RIGHT-WING HECKLERS CAN’T DAMPEN OASIS’ FIRE

The Gallagher brothers show unity for their first gig on home soil in years, despite some problems with the crowd and right-wing hecklers...

Oasis returned to home ground last night (July 15), opening the UK leg of their world tour at BOLTON REEBOK STADIUM for their first gig in more than two years.

The event-filled, sold-out gig was only the second to feature Noel Gallagher since he quit overseas touring duties with the group earlier in the year after a row with brother Liam.

Relations between the turbulent Gallagher brothers looked warm, Liam throwing brotherly poses at Noel during ‘Acquiesce’. However, past history was recalled when Noel abandoned ‘Step Out’ – the track’s live debut – halfway through and appeared to walk offstage, if only to change his de-tuned guitar. He quipped, “You pay #500 for a guitar tech and you can’t get the c***s to work – that’s coming out of your wages.”

It also became apparent that last month’s tragedy at Roskilde Festival in Denmark had clearly affected the band. They’d been scheduled to play but pulled the gig out of respect for the eight who were crushed to death at the front of the stage during Pearl Jam‘s set. Another music fan died three days afterwards from his injuries.

Early on at the gig last night, a crush threatened at the front of the stage and some people fell over. Security intervened to rectify the situation immediately and the band themselves urged the 20,000 strong crowd to be careful. Noel shouted, “If anyone falls over next to you, make sure you pick them up. It’s just polite. We don’t want anyone dying before they’ve bought a fucking T-shirt on the way out,” before adding, “Tell you what, though, whoever’s in charge of security out front’s getting sacked.”

Moments earlier, the band had refused to continue until one fan climbed down from the speaker stack, prompting a Liam heckle, “Am I everyone’s dad here or what? Oi, Elvis, get down off them speakers!”

Crowd conditions noticeably calmed as the gig progressed, marred only by the presence of right-wing groups. At various points, gangs of men were heard to chant “No surrender to the IRA” and shower the singer with cries of “Heil Liam“. Otherwise, the two-hour greatest hits set passed without trouble, weighted in favour of earlier material, as well as Noel‘s regular cover of Neil Young‘s ‘Hey, Hey, My, My (Out Of The Blue)’.

Support came from Happy Mondays, along with the Mancunian debut of Johnny Marr‘s new outfit Healers. Marr‘s band had played a warm-up show the night before at Sheffield Leadmill.

The Oasis tour continues tonight in Bolton with the same bill, before moving to London Wembley Stadium (21/22 July) and then Edinburgh Murrayfield Stadium (29 July), all dates are sold out. At the London and Edinburgh dates, fellow Mancunians Doves replace Healers as opening act. Oasis then headline the Reading Festival (25 August), Glasgow Green (26) and Leeds Festival (28).