Oasis : Desert Storming, Oasis, London King’s Cross Splash! Club

Originally published in NME, 12 February 1994.

RUMOUR HAS it that more than a couple of Oasis – Manchester’s latest loafers, freshly attached to Creation Records – used to roadie for The Stone Roses. Reality shows that, no doubt exhausted by the intense legwork inherent in working on the Roses’ mammoth world tours, Oasis have spent their time mastering the art of the 17-skinner and, like, uh… what’s my name again?

Remember the first time you saw Verve? How you howled openly at their mad fusion of rock histrionics and off-the-wall arrogance? Oasis have a similar effect, helped not only by neatly avoiding Verve’s Led Zeppelin excesses, but also by a stuffed, perspiring throng waiting to see if the new kids on the Manc block can elevate themselves above the memory of The High.

“I can see for miles and miles,” howls singer Liam Gallagher at one point. “I’d like to teach the world to sing,” he shrugs at another, and the man with the David Cassidy haircut isn’t lying.

See, Oasis know their pop history and aren’t afraid to stroke its belly until the past 30 years of music simply rolls over and capitulates, seduced by the most nonchalant approach to making a racket since the Mondays had their day. Lethargic? Christ, Oasis can barely move.

So Liam toys languidly with a star-shaped tambourine. Smart. So his brother Noel knocks out all these spangly, never-ending guitar licks, most of which resemble the last 30 seconds of The Edge’s axe solos circa Red Rocks, albelt without the leather waistcoat. So ‘Cigarettes And Alcohol’ is a complete rehash of ‘Get It On’, down to a T.Rex, and one song sounds exactly like Blur, and Oasis should, by rights, be unmitigated crap but…they are in fact more fun than a mudbath with a meerkat.

It’s the way they grove (seriously!). It’s the way that – unlike the torturous Scream album – Oasis songs simply roll along with a genuine Up yours attitude and a lazy beat sufficiently Infectious to make gawping, semi-concussed ‘gezzers’ of us all, while Liam carelessly chucks melodies on top. And – here’s the important bit – it’s the way that Liam says “Thank you very much” with such sneering topspin it sounds uncannily like “F- you vey much.” Lovely.

Simon Williams