It starts in that familiar jingly jangly way, acoustic guitar first, then electric. “While I’ll be gone, don’t stop dreaming,” the singer advises. Then in the chorus he confirms: “Lazy days and sunny rays will guide me, back home to where I belong.”
By the time I got round to YouTubing the great, lost Oasis song yesterday it had already been played 1,061,762 times. Many were mad about Don’t Stop... or as we used to say, mad for it. They were in tears. Through it, they found hope in the current darkness.
During their government-sanctioned daily exercise, they possibly found themselves breaking into the carpet-fitter’s walk – the lumbering lurch of Liam Gallagher, so named because he seemed to be lugging invisible rolls of heavy underlay. And perhaps they were reading deeper meaning into the lyrics – heavy underlay if you like – and getting very excited indeed.
“Don’t stop dreaming.” (We never have, Liam, not once). “Back home to where I belong.” (You and Noel are reforming the band, aren’t you? Come on, announce it...).
Ah, but Don’t Stop... isn’t sung by Liam but his older brother, and “our kid” has taken this badly. “Oi tofu boy,” he tweeted, “if you’re gonna release old demos, make sure I’m singing on them.”
Another missive went: “There’s something missing in this God almighty stew and it’s your brother – your brother, don’t forget your brother.”
Ah well, bang goes the reunion. Again.
The Filthy Lucre Tour
Funnily enough there was a poll on the day Don’t Stop... surfaced which asked music fans to nominate the group they’d most like to see get back in the old routine. Abba topped the survey and Oasis were second. Actually there was nothing surprising about this coincidence. Noel was first asked when the band would be reforming within a couple of weeks of the acrimonious split 11 long years ago and the question
has followed the pair around ever since.
It’s been asked of them partly out of desire – if Oasis were your band you’d probably love to be swaying along to their cigarette-lighter anthems again – but also from the belief that, well, all groups resolve those “musical differences” eventually, don’t they?
The Eagles were never going to fly again. The cocaine cowboys simply hated each other too much. Don Henley insisted there was more chance of hell freezing over. What happened? Oh, they reformed and at least acknowledged the irony, titling the 1994 comeback album Hell Freezes Over.
The Sex Pistols in their nihilistic pomp might have claimed that hell would have to freeze over before they ever borrowed from such monsters of soft rock, especially now that the Eagles, in order to continue double-deniming into middle age, were having to go Relax-o-fit. But two years later what did Johnny Rotten & Co call their own return to the stage? The Filthy Lucre Tour.
Morrissey would rather eat part of himself
Money will always talk for rock stars. Guns N’ Roses said never ever, and then money screamed far louder than Axl Rose ever could. Admittedly some are doing a decent job of holding out. They tend to be the bands’ main men rather than the boneheads.
Paul Weller has claimed his kids would have to be “starving in the gutter” before he kissed and made up with the other two from the Jam. Morrissey takes a similarly hard line on the prospect of a Smiths’ reunion. “I’d rather eat my own
testicles,” declared this avowed vegetarian.
He didn’t see the point of groups reforming and added: “There aren’t many bands I’d like to see again because your memory of them is how they were in their prime, at their best or at their most desperate. You’d be looking to them to be something they no longer are.”
The fact Abba have turned up at the top of this wish-list is strange because they’d already announced they were reforming, though admittedly this was in 2018 and the faithful are still waiting for the new songs which are now not due before the autumn – even though “Do some old!” will always be the mantra whenever raddled rockers reunite.
Gallagher brothers a great comedy act
So we go from Super Troupers to Supersonic. From a band who sang “When I called you last night from Glasgow” to the city’s King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, where a bunch of toerags from a Manchester council estate blagged their way onto the bill and got discovered. Two-and-a-half years later, Oasis, with an actual Bonehead in their ranks, had four per cent of the UK population clamouring for tickets to see them play Knebworth. And not long after that they were finished – forever, apparently.
I don’t believe this. I think it’s only a matter of time before the Gallagher brothers achieve some rapprochement, as they say round Burnage way. Actually, that’s unfair. It’s too easy to make fun of Oasis’ yobbishness when Noel has been eloquent about Knebworth being “the last great gathering of people before the internet... pre-digital, pre-reality shows when things meant more”.
Similarly how he condensed those two-and-a-half years: “You join a band to get yourself a big telly and then suddenly you’re surrounded by folk with leather man-bags and they’ve all got shit for you to sign.”
Tempting the brothers back, the amount of money in those man-bags is just going to get bigger and bigger and eventually they’ll crack. I was never an Oasis fan. When I want to hear Beatles music I prefer to listen to the Beatles. But off-stage they’ve always entertained me. Theirs has been an epic power-struggle to rival Tony Blair/Gordon Brown. Or, as Liam once put it: “Like them brothers from the Bible, Abel and... was it Cable?” Really, they should have been comedians.
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