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Past Times

Oasis performed in Dundee in 1994 and here’s what our reviewer said

Oasis played to 74 fans at Lucifer's Mill on April 5 1994 before the release of the band's debut single.
Graeme Strachan
Liam Gallagher performing during the 1994 tour. Image: Shutterstock.
Liam Gallagher performing during the 1994 tour. Image: Shutterstock.

Liam Gallagher shrugged off a dodgy mike before Oasis delivered a flawless performance at Lucifer’s Mill in Dundee 30 years ago.

The Manchester band ventured out on their first ever headline tour which was a series of small gigs to promote debut single Supersonic.

Then-Courier music writer Roddy Isles was there.

Did he think these Manchester lads would fill the shoes of the Stone Roses?

In their own heads they were the best band in the world.

“We’re the only working band in Manchester at the moment,” Noel Gallagher told Roddy before the gig.

“We’re not interested in recreating past glories, we’re about now.

“Our record’s the best thing that’s been done in three years.”

The Courier previewed the Lucifer’s Mill gig

Roddy seemed convinced when he previewed the Lucifer’s Mill gig in his weekly Rocktalk column on March 31 1994.

Tickets for the April 5 1994 Oasis gig at Lucifer’s Mill. Image: Supplied.

He wrote: “They’ve been going for nearly three years and haven’t released a record yet but latest Creation signings Oasis are already being tipped to be among 94’s brightest stars.

“Rising out of a scene demoralised by the baggy comedown, Oasis could be the
first great post-‘Madchester’ Manchester band.

“The only band from the old days they admire is the Stone Roses, with whom
they share not only a friendship but a knowing arrogance.

“Coincidentally, Noel also reckons his band’s record is almost the finest to be made since the Roses last made a public appearance.

“The single Supersonic, which is released in two weeks, isn’t quite that good, but the important thing is there’s enough on it to suggest Oasis could be backing up such claims before too long.

“They could fly very high so catch them now before they really take off.”

Oasis warmed up for the tour by performing to a room full of music executives.

The demo set at Gleneagles caused an almighty stir in the business.

Only 17 advance tickets were bought for the gig. Image: Beat Generator/DC Thomson.

Oasis arrived at Lucifer’s Mill on April 5 1994 at 4pm.

A new stage was being installed before the 6pm soundcheck.

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!”

Only 74 people watched Oasis perform in Dundee with 17 advance tickets sold.

Tickets cost £3 with a 25p booking fee.

Roddy Isles thought Oasis looked the part

Roddy was among those who witnessed the impressive set.

His review has not been seen for 30 years.

Until now.

A poster for the tour in 1994 which included the date in Dundee. Image: Supplied.

He wrote: “Ever since the Stone Roses disappeared into rumour-filled haze four years ago the race has been on to find a band who can fill their shoes.

“Latest of the contenders is Oasis, another bunch of Manchester lads armed with equally healthy doses of guitars and attitude.

“But do they have the tunes?

“Tuesday night’s gig at Lucifer’s Mill in Dundee got off to a false start courtesy of a dodgy mike, but once they slipped back into Shakermaker they barely put a foot wrong.

“They’ve only just released their first single but they put together a 50-minute set that brims with confidence and overflows with hooks.

“As with all good gigs the best comes last with Cigarettes And Alcohol – with a guitar figure that stamps all over you – and the single Supersonic.

“They do all this without even airing a couple of the songs from their demo that wowed the music biz in the first place.

“Right now Oasis look the part but the test will come when they arrive at their first album.”

Promoter found Oasis friendly in Dundee

The group were booked for the Lucifer’s Mill date by promoter John Cruickshanks.

Glasgow band 18 Wheeler were special guests.

A promotional photo of Oasis in March 1994 before they headed off on tour. Image: PA.

“Over the years I’ve heard so many people claim to have attended this show you’d have thought it occurred over three or four nights at the Caird Hall,” said John.

“I was familiar with a few songs, I thought they sounded raw but decent and was a fan of Creation Records so took a punt and came along more in hope than expectation.

“By then I had heard the forthcoming debut single, Supersonic, and thought it was rather good, though not as good as Cigarettes and Alcohol so my curiosity was well and truly piqued.

“I found Oasis friendly enough.

“Noel was easy to chat to, but on the night, I thought they had some fine songs, lacked charisma and was no way convinced that they would be anything more than a good wee band.”

Oasis missed out on Rocktalk best album

The bands that played Lucifer’s used to sign a set of drumsticks after the gig.

Noel signed a set but they ended up being put in the bin when the place closed.

When Definitely Maybe dropped on August 29 1994 it was the fastest-selling debut album in the UK at the time.

After years of dance music, plastic pop and electronic beats dominating the charts, Liam and Noel made it fashionable to be in a guitar band again.

Definitely Maybe is rightly considered one of the greatest albums of all time.

Although it missed out on winning the Courier Rocktalk album of the year in 1994 in Roddy’s December 29 column.

Roddy Isles was there at the beginning of the Oasis journey to rock stardom. Image: DC Thomson.

“They captured the zeitgeist like no one since the Stone Roses in 1989 and their single releases became events,” said Roddy.

“The only annoyance was that when the album arrived it contained so much stuff we’d already heard when they were boasting of having 200 songs in reserve.

“However, you only had to watch them live to be convinced of their greatness.

“They were fantastic in Dundee in April but saved their best for the excellent T in the Park.

“There they gave a show that will long be remembered by everyone lucky enough to squeeze into a bulging tent, the undoubted highlight of a weekend filled with excellence.

“Still, they were pipped to our Album of the Year title by another newcomer, Portishead, who produced a sound that was utterly alien to anybody else.”

Roddy would go on to chronicle the band’s rapid rise to superstardom which climaxed before 250,000 fans at Knebworth in 1996.