“If you’re proud about getting thrown off Ferries, then why don’t you go and support West Ham, get the fuck out of my band, and go be a football hooligan!?” – Noel Gallagher, to his little brother, 2005.
This is the exact kind of juvenile patter we’ve come to expect with the Gallagher boys, and despite everything it’s worked out pretty well for them.
They made a lot of money and produced a lot of good records together.
But the simple times when one could buy a single ticket, and go to watch the two boisterous personalities together on one stage is no more.
Allow me to introduce Beady Eye, the remnants of the Britpop giant Oasis.
The band comprises of front man Liam Gallagher, with a desire to prove he can in fact write songs (to add to his mere handful of songs whilst with Oasis) lead guitarist Gem Archer, original bassist Andy Bell will adopt the role of guitarist, and drummer Chris Sharrock, will hopefully be sticking to the pots and pans, also Matt Jones and Jeff Wootton will join Beady Eye as live keyboardist and bassist respectively. Will they survive in the current music climate without the song writing expertise of Noel?
In my opinion they can’t be too alike Oasis or they’ll get slated, however if they’re too dissimilar from Oasis, disappointing their pre-set up fan base, they’ll still get slated.
This leaves Liam and his faithful players in a bit of a pickle.
Oasis split as Noel walked, minutes before being due on stage in Paris’ Rock en Seine in August ‘09. He was quoted as saying “With some sadness and great relief, 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”
Oasis (initially The Rain) formed in Manchester in 1991. The band consisted of Paul Arthurs on guitar, Paul McGuigan on bass, Tony McCarroll drumming and of course a young Liam Gallagher on the mic.
At the time Noel was a roadie for a band called Inspiral Carpets; he went to watch his little brother’s first gig with them at the Boardwalk in Manchester.
Having written a lot of songs himself he saw Liam’s band as a potential outlet, and approached them with propositions of being their new chief and personal songwriter. They accepted – Oasis was formed.
“When he walked in, we were a band making a racket with four tunes. All of a sudden, there were loads of ideas.” – Paul Arthurs.
Eighteen months down the line Oasis were invited to support a band called Sister Lovers in Glasgow who shared their rehearsal space. This is where they got their big break.
After primarily experiencing some problems getting into the venue, they blew Creation Records’ boss Alan McGee out the water, so much so that he contacted the band that week and promptly signed them.
Conveniently the band ran into some problems securing an American contract and subsequently ended up signing a worldwide contract with Sony Music, which in turn left them licensed to Creation Records in the UK.
After a bit of a rocky start the band eventually struck gold with their first album Definitely Maybe in September 1994.
It entered the charts at no. 1 and at the time it quickly became the fastest selling debut album in the UK.
At this point the status and reputation went straight to the Gallagher brothers heads, and things began to get interesting…
The infamous sibling squabbles that would inevitably be the reason for the bands unfortunate demise, and Beady Eye’s birth 15 years later were becoming apparent.
Noel’s first attempt to leave the band occurred in LA in 1994 following an onstage tiff, which resulted in Liam using his tambourine as a projectile. Nevertheless the band got back on their feet, dusted themselves off and continued on their journey to take over the world.
They were starting to produce big songs that were doing very well – ranking highly in the UK singles charts. The brotherly loathe was not what the band needed, but what’s Rock ‘n’ Roll without a few scraps, eh?
It’s the mid 90’s, and Britpop rivals Blur are hot on the Gallagher’s tails.
Blur, fronted by Damon Albarn, (who would later form Gorillaz) released their new single on 14th August 1995 Country House, the same day as Oasis’ Roll with It – Blur outsold Oasis by 58,000 copies that week.
Oasis’s managers argued that this was purely down to sale prices, as Oasis were asking £2.00 more per track, but I guess we’ll never know. However, a month later Noel told The Observer he hoped “Damon Albarn and Alex James catch AIDS and die” which, to no surprise caused a bit of an uproar.
Towards the end of the decade Oasis were known all over the planet. They had far surpassed all their rivals and they stood alone as giants in their respective field.
Unfortunately the brothers were still as each other’s necks as if sibling feuds were going out of fashion.
In ‘99 Oasis quite literally began to fall apart. With the departure of fellow founding members Arthurs and McGuigan they we’re pretty much back to square one with 3/5 of a band. The brothers held a press conference shortly afterwards and assured fans and the media, not to lose faith and that Oasis will go on. They quickly found new members, one of which was Archer, who in a further ten years time would stick by Liam’s side to form Beady Eye.
During the 2000 worldwide tour Noel attempted to leave the boys again in Spain after a ruckus with Liam, and told the band they could do the rest without him.
They actually did until he swallowed his pride and rejoined them for the British leg, of which included two dates at Wembley Stadium.
As the decade rolled on, members came and went however the brothers, despite some hiccoughs along the way, stood shoulder to shoulder and kept the band together.
2009 proved to be the final year, and it became apparent the end was nigh.
When I personally first heard about the split in August, I was confident it was one of those temporary splits. I had convinced myself, thinking “Those boys, what will they do next?”, alas, they remain at logger heads…
Oasis ran for just short of two decades, they achieved 8 UK number ones, 15 NME Awards, 5 Brit Awards, 9 Q Awards and 4 MTU Europe Awards.
They were one of the greatest British bands since The Beatles and The Stones, oozing with originality and determination. I can only hope that Beady Eye will deliver, and continue the legacy.
Since the famous split we have been privy to witness to the birth of both Liam Gallagher’s new band Beady Eye, and his own personal clothing line range Pretty Green, named after a Jam song.
Liam justified the decision to enter the fashion world, quite eloquently with “Clothes man, you know what I mean, it’s important” which of course, you can’t exactly disagree with.
Beady Eye released their debut single Bring the Light on 10th November as a free download from their website, and have released tour dates for March 2011, they are as follows:
Glasgow Barrowland – March 3rd, 4th, Manchester O2 Apollo – 6th, 7th, London Troxy – 9th, 10th, Paris Casino De Paris – 13th, Cologne Live Music Hall – 14th, Milan Alcatraz – 16th, Madrid La Riviera – 18th, Amsterdam Paradiso – 21st, Brussels Ancienne Belgique – 22nd