Oasis, along with their Britpop rivals Blur and Pulp, defined the 1990s. Songs like ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ and ‘Wonderwall’ define my generation; I only have to hear a few chords and the memories come flooding back.
While the music may have lasted, the band didn’t; they became as famous for their feuds and sibling rivalry as they were for their surly, in-yer-face demeanour. Oasis broke up a good ten years ago, but Liam and Noel Gallagher have both pursued successful solo careers.
I saw Blur, Pulp and a number of other Britpop bands perform in their ’90s pomp, but never got the chance to see Oasis, which I regret – so I didn’t need any persuading to snap up tickets for Liam Gallagher’s O2 concert.
What an atmosphere. If I’m honest, it reminded me of being at a football match when the home team is losing and it feels as though events could turn on a knife edge; the banter remains only just on the right side of good-natured. As soon as the lights went down and Gallagher strutted on to the stage, full cups of beer and water were being hurled across the arena (if you’ve ever wondered why you’re not allowed to take bottles of liquid with lids on into The O2, this is why).
With a “Yes, London!” Liam launched straight into ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Star’, followed by ‘Halo’. He was his usual scowling self, alternately slouching and swaggering around the stage. As for the set, it was a great mix of old and new, tracks from Gallagher’s solo albums ‘As You Were’ and ‘Why Me? Why Not’ interspersed with classic Oasis tracks (although none of my favourites, alas).
There was a touching moment when Gallagher’s eighteen-year-old son, Gene, joined him on stage to play drums on ‘Down by the River’ (and a collective gulp from the audience, wondering where the years have gone. Oh God. We are all getting old).
The set ended, of course, with ‘Wonderwall’ – what else? – following which we were treated to not one, but two Oasis-themed encores, leaving us all very happy indeed. Good music – and good times.