Simon Halfon’s Supersonic consists of 400 richly illustrated pages full of hubris and serenity.
“It’s not about the songs,” argues Oasis songwriter Noel Gallagher.
“It’s not about the damn clothes, the attitude, the headlines, the scandal. It’s about how we made people feel. ”
And for a while, Oasis really made people feel very good.
Supersonic is not an autobiography, let alone the biography of the stadium-filling band that led the cheeky, hedonistic culture of Britain in the mid-1990s.
Rather, it is a thorough and thoroughly entertaining oral history that comes from 16 hours of interviews with Noel, 12 with younger brother Liam, and short contributions from their immediate environment, especially their impressive mother Peggy.
Heavily edited versions of the interviews from the 2016 pSupersonic Documentary. Since Supersonic Stops at the peak of the band’s strength, the two 1996 Knebworth shows with 120,000 viewers, it’s an up-and-coming, relentlessly upbeat story.
This saves us attempts to find the dreary post (What’s the matter) Albums, the 2009 breakup, and the ubiquitous reunion speculation in favor of nearly 400 richly illustrated pages full of hubris and often glee.
The story begins in the southern suburbs of Manchester, where Noel and violinist Liam shared a bedroom even after taking on dead-end jobs like digging holes for the gas pipe (Noel) and working at a garden center (Liam).
Driven by an incredible amount of confidence and Noel’s shark-eyed ambition (“I don’t make this laugh, I do it to be damn rich”), the Gallaghers escaped the indie ghetto without anything as prose as a plan.
Noel has always been a traditional songwriter, sometimes touched by geniuses, while “our child” was the perfect pop star: Certainly no one has enjoyed being one like Liam for as long.
And Oasis were fantastic live. Whether on Manchester’s tiny boardwalk dozens or stadiums in front of tens of thousands, the formula remained unchanged: Liam stood still, hands behind his back (“I tried to dance once: looked like a bloody cock”), scorned subtleties like chatting and Somehow emerge as one of the great front men while Noel played around with the gruff authority of a mechanic who manages a MOT.
Still, they weren’t like any other: what usually breaks bands is what kept Oasis together. Her openness to her drug use made her quite adeptly sacrosanct to the tabloids, and the brothers embraced and directed the chaos and violence that surrounded them.
More importantly, although there have been protests since Supersonic comes to an end, there were no musical differences: Noel wanted to write the songs and Liam just wanted to sing them.
Back then, like wild sea urchins, their quarrels seemed like a weirdly made-up sibling rivalry: “Liam is a big fucking pain in the ass. There’s no word that can sum up his absolute damn buffoons. “
They have more in common than they’d like to admit. No one can belittle the other professionally; they remain devoted to their mother and despise their father; They do not conduct self-analysis and share a great belief in the greatness of Oasis. The result is exhilarating, if unconditional read.
However, with the split into its second decade, the resentment is obviously real. The bottom line is the simplicity itself: they loved Oasis, but they don’t like each other.