Noel Gallagher walked out of Oasis last night, moments before the band were due to appear on stage in Paris. In a statement on the band’s website, the lead guitarist and vocalist said: “It’s with some sadness and great relief to tellyou that I quit Oasis tonight. People will write and say what they like, but I simply could not go on working with [brother] Liam a day longer.”
The remaining three dates in the band’s Dig Out Your Soul tour have been cancelled. Noel added: “Apologies to all the people who bought tickets for the shows in Paris, Konstanz and Milan.”
At the Rock on Seine festival in Paris, Bloc Party, who were due to perform before Oasis, told the crowd that the Manchester band would not be taking the stage.
Many of the crowd thought it was a joke, until the screens at the side of the stage showed the message: “As a result of an altercation within the band, the Oasis gig has been cancelled.”
Last weekend, the band pulled out of the V Festival in Chelmsford which theywere meant to headline, immediately sparking rumours of a split. The band claimed lead vocalist Liam Gallagher was suffering from viral laryngitis. Noel and Liam formed the band in 1991 along with Paul Arthurs (guitar), Paul McGuigan (bass guitar) and Tony McCarroll (drums). Their first two albums, Definitely Maybe in 1994, and (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? in 1995 sold more than 30 million copies.
But their success never hid the intensely difficult relationship between the two brothers. In August 1996, Liam pulled out of recording an episode of MTV Unplugged at the RoyalFestival Hall, claiming to have a sore throat. As Noel sang lead vocals, Liam watched from a balcony, smoking and heckling.
When the group left for an American tour four days later Liam refused to go. He eventually did join, but a few weeks later Noel flew home early without the band, who followed on a separate flight, prompting speculation that the group was splitting up. The brothers reconciled and finished the tour, and went on to record their third album Be Here Now which became the most eagerly awaited album for decades. Released in August 1997, it sold 420,000 copies on its first day, but is now less well regarded critically.
Its producer, Owen Morris, said simply of it: “Massive amounts of drugs. Big fights. Bad vibes. Shit recordings.” None of the band’s subsequent six albums lived up to the success and popularity of the earlier work, featuring tracks such as “Wonderwall” and “Champagne Supernova”.
If his acrimonious walkout last night had an air of inevitability about it, so too does the fact that the songs he wrote and his brother sang will be heard, hummed, whistled and sung for many generations to come.