20 Years ago to this day, the music world was blown apart. They say 250,000 people can’t be wrong, well there is more to the story than that.
In the days before internet ticket sales, 1 in 20 Britons applied to get tickets for just two nights accommodating the previously mentioned 250,000 people.
What was to come was the biggest moment in British musical history since The Beatles, armed with two massive hit albums and a teaser for what was to come and supported by some of the biggest and brightest on the Brit Pop scene, Oasis were ready for their moment.
Knebworth House, a country estate in rural Hertfordshire, the scene of many huge gigs but it had never seen anything like this before. The Mancunian band’s followers descended on the estate over the weekend of 10th/11th August 1996 so they were part of that historic moment.
Having a line-up that consisted of The Bootleg Beatles, The Chemical Brothers,Ocean Colour Scene, The Manic Street Preachers, The Charlatans, Kula Shaker, Cast and The Prodigy, over the two nights, the gigs were never going to be a let down. But that was just the warm up.
The band themselves, which at the time was Liam, Noel, Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs, Paul ‘Guigsy’ McGuigan and Alan White, arrived by helicopter , to be greeted by the mass of fans congregated.
With a set list that featured all their hits from their debut album, Definitely Maybe and the massive hit LP, (What’s The Story) Morning Glory, as well as some tasters from the upcoming record Be Here Now, the boys went for it.
Some Might Say
Roll With It
Round Our Way
Cigarettes & Alcohol
Cast No Shadow
Don’t Look Back In Anger
Mr Big Mouth
It’s Getting Better (Man)
With an encore of
Champagne Supernova (Featuring John Squire)
I Am The Walrus
The fans certainly weren’t let down with a set list like that.
It has been mentioned by members of the band since that maybe the band should have taken a break at this point or even quit completely. Instead they went straight back in the studio to complete Be Here Now, which in some circles is dismissed as coke-fueled mistake, but amongst the fans, it was the overblown album of a band at the top of their game and riding that wave.
Even over the years Oasis went on to play many huge memorable gigs, but to the fans and probably the band themselves Knebworth was never topped.
I, myself, was only 12 at the time so didn’t attend. It wasn’t until 4 years later, at the old Wembley Stadium, that I would receive my masterclass, but the gigs that came after Knebworth I am sure never had the same feeling to them.
To quote the Gallaghers
This is history right here, right now
No it fucking isn’t you daft twat,it’s Knebworth!!!