(by Adam Walton for Frug! fanzine)
Manc band, Manc weather… “have you ever felt the pain in the pouring rain?”… well, Noel, have you ever finished reading Berk’s Teach Yourself How To Write Deep And Meaningful Poetry Vol. 1’? I think not! The Oasis rock ’n’ roll circus rolls into town and just makes me realise how bloody cynical I’m getting. ‘Britain’s Best New Band’ look like every other 60’s-influenced pile of toss that’s been foisted upon us since the death of The Beatles; sound like a nasal Northern Jagger fronting The Happy Roses; trash hotel rooms; take shitloads of drugs; have impeccably working class roots and egos the size of pregnant elephants.
Once they take to the stage (‘are taken to the stage’ would be more accurate, seeing as they’re too cool to move) it takes me approximately one millisecond to realise why this whole package has pissed me off, but more of that later…
The Tiv is one of those refurbished pre-War cinemas that blemishes many towns throughout Britain. Tonight it is an inverse TARDIS: you walk through the door of what appears, from the outside, to be a huge, roomy venue, only to discover that some fucked up, psychopathic Christopher Wren wannabe has designed its innards in order to catalyse feelings of claustrophobia amongst the most ardent of cupboard dwellers. And tonight the Tiv is packed! Every indie kid from the northwest appears to have been squeezed in, which is a great indication of the revitalisation of live music as a viable entertainment choice for the 90’s, but means I can’t get to the bar for the hoards of nose-ringed 15 year olds memorising older sibling’s birth dates, having collected beer orders from friends whose voices haven’t broken, yet.
Once I finally manage to get a drink (two, actually, so I don’t have to go later), I hide at the back of the venue waiting for some “act-shun”. At this point in time I am a cold-hearted, seen-it-all-before cynic. This is about to radically change, and not due to illegal narcotics and visions of brightly clad, omnipotent deities…
I want you to know that I HATE The Lemonheads. A strangely familiar figures stumbles onto the stage, this being Buckley, Clwyd, Sheepshagsville, it takes me almost an entire reading of War and Peace before I realise that the man on the stage is indeed the McCauley Culkin of indie-pop, Mr Evan Dando! All the girls sigh! So do I. He plays ’Into Your Arms’ extremely badly, whilst simultaneously having a bloody battle with gravity, and rather than puking into my pint glass I find that I am moved, to moving closer to the stage… a giant step, believe me! He grins, he goofs, and by the time the paramedics turn up to remove him from the stage, I’m having a apoplectic smiling fit. I believe they call this ‘fun’…
Hereby hangs the thread of my tale! When Oasis finally invade the stage, like four house-plants that someone’s wheeled on while no one was looking, I realise that this whole scam has pissed me off because I am insanely jealous. Forget the sixth form theorising, these bastards know how to ROCK! I never saw The Beatles, or The Pistols, or any of the other great, seminal bands, but I am watching Oasis and jumping round like a pneumatic dickhead.
They might have scalped the past and they might be wearing worn out rhymes, but tonight everyone who was sporting an ‘impress me’ face soon drops that extremely uncool facade of cool in favour of big smiles and boisterous sing-a-longs.
We even get a near-Newcastle incident ( what good value for money, eh? ) as a member of the audience chucks a pint at ol’ pucker lips:
“If any of yer wan’ it, cum up ‘ere and I’ll slap yer!”
Unfortunately, when Evan Dando careers wildly onto the stage, lip-o-locked to some poor, unsuspecting member of the audience who probably only wanted an autograph, Liam doesn’t fulfil his promise. He does, however, have that someone-just-spilt-my-pint look off to a tee, although the ladies in the house seem to have misinterpreted this as evidence of an outrageously, prodigious sexual ability. When I try it myself at the bar later, I’m repulsed by the rather choice expression:
“Fuck off, you miserable bastard!”
Hey, ho! Back to the drawing board.
Shakermaker stalks the stage like a randy polar bear with a dyslexic dictionary fetish, and at this point – my critical faculties having been diminished by the afore-mentioned furry-coat-simile-on-legs – I decide to get an expert’s opinion on le group. Howard Croft, owner of the Tivoli, looks like he was carved out of bad quality limestone which was then left out in a particularly potent acid rainstorm for fifty or so years. He is also the man famous for calling Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci the worst band he’d ever seen. Howie, however, thinks that Oasis are “shit hot!”. Marc Jones, the Tiv’s DJ and also manager of Scorpio Rising, thinks that “if this is the best band that Britain has to offer, then we’re in a pretty bad state of affairs.” If Scorpio Rising were the best band we had to offer I think Von Daniken’s alien master-race would return to the human seed it had planted millions of years ago, realise that the fruit was a bit rotten, tear it out and start again.
Elements of musical history are being abused to the n’th degree on stage, now… fragments of Marc Bolan and John Lennon, for example. But whereas once I was a proud musical trainspotter, I have now come to the conclusion that Bolan et al don’t need their fragments anymore, on account of them being dead. Oasis are very much alive, indeed convinced that they are going to Live Forever. Fortunately I didn’t notice any Michael Jackson longevity-enhancing oxygen tents backstage, so I think that definitely, maybe this prize statement can be taken in the same life affirming way as Roger Daltrey singing “hope I die before I get old…” It’s not too late Roger!
I Am The Walrus, sings Liam, and to be quite honest, the crowd by this stage wouldn’t care if he was covering Nana Miskouri, because tonight Oasis have entertained them. All of the bollocks that follows them around – the stories, the hype – should be there to embellish, and not detract from, the fact that they are a fabulous helter skelter of a live experience.
For tonight, at least, Oasis were the best band in Buckley.