With Liam and Noel in the midst of an apparent Christmas truce, does this mean the Oasis reunion is back on the table? And if so, how might it pan out?
Christmas Day, 1914. A football is thrown into No Man’s Land and Germans and Allied troops laid down their guns, clambered from their trenches and put aside their differences for a festive football match. Unfortunately, this didn’t turn into a nine-month annual league; the very next day the soldiers went back to shooting each other for another four years.
But history be damned: surely a resumption of recent hostilities wouldn’t be on the cards for a couple of Lennon’s dreamers? As we write, Liam and Noel Gallagher might well be burying the scissors over a festive make-up pint in a Hampstead pub, bringing the possibility of an Oasis reunion several tentative Twitter apologies closer.
Of course, Noel has been very outspoken on his disinterest in reforming the band, for any money. “I don’t need the money,” he told Q in October, “I don’t need the glory, I don’t need to relive the memories. If I was to get Oasis back together tomorrow and then do a tour, I’d have a hundred million dollars in the bank but I’d have learnt fuck all. I’d have actually wasted a year of being in the studio with a person like David Holmes. It would be the death of me as a person.”
But hey, two months are a long time in ladrock and just last week Noel was semi-joking that he’d be “thrilled” to get the band back together to be inaugurated into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2019. So let’s dream a little. If it does happen, when, where and how might it come to pass?
When might the Oasis reunion happen?
Both Noel and Liam are flying high on their respective new albums, both having hit Number One and with Liam getting additional leverage by outselling Noel. Hence they’ll be touring those records well into 2018 and won’t want any Oasis activity to overshadow their major festival appearances. At the same time, though, they’ll want to make the biggest impact and most substantial wedge whenever they do return. With Noel’s live dates listed until July and Liam playing his final enormo-date on August 18 at Lancashire County Cricket Club, the earliest we could see Oasis back in the saddle would be a surprise appearance at the end of August. Just in time for one of the biggest-paying UK festivals yet to release their line-up: Reading & Leeds. The annual ‘surprise secret act’ might be worth camping out for next year…
Where might Oasis reform?
Even if they do play a secret set somewhere at the tail end of the 2018 festival season, they’re not going to be in it just to make a cultural splash. The First Law Of Reunion Cash-Ins requires a huge ‘event’ comeback gig, and we’d be looking towards the summer of 2019 for something on the sort of scale that their accountants would approve. The obvious choice would be Glastonbury, but the Eavis purse-strings are notoriously tight; on the other hand, Coachella has had more success in getting classic bands to reform for big pay-days, but Oasis weren’t the phenomenon in the US that they were in the UK. Plus, Oasis could comfortably sell-out a major outdoor event off their own back, so more likely might be a run at Wembley Stadium, their beloved Etihad Stadium or Hyde Park. But even that probably wouldn’t be enough to tempt Noel – one of his major justifications for not reforming has been that Oasis did everything they possibly could and any reunion would simply be retreading old ground. “If Oasis were ever to come back we couldn’t be any bigger than we’d already been,” he told Esquire. “There’s no kudos in us selling out three nights at Wembley because we’ve already fucking done seven. The Stone Roses never played gigs of that magnitude. They came back and they were bigger than they’d ever been. So it was justified.”
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So they’d have to concoct a whole new record-smashing level of achievement in order to justify the reunion. Like, I dunno, ten Knebworths?
How might Oasis reform?
…is the question that will split fans most. The real comeback event would be the entire first line-up reforming, Tony McCarroll and all, rather than the noughties version, which would be a little too steeped in the post-‘Be Here Now’ slump. We want the storming ‘Supersonic’ Oasis, not the plodding ‘Part Of The Queue’ Oasis, right?