knebworth 1996

The angst guys, the angst. These two guys right here - they were THE SHIT back in the 90s. Top of the charts, top of the live scene, simply top of the world. They were the kings, they knew it and they acted like everything was theirs.

Liam e Noel Gallagher did something that no one else will ever do after them. They had everything. The melodies. The attitude. The lyrics. The mentality. Oasis was not a band, it really was an entire generation. When they performed in Knebworth in 1996 2.5 million people tried to buy a ticket: that’s 1/5 of the entire English population. They ruled England for a decade, and they did so while being completely fucked on alcohol and cocaine half of the time.

The relationship between these two brothers was some weird shit, man. They hated each other with such a passion that they loved each other more than anything else in the world - for how unreal that sounds. Accordingly to Paolo Hewitt, who travelled with Oasis back in the 90s,

“All they could see was each other. That’s all it was—each other. […] the intensity of that relationship is like that. The world disappears. When those two are arguing the  the world disappears.”

And by arguing, he means ARGUING - Noel once hit Liam’s head with a cricket bat. They respectively left tours and concerts countless time because of one of the many arguments they had; they even argued on stage, in front of thousands and thousands of people. Eventually, in 2009 Oasis ended their journey together because of the ultimate argument between the two brothers.
Paolo Hewitt wrote also something about this:

"You can sometimes see them smiling at each other as they argue. But there were times when the rows could get really heavy, it was hard to believe the way they acted”

And yet, arguably a good ¾ of the songs Noel wrote for Oasis were about and for Liam.
Back in 1998:

"I rate him,” Liam says of Noel. “I don’t hate him. How could I? Except for days when I could hate anyone, including meself. He doesn’t hate me, either. He’d have nothing else to write about, would heAnd he lets me sing his songs. The best songs. I love him. He gave me a ticket to ride.”

What every Oasis fan has sooner or later realized is that Liam Gallagher is probably one of the most complex characters in the history of music. He can go from acting like a pretty fucked up child to a self-centered, obnoxious rock ‘n roll god within minutes. His own brother has often said that he still doesn’t understand him and that the best thing of him is the fact that he is “predictably unpredictable”.  But there is one thing that is very clear about Liam - his endless adoration for his brother as a songwriter and a musician. Back in 1994, when asked which artist he was a fan of, Liam replied that he was a fan of Noel. He said, and I quote,

"All I need it’s The Beatles and him”

It is extrimely easy to hate on Liam and accuse him to be the reason Oasis split, but remember: it can’t be easy to be Noel Gallagher’s brother for someone who has such a big ego, and Liam managed to still be Noel’s greatest fan. Lately, when Oasis had already split, he also said:

I love Noel’s songs. I love singing his songs. The whole Oasis thing was cool for me, man.”

You can’t address the relationship between these two brothers without bringing in all the incest hints. Apart from the infamous on-stage snog, without a doubt Liam wrote his weirdest and most beautiful song about and for his brother: “Guess God Thinks I’m Abel”, with the first line being “I could be your lover” - weird shit guys. Liam explained it in his own way:

“I love him, I adore him, more than anyone else in the fuckin’ whole wide world. But we also don’t speak that much. We don’t have to speak. But that song is basically for him. It’s like, shut the fuck up, give respect and you’ll get respect back. Life, brothers and sisters, that’s what we all want isn’t it, respect?”

Noel had something to say about this song too. 

"Liam’s got all religious […] He wrote a song called “Guess God Thinks I’m Abel”. I thought it was able, but when he wrote it down, it was Abel […] That must make me Cain. Doesn’t Cain kill Abel? But the first line of that song is, ‘I could be your lover’. I am not too sure about that. That’s illegal, innit? It’s kind of illegal for two brothers to make love. It’s certainly frowned upon

When you think about “Live forever” - that’s something that both brothers have always believed in. The fact that they were going to live forever, the fact that they see things we’ll never see, the fact that what they are - we can’t understand that. Whatever they are, is not something we can punt our fingers on.

“Me and him are brothers and we will never be over. In the back of my mind, there was always a way back. Me and him will go on forever, and beyond…beyond this time. It’ll go on forever and ever and ever.”

-Liam Gallagher

I’ve always felt like their inability to communicate has always been the reason of most of Noel and Liam’s fights. Music was something they always agreed on, but the rest was an absolute mess from the very beginning of Oasis, and I bet Noel must have felt pretty frustrated by the whole situation, by the fact that he couldn’t express properly his appreciation from his brother, who sang out loud his songs so beautifully. This quote by Noel is basically self-explanatory:

"I’ve always secretly had a sense of respect for Liam as an individual. He is the only one in the entire world that can express my songs in the way he doesAnd he is the only one who can bring a sense of warmth to my songs. I’ll say without exaggeration that, he is a special person in all ways possible as a human being.”

And this is also why I’ve always felt like Liam was Noel’s Wonderwall - of course not in a romantic way, you pervs! : because he was the frontman of the band, and one of the very fucking best rock singers out there. Liam was the wall Noel could project his music on and see the dreams in his head become reality.

"Liam is a f**king brilliant frontman and he stamps his authority over everything he sings. I can’t even come close.” (Noel on Q, February 1996)

Another interesting quote, this one by Kaise Chiefs:

They are no brothers. They don’t act like that. It is bigger than love. They act more like they are a boyfriend and a girlfriend.

How did this kind of complex relationship worked for the band? It was what made them become the biggest and best band in the world and what made them fell so hard. It’s as simple as that.

Noel and Liam Gallagher were the heart and the soul of Oasis. What they were going through at the time - the fame, the money, the fights, the drugs, the gigs, the crowds, the fucks up, the top of the world, the reign they built - was something that was just theirs.
Liam said that he would only sing songs by John Lennon and his brother, Noel replied that he would give his songs to John Lennon and Liam.
Their bond is something that no one has ever understood.

If their music is such a deep, amazing, incredible, angst and mindblowing journey, it’s because so was their relationship. Basically - it’s over know, but we had it really fucking good, and if their relationship wasn’t this complex, it wouldn’t have been this good.

With this incredible quote by Noel Gallagher, I sum up the story of a band who changed the history of music.

“Onstage, I just want HIM. When he turns to me and I turn to him at one guitar break or whatever and we just both look at each other. I’m not dissing the rest of the band, but there is only me and him. When he turns to me and goes, ‘Are you mad fer it’, and I go, ‘Aye, cocker’, that what it’s all about.”

I’m sorry for the rant.

“Manchester, I’m mad fer it!”

Long live the Gallaghers.

It was the pre digital age. It was the pre talent show, reality TV age. Things meant more, it was just a great time to be alive. Never mind a great time to be in Oasis. We were about to enter into a celebrity driven culture. And I’ve always thought that it was the last great gathering of the people before the birth of the Internet. It’s no coincidence that things like that don’t happen anymore. 20 years ago the biggest musical phenomenon was a band that came from council estates. I just think I’m the times of which we live, it would be unrepeatable. We should be worried about that, because where’s it gonna be 20 years from now?
—  Noel Gallagher (On Knebworth 1996)
The Masterplan is my favourite song I’ve ever written. I wrote it in a hotel room in Japan. Sometimes you have a riff and you build a song around that, or sometimes you have a set of lyrics and you build it around that, and I remember just sitting down with the guitar about four or five in the morning, and I swear the thing just came out. Whenever the wife’s friends are round at our house - always at half-three, when you’re battered out of your head - they go, “Play us The Masterplan! Oh go on.” And you completely fuck it up. Why does the lyric mean so much to you? I think everyone knows by now I don’t consider myself to be … Well, “I’m the best lyricist in Oasis” is the way I like to say it. But to me it sums up your journey through life. The ironic thing about giving this album that title is that it sounds like there was a masterplan. In the bigger scheme of things the masterplan was to be the biggest band in the world, and we probably were for about a year leading up to Knebworth in August, 1996, and six months afterwards. It’s all levelled off since then, which is cool because it’s taken a bit of the heat off us. But the masterplan was always to make great records. I don’t think people make great records any more. They write great songs but don’t make great records, or they make great records but don’t write great songs. Somewhere in between the two. You can only try your best, can’t you?
—  Noel on The Masterplan
Oasis The Masterplan Knebworth 1996

                                           First Dance 

Their apartment was small and dingy, Rae called it cosy and full of character. Neither Rae nor Finn were concerned with keeping up with the Joneses, a bed and record player was all they needed. Their neighbours were a bit dodgy but they never complained about the noise, the music of course. 

Finn trudged up the four flights of stairs , the lift still stuck on the second floor since they moved in. It had now become the much disputed territory of some rather frightening feral cats. Despite Finn’s athletic build the four flights of steep stairs always had him puffing after hard day’s work, today Finn could hear the loud booming of Rae’s music. Giving the door the secret handshake with the key that meant the lock kindly popped open Finn was greeted by the roar and cheering of a crowd reverberating off the walls. Finn smiled Rae was playing the bootleg copy of the Knebworth gig Finn had managed to track down for their first anniversary. Finn leaned against the door jab of the kitchen with folded arms and watched Rae sway. 

Rae had had a good day at work, submitted the final draft of her book to her agent and received a cheque for her freelance work. Rae sat on the floor surrounded by the crates of records. Rae had never realized that Finn was bit of an organisational freak. His first port of call when he moved in was to alphabetise the records, even labeling the crates with letters. Rae pulled O-R towards her, flicking through them quickly she found what she was looking for. A record covered with wallpaper with hide the original cover, written across the record in familiar scrawl was Knebworth 1996. Slipping the record from the inner sleeve and gingerly placed it on the player. Turning it over to read the note on the sleeve, a note she had memorised years ago. 

May, It really was crap without you. Now, we can enjoy it from the comfort of my bed. Love Finn xx

Finn watched Rae wave her arms in the air tangling her fingers through her hair, hips swaying as Noel Gallagher sang to her to dance. Swiveling her hips and bouncing lightly on the balls of her, Finn pushed off the door and wrapping his arms around her waist and burying his face into the crook of her neck as she continued to sway. ‘Afternoon, girl’ he mumbled as he kissed her soft skin.Rae stepped back taking his hands in hers.

Smiling at him 'Dance with me, Finn' They danced and jumped their laughter mingling with the music and filling the air as Rae twirled under Finn’s out stretched arm until she was dizzy. The last few bars of the song rang out, Finn pulled Rae into his chest, hips colliding and foreheads touching.

'Can this be our first dance?’ he whispered. Rae scrunched up her face Finn continued 'well Chop has dips on Champagne Supernova, lets hope he’s not singing it. Wonderwall it’s a bit well obvious innit?' 

'Wedding first dance?’ Rae asked Finn nodded 'Well, I thought about Spaceman first but then I imagined you storming off the dance floor’

'Too true Nelson! I’ve never thought about our first dance. Isn’t this a bit fast. Other people mightn’t like it’

'If you don’t like it you can say no’

'I love it but what about other people they might..’

'Fuck other people, Rae it’s our first dance and we like it’. Rae kissed his cheek and wrapped her arms around his neck. 

'Wait, is this you proposing to me?’

'Girl , when I propose you’ll know it' 

Watch on

Saturday 10th August 1996

The day of Knebworth!

Who’d have thought the day I get ti see Liam Gallagher in the flesh, all my thoughts would be about another man?

How could I have got him so wrong? How could I have thought that he was shallow?

When he’s the most interesting, sweet, sensitive, hot-bodied Adonis in all of Lincolnshire, and the surrounding districts?