Listen to rare audio of Noel Gallagher and Oasis covering The Verve’s ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ live
Dipping back into the Far Out Magazine archive we’re revisiting the moment Oasis’ own songwriting extraordinaire, Noel Gallagher put his own spin on The Verve classic ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ while performing live.
Gallagher, who has been a longtime friend and collaborator of Richard Ashcroft, famously dedicated Oasis song ‘Cast No Shadow’ to The Verve frontman in a display of mutual respect, having written the song about the band’s lead singer.
The track has been widely cited as one of Oasis’ most underrated tunes and sees Richard Ashcroft put firmly in the song’s lead role. Something, when reading the lyrics, the sing may not have been best pleased with, asking Gallagher once in a jovial manner, “Am I a vampire to you?”
Fast forward seven years after that track was released, as Oasis readied another stadium-sized performance at the Fukuoka Kokusai Center in Japan, The band slowed down their set to allow Noel to pick up the acoustic guitar for a rendition of The Verve’s now-iconic track ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’.
The song, based on a sample used from the Andrew Loog Oldham orchestral cover of the Rolling Stones’ song ‘The Last Time’, has lived a turbulent life after a 20-year dispute finally settled the original songwriting credits. For a time, the song represented everything Britpop wanted to be, not only hard, cool and without reproach but also engrained in history.
Ashcroft, ever the modest songwriter, once said of the song: “We knew we had never heard anything like that before in our lives,” he said when speaking to MTV.
“That feeling sometimes makes you elated, then you’re excited. But other times it can be quite frightening, because once you are stepping in those places — places where no other footprints have been before. Not many musicians step in those places anymore. But the song’s beyond us, and it has to be out.”
Listen to Noel Gallagher’s rendition of the track, below.