The Gallagher brothers’ troubled working relationship has taken so many twists and turns over the years it can be difficult to keep track. Liam and Noel created some of the greatest songs of the Nineties, but struggled to keep their brotherly squabbles in check. Now, a decade after the group dissolved in a melee of backstage brawling, a reunion still hasn't happened and fans continue to chomp at the bit of evidence that the men might bury the hatchet.
There is, nevertheless, quite the hatchet to bury. Here's a (compacted) timeline of Oasis’s many break-ups and make-ups – to be updated as the eternally anticipated reunion unfolds.
Oasis formed in Manchester. Liam Gallagher, Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs, Paul “Guigsy” McGuigan and Tony McCarroll. They played their first gig in August, after which Noel Gallagher became the fifth member.
The band were spotted by Creation Records founder Alan McGee, who signed them up four days later.
Oasis released their first single, Supersonic, and album, Definitely Maybe, only for the latter to become the fastest album yet in the UK. Noel temporarily walked out of the band after Liam made offensive remarks about American audiences during a Los Angeles gig. Noel immediately flew to San Francisco and was eventually persuaded to reconcile with his younger brother, and the band. They performed an iconic set at Glastonbury in June.
Recently, Liam told BBC Sounds his memories of the gig, which was on The NME stage (now The Other stage). "I can't remember much about the set but I remember what I was wearing, a blue Marks & Spencer jumper cause we hadn't had any money. The album hadn't come out – it all went a bit Gucci after that didn't it?"
Oasis got their first number one single, Some Might Say, and promptly kicked out a member: drummer Tony McCarroll. He was instantly replaced by Alan White, who joined the band to perform Some Might Say on Top of the Pops.
Paul McGuigan briefly left the band, and later in the year another brotherly rift opened up. Liam pulled out of a recording of MTV Unplugged at the Royal Festival Hall, only to heckle Noel’s singing from the balcony, fuelled on by cold beer and cigarettes.
Paul Arthurs left the band, closely followed by McGuigan. Liam and Noel held a press conference, in which they maintained that "the future of Oasis is secure. The story and the glory will go on."
Colin "Gem" Archer was brought in to replace Arthurs and Andy Bell to take McGuigan’s place, despite never having played bass before.
Oasis released their worst-received and worst-selling album, Standing on the Shoulders of Giants. To add insult to injury, the Barcelona leg of the subsequent promotional world tour was cancelled due to White’s illness. Instead, the Gallaghers spent the evening drinking, resulting in the biggest fight between them yet. Noel quit the tour, but returned for the British and Irish concerts.
More tour dates are cancelled when Liam and White were arrested after an inebriated violent brawl in Munich.
White left the band. The brothers, the only two original members, recruited Zak Starkey as an unofficial member and played a disastrous Glastonbury headline gig with him.
2005 – 2007
After the release of their sixth album, Don’t Believe The Truth, it appeared Oasis has been restored to their former (Morning) glory: two number one singles, a top album chart spot, a handful of awards, and a hugely popular tour and a baby Gallagher to boot – Noel had his first son (his daughter, Anaïs, was born in 2000) in 2007.
Despite playing a people-pleasing free gig to 70,000 people at in June, the bliss didn't last long. On August 28 the brothers had a backstage fight that resulted in two last-minute gig cancellations and a statement that Oasis “does not exist anymore”.
Noel confirmed this two hours later, saying: “with some sadness and great relief...I quit Oasis tonight. People will write and say what they like, but I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer."
Liam forms Beady Eye, a new band.
Oasis won the Best Brit Album of the Last 30 Years. Liam collected the award alone, thanking White, McGuigan and Arthurs but not Noel.
Liam and Noel gave contradictory quotes on a potential 20th anniversary Oasis reunion. In June, following his new band Beady Eye’s secret performance at Glastonbury festival, Liam said: “Me and our kid [Noel] still don’t speak...It’ll happen when it’ll happen. If the musical gods want it to happen.” He hinted that the reunion could take place at Glastonbury festival.
In November, however Noel told Rolling Stone he wasn’t interested: “There is no band. So, no, I won’t be getting involved, anyway. If there is a reunion, I won’t be in it.”
Liam sent individual tweets that letters spell OASIS LG, sparking rumours that a reunion was on the cards. Bookmakers Ladbrokes and Paddy Power suspended betting on the band headlining Glastonbury.
In October, Liam again sent a shock through his fanbase on Twitter by posting: "Beady Eye are no longer. Thanks for all your support. LGx."
Some thought the breakup meant that an Oasis reunion was increasingly likely, furthered by reports from the Mirror in November that Michael Eavis was keen to host it. He told the paper's showbiz column: "I do talk to Noel and Liam a lot. Wouldn’t it be marvellous for them to relaunch at Glastonbury, now Liam has split from Beady Eye?"
In December Liam told Q Magazine: "‘We’re on good terms, as good as we can be."
In January, reports emerge that Glastonbury organiser, Michael Eavis, was prompted to ask the brothers to reunite to play the festival. However, Noel Gallagher, at this point embarking on a tour with his band, High Flying Birds, dismissed the opportunity in an interview with Q Magazine, saying that "nobody has made us an offer" and even if Eavis had, the organiser wouldn't be able to afford it.
Noel added that he wouldn't do the gig for charity, and that a reunion was only likely while there was cash on the table. He said: "Would we get back together one day? As long as everybody is still alive and still has their hair, it’s a possibility."
A week later, Noel made a lone Glastonbury appearance, let alone a reunion, look unlikely. He told NME: "It doesn't look like I'm going to be playing, I'm not even going now.
"I would do it though, if I was asked. I haven't been asked though. I think I've made other plans."
In April, the Mirror reported that the brothers were "ready to give things another go. Nothing is signed but it’s what you might call a gentlemen’s agreement between them." According to the report, Liam was particularly keen for an Oasis reunion to kickstart his career after the break-up of Beady Eye.
By May, however, Noel had seemingly again quashed any hopes of a reunion. In an interview with Noisey, the 47-year-old said he "could never forgive" Liam for his actions during Oasis' time together.
"I remember countless gigs where three songs in he'd [Liam] just pop his f---ing headphones out and just get off. You'd be doing a guitar solo and you'd get to the end of the song and think 'It's not that mad for him just to disappear during the guitar solo and not sing the rest of the song – he's obviously gone back to fix his sunglasses or something'. Then you'd just go 'Where's Liam gone?' He's got off. What do you mean he's got off? He's got a sore throat. What a c--t. Then you've got to go out and say in English to a perplexed Japanese people... 'I know you don't understand what I'm f---ing saying, but what I'm saying is the singer has got off. So I'm going to have to sing the rest of the song.' And then you start singing and they're all like, 'What the f--- is going on here? Where's the singer gone?'
"I could never forgive him for that. Ever."
In July, a bit of on-stage banter from Noel made the headlines when the High Flying Birds frontman replied to a heckler who asked, "Where's Liam?"
Noel replied, "For the benefit of everybody, there's some comedian here that's just said, 'Where's Liam?' Is he a local comedian?"
Liam's at home looking at himself in the mirror."
However, the elder Gallagher brother then turned his attention to the heckler, saying: "Fortunately, he's still not as big of a c--- as you are. Imagine that, being a bigger c--- than our kid. Imagine that."
The whole thing was, of course, captured on video. Warning: strong language:
After a few months off, the Gallagher brothers' public lambasting resumed service, sparked by the promotion and release of Supersonic, a documentary about the band that Noel refused to do press for. It started in May, when Noel turned down director Mat Whitecross's invitation to the Cannes screening of the film, and continued throughout the year, possibly peaking when Liam called his brother "a potato" in The Telegraph.
Despite this, rumours of a reunion persisted – perhaps because Noel told the Daily Star that an Oasis gig would take place if someone coughed up "20 million quid". Alas, as Gallagher explained, the offers have not been forthcoming: "I have never had that offer from anyone yet."
Matters became less tuber-based the next year, when both brothers embarked upon their debut solo careers. While Noel managed more of a dignified silence, Liam continued to call his brother a potato over social media.
In the wake of the Manchester Arena bombing in May, however, Liam put on free solo shows to raise funds for victims of the attack, and performed at the Manchester One Love concert. Noel, meanwhile, was celebrating his 50th birthday on a yacht in Italy.
Liam played the incident out on Twitter, confronting his brother over his absence from the June 4 gig, and telling him to "get on a f------ plane and play your tunes for the kids".
Reports surfaced that Liam had tried to convince Noel to perform, but failed.
Days later, however, the organisers of One Love came forward to dispute them, saying that Noel was never due to perform, but had contributed in other ways: "Noel not only gave his blessing for us to use his songs, but also told us that he was donating his royalties from 'Don't Look Back in Anger' to the fund."
At the end of the year, however, fans were raising the possibility of a reunion once more after Liam tweeted that the pair had reconciled for Christmas.
Come the cold dawn of January 2018, however, it transpired that Liam had raised false hope. At the conclusion of a Liam interview in Q Magazine, his girlfriend Debbie Gwyther confirmed that it was merely Liam "having too many Guinesses."
In what could be the most tangible olive branch seen in years, Liam encouraged his brother to "get the BIG O back together" in that most fraternal form of communication – the Tweet. On Twitter, he delivered somewhat of a backhanded compliment as he mocked Noel's decision to host gigs "where people can't drink alcohol" as "the BeZarist thing you've done yet", before adding a reconciliatory: "yet I forgive you now let's get the BIG O back together and stop f------- about the drinks are on me LG x"
Of course, it could just be Liam enjoying an opportunity for 70,000 retweets and another brief stint in the headlines. Nobody knows, but the fans are excited. Liam later followed it up with: "I'm not desperate just think it'd be a nice thing to do".
Fans were given the greatest nudge towards reconciliation seen in years, as in July, Liam told his brother it was time to "get the Big O back together".
In March Liam took to Twitter once more to announce Oasis would get back together in 2022, after Liam has "split up with himself" once having released his third album.
"Listen seriously a lot of people think I’m a cunt and I am a good looking cunt but once this is put to bed we need to get oasis back for a 1 of gig rite for charity c’mon Noel we can then go back to our amazing solo careers c’mon you know LG x," he tweeted.
And so, we wait...