Oasis + Richard Ashcroft + Cooper Temple Clause – 14/09/02 – Lancashire County Cricket Club, Manchester

A long way to go to see a band I never really liked, but it was a good opportunity for a road trip, and I do like a big occasion. Occasionally. Now, it’s a well known fact that the Gallagher brothers are big City fans, so they refused to allow the words ‘Old’ and ‘Trafford’ to be printed on the tickets or posters, hence the gig was promoted as taking place at LCCC. Twats they might be, but sometimes they do things in style.

 Oasis ticket Sep 2002We wandered in during the Cooper Temple Clause, who I didn’t really know bar one or possibly two tracks. Anyway, far too busy sussing out the best way to get the most amount of beer in the shortest space of time. Not a brilliant bar system, as I recall. Anyway, got a good position near the sound desk for Richard Ashcroft. I was a token Verve fan at best, having got into them when Urban Hymns came out, but oh my crikey he was excellent. He did all the Verve songs I was hoping for (‘Bittersweet Symphony’, ‘Lucky Man’ mainly) and I recognized a few off the excellent ‘Alone With Everybody’ which I had heard for the first time in the car on the way up. Very cool performer, like a rather-less-annoying Liam Gallagher.

Then came the main act. They had gone through their ‘want to be the biggest fookin band on the planet’ phase and were firmly in their ‘used to be the biggest fookin band on the planet, and don’t you fookin forget it you fookin fookers’ phase. There were no on stage arguments or storming offs, but they really didn’t give off the aura of a band that enjoys each other’s company, or has fun doing what they do. The whole of Old Trafford was bouncing though – they do whip up a great atmosphere, them Gallaghers. The problem with seeing Oasis though, is because they write very catchy singalong tunes, every fucker in the place sings every word to every song, so unless you can get yourself right in front of the PA, you can barely hear the music, and it just sounds like a mass karaoke session. Memorable gig only because it introduced me to Richard Ashcroft, at whose subsequent Brixton gig I would meet my future wife :-).

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