When Oasis split up on August 28th, 2009, it was the ‘Paris altercation’ which ultimately proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back for Noel Gallagher. The principal songwriter quit the group he had been in for close to two decades and has not looked back since.
The news shocked the music world. As the Gallagher brothers had been through the most turbulent times together even though, from the outside, they were famously vitriolic to one another—but there was always that sense it was playful but Noel wasn’t joking this time. The musician had previously quit the group 15 years earlier on an American tour but returned to the fold just a few days later armed with ‘Talk Tonight’.
The legendary band, who had been on a mammoth world tour in 2009 and only had two shows left to go, planning to finish their cycle before one night in Paris put a stop to that. Oasis were set to headline Rock En Seine festival in the French capital when all the issues that had been building finally reached a climax, a night when it all got too much for the older Gallagher brother.
At this point, the relationship between both brothers had deteriorated badly that they were now travelling separately and it had become a lucrative job rather than a vocation, with Noel putting himself through personal turmoil in exchange for a more than handsome pay packet.
“All that being said, we had two gigs left and I reckon if I’d had got to the end of that tour and I’d had six months off I would have just forgotten about it, got on with it,” Noel said to Esquire in 2015. “But the straw that broke the camel’s back was the night in Paris and that was a fight. There’s no hidden darkness.”
The week prior to Paris the band had pulled out of their second headline slot at V Festival at the last minute after Liam had a bout of laryngitis which Noel dismissed as a “hangover”. It was clear for all to see that they were fed up each and, in no uncertain terms, Noel made it clear to his little brother that he didn’t like the way he was trying to force his clothing brand Pretty Green down the throats of Oasis fans — which led to an escalation in the conflict.
“He goes out the dressing room, for whatever reason he went to his own dressing room and he came back with a guitar and he started wielding it like an axe and I’m not f*cking kidding,” Noel claimed of the incident. “And I’m making light of it because it’s kind of what I do, but it was a real unnecessary violent act, and he’s swinging this guitar around, he nearly took my face off with it.
“And it ended up on the floor and I put it out of its misery. And then I said, well look, I mean, there were people who were in the band, looking the other way, it wasn’t even a big dressing room. And I was like, you know what? I’m f*cking out of here. And at that point, someone came in and said five minutes!… I kind of got in the car and I sat there for five minutes and I just said f*ck it, I can’t do it anymore,” Noel stated in 2011.
News of the incident soon spread around the festival and Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke took great pleasure in informing the crowd about Oasis’ pulling out. “Oasis have cancelled,” Okerekesaid with a smile the size of the Seine. “So I’d like to take this moment to say, ‘That’s a shame, isn’t it guys?’”
“So I guess by default, we are headlining,” he added before playing ‘Mercury’ after guitarist Russell Lissack jokingly the opening riff from Oasis‘ ‘Supersonic’. “I’d like to dedicate this next song to anyone who really wanted to see those inbred twins.”
Okereke’s hatred of Oasis goes back to when Liam Gallagher dismissed them as looking like “students off University Challenge” in 2005, which was a light and playful insult that had obviously been playing on the Bloc Party man’s mind for the last four years.
Watch the moment he informed the crowd of Oasis pulling out, below.