The MTV Awards in 1996 saw Oasis, despite not being nominated for any awards, perform a gloriously nonchalant version of ‘Champagne Supernova’ that allowed Liam Gallagher win hearts across the airwaves and make himself a few enemies in New York City.
The evening at the legendary Radio City Music Hall in New York saw a plethora of greats take to the stage including The Smashing Pumpkins, Neil Young, Alanis Morrissette, Metallica, LL Cool J and Beck—but it would be Oasis’ performance that would end up as the main talking point from the show.
Oasis were at the peak of their debauchery at this point, they had just come off the back of the most important summer in their history and it would be an understatement to say they were treating themselves to the delights of rock stardom. Their appearance was just under a year before they headed into the studio to make their ‘cocaine album’ Be Here Now, which goes some way in explaining their performance at Radio City Music Hall.
The string of dates had seen the Gallaghers achieve legendary status in the UK with the hype and fandom around them reaching fever pitch, the group solidified their reputation as the stadium-filling outfit that they already considered themselves to be. Taking to the stage inside the stadium of the Gallagher brothers’ beloved football team Manchester City, Oasis delivered two shows that are now etched into the annals of rock and roll.
The four lads from Manchester, with one tumultuous brotherhood at its core, then took to the stage at Knebworth House for the first of their two-night residency in August which would see them play to over 250,000 people. It proved that in Britain there was simply no band bigger, Blur or otherwise.
Stateside it was a different story for Oasis, however. While they were together they were never quite appreciated to the same degree across the pond, even though they did achieve relative success in the US, their Mancunian charm was somewhat lost with much of the American audience who never quite took them to their hearts.
Their performance at the MTV Awards almost certainly didn’t help, an inebriated Liam Gallagher led the band through a raucous version of ‘Champagne Supernova’ that saw him deliver the not so affectionate line: “A champagne supernova up your bum”.
Liam and Noel, as ever, then got into a lovers tiff which ended which resulted in the younger brother spitting his pint of beer on the stage whilst casually smoking his cigarette before slamming his microphone to the ground and trotting off stage to leave his bandmates to finish the song.
The American audience didn’t react well when Liam introduced the song by saying: “I hope you’re having a good time, but I know you’re having a shit time” — which wasn’t the perfect way of appeasing himself to the crowd but it’s a performance worthy of the history books nonetheless.
In fact, we’d go so far as to say that if you were looking for a five-minute video to show you the distillation of Liam Gallagher’s growing bravado then you’d be hard-pressed to find better than this.