- 22 Jul 20
How did this happen? It is now exactly 25 years to the day since Oasis, who were limbering up for the release of their (What's The Story) Morning Glory album, took to the Slane stage for the first time supporting R.E.M.
Michael Stipe & Co. were no slouches in Lord Henry's back garden, but were comprehensively blown off stage by Noel, Liam, Guigsy, Bonehead and Alan. Afterwards, our man Stuart Clark snuck backstage for the first of Hot Press' many encounters with the elder Gallagher brother who was in top quote-giving form. He was accompanied by sharp-shooter Cathal Dawson who took this portrait as part of a historic session.
Here's how it all (possibly) went down...
I’m imagining the side-of-stage conversation as R.E.M. watched Oasis turn Lord Henry’s back garden into a giant moshpit.
While Athens, Georgia’s finest also played their hearts out – I still get goosepimples thinking about the mid-set triple-whammy of ‘Country Feedback’, ‘Losing My Religion’ and ‘Pop Song 89’ – there was no following the brothers Gallagher, who were three months away from releasing (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? and knew that when they returned to Slane it would be as gazillion-selling headliners.
There was a real swagger and whiff of danger about their early evening performance, which had to be halted four songs in when the buckleppin’ down the front got a bit too frenzied.
As they prepared to launch into ‘Roll With It’, a rock was thrown at the stage, prompting Liam to tell the miscreant, “If you don’t like it, go fucking hang yourself!”
Shortly after they’d finished spectacularly kicking out the jams, I managed to sneak past security to have a word with Noel, who had a strangely dilated look in his eyes.
“We were just saying on the way down in the helicopter – oops, a bit of rock star parlance creeping in – that Slane is as much of a ‘home’ gig for us as London or Manchester,” he said before revealing that the rock thrower had gotten off easy.
“Our Kid was annoyed when some cunt threw a rock at him but after threatening to kick their heads in, he got on with it. The fucker responsible was lucky because if we hadn’t been having such a good time, we’d have jumped in and put him in intensive care,” Noel reflected. “We’re not the psycohpaths we’re made out to be, but you don’t take shit, do you?”
Expanding on that bad boy reputation, he said: "It might seem that we're a bunch of ramshackle pissed-up drug addicts but we're actually pretty organised and when things get done, they get done. Being a rock star doesn't give you the licence to be a cunt, though I'm sure there are people in the industry who think I'm a complete wanker because I speak my mind. Perhaps I am a cunt but at least I'm a positive one. These whinging fuckers who go on about how they've had too much or too little success should either shut their faces or get a job in Tesco. How can you not be positive about playing music?"
He then travelled through time to scotch those future 'Oasis to reform' rumours.
"I'm thinking of getting a contract drawn up which says, 'If we ever split and get back together, I hereby give legal permission to anybody who wants to kick my fucking head in.'" he spat venomously. "They should make that standard when you sign a record deal because there's nobody, absolutely nobody, who's been better the second time around."
As for those dilated pupils…
“Like tonight, I usually have a little something when I come off stage to help me wind down, but we’re not tapping veins every five minutes,” he concluded. “People who take smack are losers and we’re in this to win.”
Rarely were rock ‘n’ roll words so prophetic…
Read Noel's backstage Slane '95 interview in full at https://bit.ly/2ZSKEDw