the world."

Oasis's golden years were only ever short, stretching from their 1994 debut Definitely Maybe to 1996's Britpop Götterdämmerung at Knebworth, when 250,000 fans saw them over two days, the cocaine flowed, and the world seemed theirs for the taking. I was there as a fan, separated from friends for the whole long day, with no apparent prospect of getting home as the rain fell, and Oasis began. But when that impossibly huge crowd roared themselves hoarse as one to the communal anthems which every song on their first two albums had become, nothing else mattered to me. Rock hasn't had that warming generational unity since.

Noel Gallagher has admitted on many occasions since that that is when Oasis should have split. He knew it was the top, from which they could only fall. He said he didn't have the nerve to do what his hero Paul Weller had done with The Jam, that he had to keep his band-mates in jobs. It sounded bravely honest the first time, just sad every time afterwards. Oasis's legacy to Noel Gallagher had become one of him dutifully clocking on at stadia and studios, the opposite of the reason they formed.

Flicking through the channels the other day, I caught Noel singing "Half a World Away", the great old Oasis B-side The Royle Family uses as a theme song, this time alone with an acoustic guitar. It was deeply affecting, in a way not a second of his band's empty thunder was last year. The last remaining good thing Oasis can do is turn out the lights, and let their leader go. When not being closed-minded and cloth-eared, they have freed more people than we'll ever know. Noel Gallagher, unburdened from his dying creation, deserves no less.

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Hitler upset about Oasis break up?!

I thought I was depressed when Oasis split up but apparently not. Check out this outburst from one Mr A Hitler that amazingly was caught on camera during a filming for a documentary.

Hitler is clearly a long term Oasis fan having lost his virginity listening to Definitely Maybe and taking his first ecstasty tablet listening to Be Here Now!

What would Hitler have been like when the Beatles broke up?

It seems odd to be laughing about the Oasis break up using one of the most inhuman people that ever existed as the joke. I guess it can remind us there are are worse things that happen in the world than two brothers having a spat.

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Liam to continue as Oasis?

Liam Gallagher insists there is “no way” he will reconcile with his brother Noel.

The Oasis singer told an Italian waiter he will never let his sibling return to the group after the guitarist quit last Friday following a fist fight just minutes before they were due on stage in Paris.

Vincenzo Della Corte – who served the rocker, his wife Nicole Appleton and bandmate Andy Bell at Lake Como’s il Gatto Nero restaurant on Tuesday – said: “I asked him what the future was and he said it was all over and there was no way he would get back with Noel.

“He said that Noel had his style of music and he had his and they would be going their separate ways.”

Despite Liam’s professional turmoil, Vincenzo was amazed by how calm and relaxed the singer was.

He added to Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper: “You hear all these stories about Oasis being real rock and rollers but Liam was very polite and very happy to talk.

“There were fans outside and he went out to sign autographs and pose for pictures. He was with them for ages.

“They were having a good time and he didn’t seem at all bothered about the fact he had caused one of the world’s biggest bands to split.”

Liam, 36, seemingly wants to continue to perform as Oasis, while 42-year-old Noel is planning to start recording a solo album.

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