Oasis fans are in for a treat with Supersonic, a brand-new documentary that tells the story of the band’s origins, with interviews from the famously sparring members themselves. Directed by Mat Whitecross, it follows the Britpop pioneers from their beginnings to the heights of their fame.
After forming in Manchester in the ’90s, Oasis went on to become one of the biggest rock bands of the era, with hits including Wonderwall, All Around The World and Supersonic. But while they had seven number one albums in the UK and 22 top ten singles, the rivalry between the frontmen, brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher, often overshadowed everything else.
Liam formed the band in 1991, naming it after the Oasis Leisure Centre in Swindon. They played a few gigs, but didn’t have much success until his older brother, Noel, joined. He’d been writing songs for years, and finally saw his chance to get them heard, becoming the band’s main songwriter. The band was quickly signed to Creation Records – its head Alan McGee saw one of their gigs and signed them on the spot – and they released their first single, Supersonic, in 1994. Oasis’ debut album, Definitely Maybe, became the fastest-selling record in the UK at the time – it sold more than 15 million copies worldwide.
Definitely Maybe was one of the records that propelled the growing Britpop scene, and even though they had a much-publicised rivalry with other Britpop band Blur, whose Parklife album was also one of the biggest albums of the same year, it was still nothing compared to the Gallagher brothers’ feuds.
In a 2009 interview, Noel said his brother was “rude, arrogant, intimidating and lazy”. “He’s the angriest man you’ll ever meet. He’s like a man with a fork in a world of soup.” And when department store John Lewis used a cover of Oasis track Half The World Away for their Christmas advert last year, Liam was furious at Noel for giving his permission, calling him “a sell-out” and, more drastically still, reportedly banning him from their local pub.
Over the next few years, the band’s line-up changed dramatically, with original drummer Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs being kicked out and bassist Paul “Guigsy” McGuigan, resigning via fax. The only original members were the Gallagher brothers, despite Noel leaving temporarily and flying to San Francisco – Liam had to track him down and persuade him to stay.
The new film features archive footage of the band as well as interviews, however, there are no new interviews with the brothers together. Although both Liam and Noel recorded voiceovers for the documentary, they each insisted on recording them separately and by the end, there were more than 20 hours of interviews. Whitecross said the film “could have easily been seven hours long”. Once it was finished, the Gallaghers both went to separate screenings, and although there have been constant rumours and tabloid headlines about them reforming, they still won’t have anything to do with each other.
Only last year, Noel denied that the band would be reuniting to headline Glastonbury Festival in the UK, saying that the organisers “don’t have enough money, I’m afraid. That’s the bottom line, they just don’t pay enough”. Liam, meanwhile, regularly insults his brother in interviews, calling him, among other things, “a potato”.
Until they manage to put their differences behind them (if they ever will), watching this film and seeing what they were like back in the good old days will have to do. Meanwhile, we can only hope they’ll take their own advice, and stop looking back in anger…
Supersonic is available to watch on video-on-demand services or on iTunes (Dhs49.99) or Amazon (Dhs55). www.apple.com/ae/itunes; www.amazon.co.uk.