tue 19/06/2018

Oasis in Their Own Words, BBC iPlayer | reviews, news & interviews

Oasis in Their Own Words, BBC iPlayer

Oasis in Their Own Words, BBC iPlayer

Gallagher brothers career overview in soundbites from a long time ago

'Why do you think you argue so much?' 'Because we’re brothers'

Trying to pip the release of Mat Whitecross’s documentary Supersonic to the post, this brief hack through the BBC’s archive throws together a galloping overview of Oasis’s rise and fall, narrated by their own interviews and quotes. Arguably Oasis built a career on the consistent entertainment value of their soundbites rather than the long-term quality of their songs, so this wasn’t exactly a hard search, nor does it throw up anything you hadn’t heard before. Throughout, the music plays second fiddle, barely named or dated, flaring up in the background like an ambulance alarm, creating a jive-bunny mega-mix effect that made each song sound even more the same.

Of course, it isn’t really Oasis in their own words, with guitarist Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs barely getting a few lines in, and the wit and wisdom of Paul McGuigan and Tony McCarroll completely absent. This is the Gallagher show, a familial pantomime that paved the way for the Osbornes and the Kardashians. Despite Noel’s reputation as the brains of the brothers, Liam tends to the steal the show with his succinct approach to oratory. “Why do you think you argue so much?” he is asked at the beginning. “Because we’re brothers,” he sighs, cutting any psychoanalysis off at the pass.

The world they made their name in feels like a long time ago

The Gallaghers age amusingly in hairstyles and hats, but since the Oasis nostalgia bandwagon has been in full force for two years since the 20th anniversary of the release of their debut album, Definitely Maybe, any shock or delight at their wild proclamations is fast wearing thin. Only the fact that five percent of the population tried to buy tickets for their 1996 Knebworth concert still jolts, along with the queues outside HMV, a reminder that Oasis were the last band who seemed to unite the British in any kind of musical agreement before the downloading bulldozer arrived.

What was really interesting about this whirlwind tour through the tapes was the changing attitudes to music on the BBC. In the beginning there is a young Zoe Ball imitating Paula Yates by interviewing Oasis on a bed. You see the last golden period for Top of the Pops, with Jarvis Cocker trying hard to adjudicate in the war between Oasis and Blur like a school prefect. By the time Reg and Fearne turn up, they treat the band with bemusement, like eccentric but slightly embarrassing old uncles. And whatever happened to Jayne Middlemiss?

More alarmingly, you see how the straights tried to get in on the Oasis act - not just Tony Blair at his Downing Street reception but the Newsnight Jeremys too - Paxman reporting on Liam Gallagher house-hunting while Vine doorstepped him, shouting through the letterbox. No wonder the kids decided rock star antics were deeply uncool and celebrities started to cut out the middleman and began papping themselves on social media. Oasis nostalgia is on a permanent, ever-present loop, but the world they made their name in feels like a long time ago.

Oasis were the last band who seemed to unite the British in any kind of musical agreement before the downloading bulldozer arrived

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Average: 2 (1 vote)

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