SU­PER­SONIC

A documentary about Oa­sis. As if there’s any mileage in those nice Gal­lagher brothers.

Empire (UK) - - CONTENTS - WORDS HAMISH MACBAIN POR­TRAIT MICHAEL Spencer Jones

For one of its cen­tral char­ac­ters, the events of documentary Su­per­sonic don’t feel two decades old. “It feels like it was yes­ter­day,” says Liam Gal­lagher. “I’ve not found God. I’ve not got into fuck­ing Swahili mu­sic. I am still the ex­act same per­son that’s on that screen. So, for me, there’s been no big dra­matic change.”

Given that he is to­day re­splen­dent in a cagoule, sun­glasses (in­doors) and Kneb­worth-length hair, it’s not dif­fi­cult to be­lieve him. but there has been one big dra­matic change in the years since Liam and his older song­writ­ing brother, noel Gal­lagher, de­fined a gen­er­a­tion: their band oa­sis ceased to ex­ist as of Au­gust 2009, as did re­la­tions between the two brothers. but while it fea­tures an arm-wres­tle between the two — “I let him win that, by the way,” notes Liam of the footage from 1995 — con­flict in Su­per­sonic is kept to a min­i­mum.

“I re­mem­ber that [arm-wrestling] footage be­ing one of the first things I showed Liam and noel sep­a­rately when they first came in for in­ter­views,” says direc­tor mat White­cross, a long-time oa­sis fan. “maybe it was just in my head, but it def­i­nitely felt like they both had a mo­ment like, ‘Fuck­ing hell, we were in­cred­i­bly close.’”

rather than dis­sect­ing what went wrong, then, the film is a cel­e­bra­tion of what made oa­sis spe­cial to so many peo­ple — as well as be­ing side-split­tingly funny and un­ex­pect­edly mov­ing. Plenty of clas­sic live per­for­mances and in­ter­views are present and cor­rect, but what’s re­mark­able — es­pe­cially given the early ’90s was a time when far fewer peo­ple car­ried cam­eras than to­day — is how much fly-on-the-wall footage has been un­earthed. We even get to see the sparsely at­tended Glas­gow gig where oa­sis were first spot­ted by a record la­bel. “It’s un­be­liev­able that some­one filmed that, re­ally,” says White­cross. “It was a Ja­panese stu­dent called Ayako. She was into the other bands that night, and when they [oa­sis] came on she must have thought, ‘Fuck it, I’ll film a cou­ple of their songs.’ A lot of the smaller gigs in the film, it’s like, ‘Why was some­one film­ing this?’ There was no rea­son to. but it’s lucky they did!”

The rea­sons for this film ex­ist­ing are sim­ple. “The more we talked about it, the 20-year an­niver­sary of Kneb­worth felt like what it should cen­tre around,” White­cross says. “So much time has passed, and I think the tabloid ver­sion of Liam and noel’s char­ac­ters is what some peo­ple re­mem­ber, rather than how it re­ally was. So it felt like a good time to go back and re­dress the bal­ance a lit­tle bit.”

right now, Liam Gal­lagher is ready to do just that.

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