Oasis star denies rift with band

The Oasis singer Liam Gallagher ventured out to buy a pint of milk yesterday, and took time from his brief shopping expedition to deny that the band was on the verge of splitting up.

He was still in Britain, he said, because he was moving house.

Gallagher, 23, started rumours about the group's future when he pulled out of Oasis's three-week American tour 15 minutes before he was due to board a plane at Heathrow airport.

The lead singer walked out on co-star brother Noel and other band members at Heathrow, demanding that his luggage be unloaded.

He then caught a taxi to the house he shares with his fiancee Patsy Kensit in St John's Wood, north-west London. And there yesterday he began his milk run with his traditional two-fingered salute to waiting reporters, telling them: "You know the story

He had, he added, spoken to his brother and he dismissed rumours of a split. "There's no story."

The group's record company, Creation, said Gallagher would rejoin the band at the end of the week. A spokesman said he had a sore throat and would not have been able to sing.

"Liam has just got a few personal things to sort out and he will be going on the tour as soon as possible," he added.

The singer, who missed an "unplugged" MTV concert in London on Friday because of a sore throat, has been suffering from laryngitis.

Gallagher will be house-hunting around London this week. He was reported to have said that he was worried about where he and Kensit were going to live after finalising the sale of their current pounds 750,000 house.

Meanwhile, Creation said, Noel Gallagher was proving such a success as lead singer that he and the band had decided to continue with the tour despite his brother's illness.

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