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Noel Gallagher in Dundee: How city gig (and cheap tambourine) helped Oasis go Supersonic

Noel Gallagher is to return to play in Dundee - minus Oasis and the £9.99 tambourine.

Noel Gallagher will return to Dundee this weekend for the first time since playing a pub gig with Oasis to just 74 people.

Noel will headline the one-day show at Slessor Gardens on June 11 with £55 and £77.50 tickets a bit pricier than the £3 it cost to see him back in 1994!

At the time he was still performing alongside brother Liam in Oasis and the April 5 1994 gig was the band’s first headline show in Scotland.

Only 17 advance tickets were sold for Lucifer’s Mill in Session Street despite Oasis being dubbed ‘the best new band in Britain’ on the gig poster.

A poster for the Dundee gig by Noel Gallagher and Oasis.
Oasis performed a series of small gigs to promote debut single Supersonic.

The week before the gig that number was only two – before things picked up!

The group had gained a reputation for their rowdy gigs and were supported by Glasgow band 18 Wheeler after being booked by promoter John Cruickshanks.

A new stage was being installed in Lucifer’s Mill when the band arrived for the soundcheck, as the existing ‘stage’ wasn’t deemed to be of sufficient standard for live gigs.

Once the stage was completed Liam checked out the quality of the work by bouncing up and down on it while chanting: ‘Noel’s going under tonight!’.

Liam Gallagher pictured in 1994 when Oasis were promoting the new album. Photo by Steve Fenton/Shutterstock.

The show came just four months before the band released Definitely Maybe, which became the UK’s fastest-selling debut album of all time.

The band blasted out hits from the now legendary album including Rock ‘N’ Roll Star, Live Forever, Supersonic, Cigarettes & Alcohol and Slide Away.

Noel was interviewed backstage after the gig for a music fanzine and was asked if he thought things were happening too fast?

“No, I don’t think things are happening too fast,” he said.

“People might see it as a hype, well, some of it is a hype, but that’s not us.

Oasis in 1994.

“I mean, we didn’t just form yesterday and get a record deal.

“We’ve had two and a half years of this.

“It was weird, how we got signed.

“We were playing at this club in Glasgow, opening for 18 Wheeler, and Alan McGee just showed up.”

Noel was asked about brother Liam’s blue star-shaped tambourine, which he played during the gig at Lucifer’s Mill.

“I bought Liam it,” he said.

“It was £9.99 and he didn’t even say thank you…”

Noel and Liam on stage together in 1994. Photo by Steve Fenton/Shutterstock.

Noel also signed a set of drumsticks for the pub and they were kept downstairs but were put in the bin when the place was being cleared out.

Lucifer’s Mill – which could hold around 250 people – was the perfect size at the time for touring bands who were not quite ready to hit the big halls and arenas.

But just two years later hundreds of people queued overnight to buy tickets for the band’s two shows at Loch Lomond, which attracted 80,000.

Oasis would play to 250,000 fans in Knebworth one week later, the largest outdoor gig in UK history at the time.

The band’s original drummer, Tony McCarroll, said: “The first tours were to smaller crowds, giving us a bit of experience on the road.

“I have memories of doing the smaller circuit sometimes to only two people then repeating a year later to a few hundred locked out.

“It escalated very fast as people learned how good this band was.

“We worked each territory from the ground up and the word spread fast.

“When it came to a performance we were well-rehearsed and a very tight unit.

“No matter if only two were in the crowd, we would never give a half-hearted set to a paying punter.

“As with Ireland, the Scottish were always very welcoming and a warm crowd to play to.

“They were completely up for a party whilst taking you under their wing.”

Liam and Noel Gallagher remained with Oasis until the band broke up in 2009.

The band formed in Manchester in 1991 with the line-up of Liam as frontman, Paul Arthurs on guitar, Paul McGuigan on bass, and Tony on drums.

Liam’s brother Noel joined shortly afterwards on guitar, vocals and as chief songwriter.

Noel quit the band while touring Definitely Maybe, citing an incident in which Liam struck him with a tambourine on stage.

Was it the same one that cost Noel £9.99?

It was to be the first of many bust-ups and walk-outs in the band.

Oasis before their Knebworth Park concert. From left: drummer Alan White, rhythm guitarist Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs, lead singer Liam Gallagher, bass player Paul “Guigsy” McGuigan and guitarist and songwriter Noel Gallagher.

Oasis hit the peak of its fame in 1996, a year after (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? vaulted the group to superstardom.

The band released their third album, Be Here Now, in 1997, which became the fastest-selling album in UK chart history.

Oasis had eight UK number one singles and eight UK number one albums.

The group eventually split in 2009 after Noel quit following a bust-up with Liam in France.

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