Chasing The Sun, the Lawrence Watson-curated exhibition of Oasis images and memorabilia spanning 1993-1997 had its Manchester homecoming press launch last week at Old Granada Studios. Having premiered in London in 2014, it’s now open free to the general public and runs until October 25. Here’s are the things we learnt from the event.
You can be a ‘Rock’N’Roll Star’
Barely five miles from the exhibition (via a Tardis ride to 1994) is Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs’ old West Didsbury living room, used to shoot the iconic ‘Definitely Maybe’ album cover, which has been painstakingly recreated, allowing fans to ‘star’ in the debut. Featuring details such as a large image of Burt Bacharach in the bottom left (one of Noel Gallagher’s musical heroes), a photograph of George Best in the window – Bonehead’s reminder that not every Oasis member was a Man City fan – and even a still from the Clint Eastwood flick The Good, The Bad & The Ugly on the television, the centrepiece allows visitors to live out their fantasies of being Liam faster than you can say ‘Twitter picture sorted’.
Noel Gallagher has remarkably neat handwriting
Noel G’s smart, capitalised hand-penned lyrics to the likes of ‘Champagne Supernova’, ‘She’s Electric’ and ‘Roll With It’ are displayed. Essentially an expanded version of the 2014 London show – with organisers estimating that it takes up three times the floor space of the Shoreditch original – new additions to the Manchester edit include Brian Cannon (the photographer responsible for creating their logo – a prototype of which is also shown)-shot outakes from the ‘Roll With It’ cover sessions, taken in Weston-Super-Mare in 1995. Among the other memorabilia is the King Tut’s sign – a landmark to the gig where the band were spotted by Alan McGee – a few of the group’s 16 NME Awards, and five of Noel’s guitars, including his Union Jack 60s Epiphone Sheraton which made its first appearance at the Maine Road shows in ’96, as well as the gramophone from the cover of ‘Be Here Now’, which Liam usually keeps at his house. In fact, aside from a waspish Random Noel Insult Generator, it has everything an Oasis stan could wish for.
Sadly, neither Noel nor Liam turned up to the press launch…
Despite attending the opening in the Londonewcastle Project Space two years ago, sadly Liam didn’t raise Manc monobrows by popping by, grabbing the guitar from the ‘Definitely Maybe’ replica set, and strumming out a few tracks from his upcoming solo album. Rumours had swirled however that he might put in an appearance, considering that he was due to be in town at the weekend joining Bonehead in conversation at Man City’s Etihad Stadium.
…Yet their personality could still be felt in the screening room
In archive footage, including being interviewed by a ’90s Zoe Ball , Oasis had nitroglycerine chemistry. As former Oasis press officer Johnny Hopkins put it, “They were everything you could hope for in rock’n’roll. You realised that the moment you met them – they had something special as personalities. They had the gift of the gab, intelligence, and humour. They were funny as fuck from the moment they walked into the Creation building. Noel had a plan to be the biggest band in the world, and Liam has got the best voice of the last 30 years.”