The Eight Most Supersonic Scenes From The Oasis Documentary, Explained By Director Mat Whitecross

Mat Whitecross, director of Supersonic, has spent many hours doing new interviews with Liam and Noel and many months swamped by never-before-seen Oasis footage. Here he talks to Tom Howard about some of the film’s most entertaining and fascinating moments

1. The bit where Liam sings ‘Sad Song’

The scene: A never-heard-by-anyone version of the tune is used to soundtrack Liam and Noel’s bust-up at Rockfield Studios while recording ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?’

Mat Whitecross: “One of the first people we met was Mark Coyle [producer of early Oasis albums], who is this amazing psychedelic guru. Mark was a music obsessive. Him and Noel met touring with the Inspiral Carpets [in the early ’90s] and Noel would bring him tracks to mix. Every so often Mark would give us this stuff. With ‘Sad Song’ he was just, ‘I’ve got no idea where this came from.’ We were like, ‘Is that Liam? That doesn’t make any sense.’ But Liam lends something beautiful to it. No one, including Liam, remembered recording it. But he had no recollection of any of the footage that was recorded, or pretty much anything that’s happened in the last 20 years.”

2. The bit where Liam nails ‘Champagne Supernova’ in one take

The scene: In some previously unseen footage from Rockfield Studios in 1995, Liam performs some effortless magic

Mat Whitecross: “It’s pretty unreal when you think how important those songs are to people and how beautiful the delivery is. It’s interesting the way Liam talked about it. He didn’t think people had any faith in Oasis and it wasn’t really until they delivered the second album that people were like, ‘OK, maybe something’s cooking here.’ The first album had been a big success, but no one really realised they’d become this phenomenon. Liam says that recording the first two albums was his favourite time because there was no one hovering over them with a spreadsheet or breathing down their necks – it was just, ‘We could sit here for another six weeks, hammering different versions out, or we could just go to the pub.’”

3. The bit where Oasis plays ‘All Around The World’ in 1992

The scene: Five years before it appeared on the band’s third album ‘Be Here Now’, and before they’d even done a demo, they were rehearsing the song at the Boardwalk in Manchester

Mat Whitecross: “It’s unbelievable how driven and smart and ambitious Noel was, to take a song as great as that – which he kept telling anyone who would listen was their ‘All You Need Is Love’ – and say they’re gonna save it for the third album because it needs a massive f**k-off string section. That takes balls. There’s a bit in the film where Mark Coyle says you have to be Mussolini to have a masterplan that savage. We had all the ‘Be Here Now’ demos, and a section on Noel hanging out with Johnny Depp and Kate Moss in Mustique, and we had an interview with Johnny lined up, but the film was already seven hours long so we dropped it.”

4. The bit where Peggy Gallagher describes Liam as “a devil”, and the brothers as “naughty boys”

The scene: An interview with the Gallaghers’ mum Peggy about her and her sons’ upbringing

Mat Whitecross: “She’s the heart of the film in some ways. There’s no bullsh*t from her; she’s very funny. Liam says that’s where they got their sense of humour. She lives in the same house the family moved to when they escaped from their dad and it’s beautiful but not excessive. Liam phones her, like, five times a day. Every time I spoke to Peggy she was like, ‘I don’t know why the hell they don’t just phone each other, because they’ll be ringing me every day asking after each other.’ I felt a bit like their parent at times. I could see it from both their perspectives.”

 

5. The bit where Liam says “obviously me and our kid don’t have a relationship any more”

The scene: Heartbreaking moment at the end when, after all the brotherly love, Liam looks back with anger

Mat Whitecross: “Liam seems very cut up about it. Not to the point where he’s going to beat on Noel’s door, but he relished being in a band. He talks about a sense of loss, not just of the band but of his brother. Noel finds it strange that other people find it strange. He says they were never a touchy-feely family and all families are different. One of the first things I did was show them the footage backstage at Top Of The Pops, because the closeness and warmth really touched me. I don’t think it was my imagination that they were moved by it, but they’d quickly move on and go, ‘He’s a sh*tbag.’ That’s part of the fun.”

6. The bit where Liam tells US immigration “I’m going to steal your soul”

The scene: After getting kicked off the ferry for fighting on the way to Amsterdam, the band go to America for the first time. Liam doesn’t know the drill

Mat Whitecross: “And it’s followed by a cavity search. For Liam, going to Amsterdam and getting sent back was the first time he’d ever left the country. The States was uncharted territory and Liam had read what rock stars were supposed to be, but then you go through immigration and they don’t give a f**k. I bet even Ozzy Osbourne behaves himself going through customs.”

7. The bit where Noel talks about how his dad used to beat him

The scene: The film delves into the Gallaghers’ childhood, and we hear about Tommy Gallagher’s treatment of his wife and older sons Noel and Paul. He never touched Liam

Mat Whitecross: “When we finished the film, Noel and Liam both said separately, ‘Is there too much about family?’ They’ve always said they don’t want to be defined by their history, but all the cod psychologists like me go ‘Well, of course it had an impact.’ What I loved about Noel talking about it was him saying, ‘I’m not gonna let it have an impact on me, that’s what happens to other people, I’m stronger than that.’ He says the only impact his dad has had is that to this day he hates raised voices and slammed doors. He remembers a lot of slammed doors and the great thing about having a posh house is you can’t slam a cupboard because it’s all on those soft-close hinges, so even if you want to have a row you can’t. Liam’s thing has always been that he wouldn’t treat someone the way his dad treated his mum. That’s a big deal for him.”

 

8. The bit when Bonehead says he wishes they’d split up after Knebworth

The scene: The film begins and ends with footage of the band’s defining August ’96 shows at Knebworth. For Bonehead, that was enough

Mat Whitecross: “Noel’s thing is, ‘If we’d had the balls to do something like that, maybe we’d be talked about in the same hallowed tones as The Beatles. On the other hand, I had more to give, more to do and I was always writing and had a stack of songs.’ When we met Bonehead, he said they should definitely have stopped then – big mistake to carry on. Liam was adamant that wasn’t true, saying, ‘You keep going because what else we gonna do? Go home and become a plumber? F**k that!’”

Supersonic is on BBC over Christmas. Watch it on iPlayer.