Saturday 5 April 2014

Oasis at the Glasgow Tramway 1994

20-years ago I took the week off work to attend some gigs and workshops that made up Glasgow Sound City. I was 18-years old and a musical sponge, soaking up all kinds of stuff from the 60's through to the current day.

One band in particular had caught my attention and imagination - Oasis. They really did arrive at the perfect time for me.

Oasis had released a few demos on cassette giveaways through the NME and Select Magazine and were being talked in hushed tones about being a cross between Happy Mondays and the Sex Pistols. The Stone Roses had also been mentioned in reviews/features and when I saw them on The Word in March that year I was hooked.

When the line-up for Sound City was announced, Oasis were going to be supporting label mates The Boo Radleys (riding high with their acclaimed Giant Steps LP) at a venue called the Tramway. I had to go.

I still have my ticket - now framed (above) in a collage that has The Charlatans ticket from Sound City underneath. Hole were due to be supporting them, but they cancelled after Cobain's failed suicide attempt in Paris, and were replaced by Pulp. Later that week I would be attending The Pastels at King Tut's when sadly news filtered through that this time Kurt had been successful. It was quite a week for a young music fan.

The Tramway is a brilliant arts venue in the Southside of Glasgow and I had no real way of getting there and back by public transport from the backwaters of Carluke where I am originally from. So I remember driving in at the weekend on a 'test run' with my Dad!

I was in bright and early. I always was back in the day, I wanted to capture the build up to all gigs and see all the support bands - especially this one!

Jo Whiley was floating around looking rather gorgeous as the set was going out on Radio 1. I could see Oasis lurking about backstage.

From memory, Liam had a cool blue and white jumper on (possibly the one in this picture but I may be mistaken) and was shaking a star shaped tambourine.

The crowd was pretty sparse with most folk standing at the back or out at the bar before the Boo Radleys came on. I wasn't cool and was right down the front where I met some lads I used to go to school with.

Oasis strolled on confidently, were introduced by Jo Whiley, and they launched into Shaker Maker, throwing in lines from the New Seekers I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing for good measure. They looked like a real gang.

Digsy's Dinner was next and the band blasted through it. It's not their greatest song but I always enjoyed it live and the line 'these could be the best days of our lives' was pretty apt for an 18-year old at the time.

Live Forever is one of their greatest songs though. Astonishing. There was nothing else out that spoke to me as much as Oasis did at the time. I was looking for a band to fall in love with, a front man to model myself on and songs to sing from the bottom of my heart. I had found them.

I knew Cigarettes and Alcohol as a demo version had been given away on an NME tape. The T-Rex rip off riff and the shake of Liam's tambourine built into a powerful wall of noise that just blew people away.

You can wait for a lifetime, to spend your days in the sunshiiiiinnnneee
You might as well do the white line
Cause when it comes on top
You gotta make it happen
You gotta make it happen

Supersonic ended the short set. Tony McCarroll's drums were simple but punk pure, Noel's guitar sounded sensational.

I bought an Oasis poster and t-shirt after the gig. I followed them intensely for the next few years. That night at the Tramway led to some incredible nights out and life long friendships. I think the bands that you fall in love with in your teens are the bands that last with you through your life, for Oasis to come along when I was 18 was just perfect.

Oasis - Tramway setlist
Shaker Maker
Digsy's Dinner
Live Forever
Cigarettes and Alcohol

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