OASIS – BACK IN ACTION

Mansun producer Stent will make them sound like 1999 instead of 1969...

Oasis are going to play some live shows before the end of the year, possibly making an unscheduled apperarance at Glastonbury. They are also looking increasingly likely to release a single before the end of 1999 – though Noel has ruled out an attempt to release a single that would be the first number one of the new millennium.

As reported last week, they are back in the studio, working with Mark ‘Spike’ Stent, most recently known for his work on Mansun‘s ‘Six’.

When NME tracked down the band to their rehearsal studios in south London, where they have been working since February 15, Noel Gallagher revealed that the band were arranging and running through 22 songs for their fourth album proper, including the Liam Gallagher-penned ‘Little James’, written for his stepson, Patsy Kensit‘s child.

Noel, who will produce the album along with Stent, joked that, at this stage, the songs were “sounding pretty fucking ropey”. “But it’s going alright,” he continued. “We’ve got titles, but we can’t really tell you what they are at the moment. We’re not recording yet.”

When NME approached Liam, he said: “We’re not talking about the album mate, we’re talking about light bulbs. Just wait for it. You’ve just got to wait for it. I’m not telling you anything except we’re rehearsing, we’re not recording. Anyway, I’m only here to do some plumbing, ‘cos there’s some dodgy plumbing in them buildings and I managed to fix it.”

He added that Oasis would start laying down tracks for their new album in April.

They are working on an album which is likely to be very different from ‘Be Here Now’ if Noel‘s recent interviews are anything to go by. Noel has said that he would take the band in a different direction after being inspired by his collaborations with The Chemical Brothers and Goldie.

Last December, he said: “Hopefully the new producer will make it sound like it’s been recorded in 1999 and not 1969. Again, it could go arse over tit and end up sounding like ‘Exile On Main Street’.”

Industry insiders are saying that an unannounced appearance by the band at Glastonbury Festival could not be discounted. And Noel had declared to fans waiting outside the rehearsal studios that Oasis would be playing live gigs in Britain before the end of the year.

The band have also publicly pledged to help Bono‘s effort to raise awareness for the Jubilee 2000 Drop The Debt campaign which could mean a live performance in Cologne, Germany, on June 19 to coincide with the G8 Conference, a high level meeting of governments and banks to plan international fiscal strategies. Bassist Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs, speaking at the Tommy Hilfiger party last week, refused to confirm Noel‘s earlier hint that the first single from the new album would be released in September.

“We know exactly when,” teased Bonehead prior to being arrested, “but I’m not telling you. I’m telling you fuck all, other than it’s going tops at the moment. I haven’t got any hair, but if I did have, it would be standing on end this far (extending arms either side of head). I’m that excited!”

It’s hardly a great surprise, then, that Oasis have taken up with Stent, an associate of The Verve‘s producer Youth and a highly acclaimed engineer who has previously worked with the Spice Girls, The KLF, Hole, U2, Bjvrk, Saint Etienne and Massive Attack as well as producing Mansun.

The arrangement marks the end of Oasis‘ relationship with Owen Morris, who produced the band’s previous three albums.

Another source at Creation stated that Stent was a logical choice for Noel. “Oasis want to go a bit dancey, a bit psychedelic,” the source said. “They have decided to cut down on the seven-minute guitar workouts. The band want to make the record more direct and make music the way they used to.”

He added: “Liam‘s been writing stuff too. He’s been out with Primal Scream a lot, getting inspired. He certainly wants to be more included on this next album.”

Previously, Noel has said that he wouldn’t release a record until the year 2000, but it has been widely believed that he had his eye on having the first Number One single of the millennium; a rumour substantiated by a recent interview in which he stated he was worried about bringing out anything in the New Year because of the millennium bug.

He said: “It would be great to see in the 21st century with a Number One album and single… but it ain’t going to happen. If computer systems do crash, record shops will be thrown into chaos. A chart may not even come out and we don’t want to be part of that.”

Will it be a groundbreaking work of genius – like ‘Six’ – or a load of preposterous second hand twaddle – like ‘Six’? Tell us what you think. Post a message on Angst…