Forget Bowie...cult figure Bonehead returns 14 years after quitting Oasis


Adam Sherwin
Wednesday 13 March 2013 16:11

His return may not quite match the frenzy which greeted David Bowie’s comeback but 14 years after quitting Oasis, Bonehead, the band’s original guitarist, is to release his first album.

A cult figure who walked out of Oasis in 1999 at the height of the band’s Britpop success, Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs abandoned a life of stadium gigs and tabloid infamy to spend more time with his family.

Now Arthurs, 47, will finally give fans a taste of the band Oasis might have become when he unveils his new band, Parlour Flames, who will release their self-titled debut album in May.

Arthurs, a plasterer who formed the band which became Oasis in the late 80s, shares writing credits with Manchester-based musician and poet Vinny Peculiar, in the new venture.

Their first single is called Manchester Rain and the album’s musical sophistication, featuring cellos, flute and flugelhorn, may surprise those who assumed that Noel Gallagher was the song-writing genius behind Oasis.

The single is influenced by the Mamas & Papas classic California Dreaming. In Bonehead’s version his drizzly hometown is where “all the fields are brown and the buildings are grey”.

Bonehead said he quit Oasis because being in the band was no longer fun and he wanted to see more of his young children.

“We were renting out Christian Dior's mansion in the south of France. Liam was on a drinking ban and I wasn't helping by not sticking to it,” said the guitarist.

After leaving Oasis, Bonehead set up a recording studio and presented a radio show on BBC Manchester.

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Bonehead was replaced by Gem Archer in Oasis and has indicated that he would be willing to rejoin the band, which split in 2009, for a one-off reunion concert.

The rhythm guitarist, who also plays piano, once said his favourite Oasis song to play was Columbia because it consisted of just three chords.

Immortalised in one of the band's B-sides, Bonehead's Bank Holiday, the guitarist got his nickname years before he joined the band because of his thinning hair.

Shortly before leaving Oasis, Bonehead was given a formal warning for being drunk and disorderly after police arrested him for shouting and swearing at doormen outside the Tommy Hilfiger shop in Mayfair.

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