Liam and Noel Gallagher have a knack for news cycles. So it may come as a surprise that it’s been a full decade since the final Oasis studio album, Dig Out Your Soul, was released. Featuring the in-your-face “The Shock of the Lightning,” the band’s first single to hit the Billboard Hot 100 since 1996’s “Don’t Look Back in Anger,” the LP reignited the duo’s popularity stateside to the highest levels since their 90’s heyday.
But then the brothers had a fight (as they are wont to do) at Paris’ Rock en Seine Festival and broke up. Since then, they’ve managed to stay in the spotlight thanks to a combined six records between their two new bands (Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Beady Eye) and Liam’s solo project, along with a host of extremely entertaining interviews, tabloid-ready controversies, absurd potato jokes, a pair of scissors, and a successful 2016 documentary. In celebration of their last album’s 10th anniversary, we take a look back at the fun highs and absurd lows of each Gallagher’s post-Dig Out Your Soul decade.
HIGH: Liam joins Twitter
In February 2009, about six months before the demise of Oasis, the youngest Gallagher brother joined Twitter. He’d go on to have one of the most consistently entertaining and hilarious accounts, one where he’d routinely lash out at Noel, unexpectedly quote pop songs, call himself a god, and insult his brother some more. AS YOU WERE LG x
HIGH: Noel insulting Liam on Pitchfork’s Over/Under
In 2017, Noel Gallagher appeared on Pitchfork’s popular video series, Over/Under, where musicians and actors are asked to rate various topics. While Noel was questioned about Kanye (“Is he of this world?”) and electronic assistants (“When they can go and get drugs for you, then we’re moving forward as a society. ‘Alexa, go score us some weed!’”), the highlight is this exchange at the finale, when he’s asked about Twitter:
“Twitter is the playground of f—ing idiots…”
Well you know our President is on Twitter?
“Well, and so is my f—king brother and quite literally, I’d put the pair of them in a driverless car each so they’d f—king run into each other.”
HIGH: Potato-gate (Liam)
On May 24, 2016, Liam — in response to his brother’s statement to the Daily Mail that he’d reform Oasis for 20 million pounds — tweeted out a picture of Noel with a single word comment: “potato.” Is it a nasty put-down? Not really. Is it an absolutely hilarious way to annoy someone, especially since Liam would go on to use it over and over again? You bet.
LOW: Potato-gate (Noel)
Pitchfork dubbed it “Potato-gate.” Stereogum wrote nine separate articles where Noel was referred to as a “Potato.” Sure, fans have called him the Chief for decades now, but suddenly, he was “Potato in Chief.” The Potato moniker was inescapable and Noel was subject to a full year or so of starchy food jokes.
HIGH: Noel tours with a scissors player (scissorist?)
When the elder Gallagher stopped by Jools Holland to perform 2017 upbeat rocker “She Taught Me How to Fly,” he brought along Charlotte Marionneau, a multi-instrumentalist whose instrument of choice that night was a pair of scissors. While some writers claimed to be able to hear the “instrument” during a February 2018 Fallon performance, it seemed like just another hilarious way to troll the music industry from a man with a long history of tricking people.
HIGH: Liam plays a show with a potato peeler
Even though it had nothing to do with him whatsoever, you knew that there was no way Liam would let Noel get away with employing a scissorist. After tweeting out a request for a potato peeler to join him onstage, founding Oasis guitarist Bonehead responded that he was willing and able to play. Fans then ended up peeling potatoes in the crowd for one of the best viral trolls in a long time.
HIGH: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
For years, fans wondered when Oasis’ chief songwriter would finally go solo. Weaving in and out of big, bombastic string-led ballads and psychedelic blues-rock, his solo venture ended up being worth the wait. The three albums, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Chasing Yesterday, and Who Built the Moon, are all strong, with a handful of tracks good enough to make a Noel Gallagher Best Of compilation (“If I Had a Gun…,” “AKA… What a Life!,” “Lock All the Doors,” “Ballad of the Mighty I,” and “Dead in the Water”).
LOW: Unreleased Amorphous Androgynous collaboration
In 2011, Noel announced a full album collaboration with legendary experimental electronic duo Amorphous Androgynous. He teased the first single, an almost 8-minute psychedelic rework of “If I Had a Gun…” called “Shoot a Hole Into the Sun.” Noel eventually scrapped the project and told the media that he destroyed the masters and the album would never see the light of day. But just two months ago, Noel found a copy of the lost LP in a sock drawer, so maybe we’ll get to hear what would have been the most out there Noel Gallagher release ever.
HIGH: Liam Gallagher’s As You Were
Whereas Noel was out trying something new, Liam decided to return to the rollicking rock sound that launched him to fame. Out to prove that he too could go it alone, the youngest Gallagher released a record full of straightforward rock ‘n’ roll. Lead track “Wall of Glass,” complete with a harmonica riff, was one of the biggest sounding singles of 2017, while the heartfelt and apologetic “For What It’s Worth,” showed that he could still do ballad material better than most.
LOW: Beady Eye
OK, it wasn’t all bad, but the majority of the first post-Oasis project from either Gallagher brother sounded like late-era Oasis retreads — only worse. Songs like “Beatles and Stones,” “Millionaire,” and “Wigwam” felt uninspired, and it was no surprise that the American press treated the two Beady Eye records with a general shrug. There were, however, some diamonds in the rough, like the horn-led and Dave Sitek-produced “Flick of the Finger” and The Beatles-esque “The Roller.”
HIGH: Noel making up with Damon Albarn
Oasis and Blur had one of the most vicious band rivalries in history, culminating in offensive insult-offs via the press and awards acceptance speeches, and a chart battle where they both purposely released singles on the same day. But after decades of fighting, Noel made amends with Blur and Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn in 2013, performing the Blur classic “Tender” for charity.
LOW: Gorlliaz’ “We Got the Power”
With so much history between the two titans of Britpop, it was disappointing that this was the resulting collaboration. Years in the making, fans ended up with a corny synth pop track featuring Noel — along with Jenny Beth — singing, “We got the power to be loving each other / No matter what happens / We’ve got the power to do that.” Sure, we get the sentiment, but the song feels like an absolute let down, much less than the grand orchestral rock song we all expected would come from a Noel and Damon song.
HIGH: Liam’s 2017 press run
After years of neglect, American music outlets finally realized that Liam is perhaps the most entertaining interview around, culminating in one of the more outrageous press cycles this decade. One-off tweets became news items, silly videos (Liam making tea, taking questions from a class of young children, and reviewing new music) went viral, and suddenly, everyone wanted to speak with him. Liam’s 2017 press run is a masterclass in how to get a lot of PR on your own terms while having fun doing it.
HIGH: Noel’s music video commentary
It’s common knowledge that Noel hates shooting music videos; he’s been saying it in interviews for years. But with the release of Oasis greatest hits album Time Flies… 1994-2009 in 2010 and an accompanying DVD featuring every Oasis music video, fans were treated to some of the funniest takedowns of his own videos — from Noel himself. From successfully suggesting to bury the drummer in the “Live Forever” video (“Is that how easy this is?”) to admitting to being extremely drunk/hungover for the “Whatever” shoot (“I’d fallen asleep at a bus stop. They’re the clothes I went out in the night before”) to complaining about being the frontman for “Don’t Look Back in Anger” (“A guy actually said to me on this video shoot, ‘Can we do that bit again but can you do it with a bit more energy in your eyes?’ I still have no idea what he meant by that to this day”), the DVD highlight reel is one of the funniest 10 minutes you’ll ever spend on YouTube.
HIGH: Noel throws Narcos (cocaine)-themed 50th birthday party
When you’re rich, you can throw extravagant birthdays. When you’re Noel Gallagher, you make it drug-themed and invite basically every famous person you can think of. The party had a tagline — “There’s no business like blow business” — and judging by all of the pictures of Bono, there was A LOT of drinking involved as well — along with a mariachi band, a video from the Narcos Twitter account, and an appearance by Madonna.
LOW: Liam not invited to Narcos (cocaine)-themed 50th birthday party
But Damon Albarn was!
HIGH: Liam appears at One Love Manchester
Following the horrific terror attacks at Manchester Arena in May 2017, “Don’t Look Back in Anger” became an anthem in the UK and Manchester specifically. Sung by a grieving crowd at a vigil just a day after the attacks, the classic (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? track became a symbol for the city’s resilience, rocketing up the charts for the first time in decades. Liam, who had just announced his comeback, took up the cause, dedicating his live set to those killed and later performing at the massive One Love Manchester benefit performance.
HIGH: Noel donates royalties of “Don’t Look Back in Anger”
Noel may not have been at One Love Manchester, but he donated the royalties from “Don’t Look Back in Anger” becoming a hit again to the Manchester victims’ fund.
HIGH: Liam sings “Don’t Look Back in Anger” A cappella at Glastonbury
At the tail-end of his last-minute set at Glastonbury Festival 2017, Liam Gallagher did something completely unexpected: he sang the Noel-led “Don’t Look Back in Anger” for the first time ever… and he did it without a backing band. Dedicating the song to those lost at the Manchester Arena bombings and the Grenfell Tower fire in London, there wasn’t a dry eye in the capacity crowd. They’ve headlined Britain’s most important music festival multiple times before, but this may have been the most special moment for either of the Gallaghers in Pilton.
LOW: Liam gets a fish thrown at him onstage
You hear of a–holes throwing bottles at bands sometimes, but the youngest Gallagher may have been the first to have a fish hurled at him during a show. Liam has seen quite a lot in his day, but a “f—ing stinky, smelly fish” is definitely a new one.
HIGH: Supersonic documentary
Perhaps the most entertaining and laugh-out-loud music documentary in recent memory, 2016’s Supersonic reminded the world of Oasis’ good old days, when they were one of the biggest rock bands in the world. The doc almost plays like a real-life This Is Spinal Tap, complete with lots of music, lots of drugs, and lots of barbed insults. Documenting the band from childhood through the record-selling Knebworth shows in 1996 where they played to 250,000 people over two nights, Supersonic put the Gallaghers front and center once again, paving the way for Liam’s resurgence just over a year later.
HIGH: Oasis reissue their first three albums
Between May 2014 and October 2016, Big Brother Recordings resissued Definitely Maybe, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, and Be Here Now, the three records that represented Oasis’ commercial peak. Packed with rarities — including the long sought after Mustique demos — live performances, and reworked tracks, the series was a huge success, bringing the best of Oasis’ music to the forefront once again.
LOW: Oasis breaks up
While they may be funnier when they’re apart and constantly trolling each other on social media and onstage, we still miss when both Gallaghers were together performing their hits to sold out arenas around the world. But there are always rumors t that they’re gearing up to make amends and reunite once more. Glastonbury 2019 anyone?