Oasis were a band who never backed down from a fight. They even picked a few themselves. The Mancunian legends would fight each other, fight with other bands, and they reserved a special hatred for management. But one dark day saw Britpop royalty turn on their loyal subjects.
On the 26th July 2000, in the hostile nation of Switzerland, Liam Gallagher was fronting the band without his brother, Noel—who at this point had decided to avoid playing with his brother outside of Britain.
It meant that LG along with the rest of the band were headlining the Paleo festival in Nyon, with a 35,000 strong crowd all desperate to see the great Oasis, without an integral part of the group.
To make matters worse, Liam, at this point, was beginning to lose his head a little. His rock and roll lifestyle was starting to overshadow the music and LG had found himself in tabloid newspapers far more often than music mags. It was an ego cocktail that was bound to see Liam Gallagher with his head in the toilet at some point.
Before that particular figurative vomit was building in his belly, the swaggering singer was due on stage in Nyon. But things would not be so neutral. Governed only by himself and without the steadying presence of his brother Noel on this trip, Liam crossed the line and instead of insulting musicians or reps he went after Oasis’ own fans.
The band would later say that they were themselves being attacked as coins were thrown from the audience on to the stage. Liam reacted stating “A small group ruined it for the real fans,”. Judging by the audio that could well be true as in the middle of a song, LG breaks from the track and says “If I catch you, dickhead, I’ll break your fucking arse, your family’s arse, and your mother’s arse. So pack it in.”
The audio then provides an accurate depiction of what went on next as LG continues to berate members of the audience and eventually it all becomes too much. The audience didn’t hide their annoyance pelting the stage with bottles and coins. With such a large crowd it’s no wonder the members of Oasis felt so threatened. In fact, they felt so under fire that they went to the British consulate in Geneva to make sure they could get out of Switzerland without harm.
The festival organisers laid all the blame on Liam and the band, however, stating that Liam was being provocative and arrogant (well, obviously) and that the band had reacted in a paranoid way. “As far as the Paleo Festival organisers are concerned, Oasis’s decision to cut short their concert was totally irrational and the result of a paranoid reaction by the group, and not based on a calm analysis of the situation.” You can listen to the whole show below with the insults being thrown at around 23:14.
So, as we reflect on a dark(ish) day for Oasis, we can’t help but ponder on a few things: firstly, Oasis were only booed off stage once in their massive career— is unbelievable. Secondly, they probably owe Switzerland another performance after that debacle. And finally, that if anyone has the £100 million LG claimed would reunite Oasis it has to be those Swiss banks?
Go on boys, get it done.