League of their own

Some 80,000 Oasis fans packed out Maine Road to celebrate the Zeitgeist. Mike Hargreaves joined in

The soothsayers of pop's death have gone strangely quiet this year. For a form that was supposed to be faltering (remember how Nirvana sounded like the "last wheezing, pyrrhic fling of a medium coming to its end" or some such nonsense?), the last two years have been a huge slap in the face to people who mistook their own aging process for a demographic shift. And all this because The Lads have returned to reclaim pop from The Take That Fan and her dad, The Sting Fan.

The Lads - as recognised here at Manchester City FC by their greatest hit, "We Are The Lads" - got into clubbing for a while, but around Wythenshawe and Burnage way, the scene deteriorated with the drugs. And when you're getting on for 25, you start to long for the days when blokes with guitars wrote tunes you could whistle along to. So it's no wonder that Oasis took just eight hours to sell 80,000 tickets for last weekend's Maine Road dates.

Nobody has more cause for gratitude to Oasis than Ocean Colour Scene. Admittedly, Moseley Shoals - the album that saw the Brummie also-rans resurrected as quality purveyors of R&B - evinced an undeniable joie de vivre. And when the taut, circular motif of "Riverboat Song" cannons into the calming evening sunshine, a tide of Man City shirts knows what to do. Noel Gallagher reckons OCS even surpass Oasis on a live stage. Tonight's set, though, implies an overdose of hyperbolic steroids. Simon Fowler's gruff intonations are more suited to the 100 Club than a football club, but no matter. Ocean Colour Scene ooze "authenticity" and a palpable love of Quadrophenia. Their credentials as a lads' band are thus unassailable. As indeed, curiously, are those of Manic Street Preachers. Androgynous guitarist Richey James may have disappeared, but his abstruse nihilism lives on in performances of hits such as "Faster". The biggest cheer, though, is reserved for the current single - "Design For Life". And you can see why. It's now easier to consume the Manics.

With Richey gone, lyrical content has become the domain of bassist Nicky Wire - he of "controversial" inter-song soundbites such as "I hope Michael Stipe dies of Aids". These days, the Manics' visceral FM rock tastes of rebellion in the same way Tango tastes like fresh oranges. Here, as much as in James Dean Bradfield's wonderfully corroded rasp, lies the key to their new-found lad appeal.

The brilliance of Oasis defies such pat explanations, though. You can attribute their success to the rise of Loaded culture, the inevitable kickback from techno or a general dissatisfaction with post-modern times. But really, when a band comes along blessed with such a songwriter and - just as crucially - a frontman whose voice has singlehandedly re-introduced soul back into British pop, the Zeitgeist at any point in time would have remodelled itself in their image. And tonight, Oasis are good enough to suggest that is very much the case.

With the greatness of this evening sealed merely by the fact that Oasis already have a greatest hits set two years after their first single, Liam can get on with the business of being the world's best frontman. How can a man stand motionless for so long, yet hold 40,000 people rapt? Simply because, given lines as life-affirmingly romantic as "You and I are gonna live forever" or "I don't believe that anybody feels the way I do/ About you now", it would take the hardest of hearts to refrain from hugging him to bits. That Damon Albarn probably spends 10 times as long on his "meaningful" lyrics without achieving anything like this kind of connection is a lesson for anyone who assumed the dream of pop star as get-out clause from the rat race had died.

Arts and Entertainment
'The Great British Bake Off' showcases food at its most sumptuous
tvReview: Bread-making skills of the Bake Off hopefuls put to the test
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architecture
Arts and Entertainment
Cliff Richard performs at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam on 17 May 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Educating the East End returns to Channel 4 this autumn

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush

music
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Mark Crown, DJ Locksmith and Amir Amor of Rudimental performing on stage during day one of the Wireless Festival at Perry Park, Birmingham

music
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014

Edinburgh
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Capaldi and Chris Addison star in political comedy The Thick of IT

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Judy Murray said she

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014

edinburgh
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.

Edinburgh
Arts and Entertainment
Seoul singer G-Dragon could lead the invasion as South Korea has its sights set on Western markets
music
Arts and Entertainment
Gary Lineker at the UK Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Bale as Batman in a scene from
film
Arts and Entertainment
Johhny Cash in 1969
musicDyess Colony, where singer grew up in Depression-era Arkansas, opens to the public
Arts and Entertainment
Army dreamers: Randy Couture, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren and Jason Statham
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants
tvReview: It's not going to set the comedy world alight but it's a gentle evening watch
Arts and Entertainment
Umar Ahmed and Kiran Sonia Sawar in ‘My Name Is...’
Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
This year's Big Brother champion Helen Wood
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Full company in Ustinov's Studio's Bad Jews
Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Harari Guido photographed Kate Bush over the course of 11 years
Music
Arts and Entertainment
Reviews have not been good for Jonathan Liebesman’s take on the much loved eighties cartoon
Film

A The film has amassed an estimated $28.7 million in its opening weekend

Arts and Entertainment
Untwitterably yours: Singer Morrissey has said he doesn't have a twitter account
Music

A statement was published on his fansite, True To You, following release of new album

Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
    Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

    Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

    Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
    Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
    Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

    Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

    Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
    eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

    eBay's enduring appeal

    The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

    'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
    Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

    Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

    Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
    Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

    Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

    After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
    Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

    Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

    After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
    Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

    Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

    Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
    7 best quadcopters and drones

    Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

    From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home