Well, this shouldn’t be too hard. After all, popular consensus states that Oasis were life-changing, then dog-shit, and surely all I have to do is fellate the first two albums, flagellate ‘Be Here Now’, file my copy and hide under the bed while the online lynch mob debates whether to play ping-pong with my bollocks or just stamp on them (I’d prefer they were turned into furry novelty earrings, if I get any say in the matter…).

And yet, here I am: sat up at midnight, head spinning, tongue lolling like a confused bulldog, so tired that Bonehead appears to be playing a giant doorkey on the cover of ‘Be Here Now’, shuffling the Gallaghers’ seven studio albums on my coffee table like some low-rent Louis Walsh before the ‘X Factor’ Live Finals. Jesus, this is agony. If only Simon were here to help break the deadlock…

Album quantification is not an exact science. I’m not wearing a lab coat and I can’t analyse these songs on a molecular level, like the bloke from the Oral B advert. All I can give is my blinkered, biased, best-to-worst countdown of a band that changed my life. After we’ve done that, I’d love to hear your take.

1. ‘Definitely Maybe’ (1994)

With all that said, this decision was a piece of piss. While most ’90s indie bands had a tacit agreement – “Let’s kick off with a shit debut, then we’ll get cracking…” – Oasis burst out of the blocks fully formed, with attitude, chemistry, pull quotes, a healthy contempt for Phil Collins and a Parka pocketful of perfect songs.

Strange to think of it now, but on ‘Definitely Maybe’, Noel actually had something to say, and when he fused dole queue manifestos like ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Star’ to heaven-scraping melodies and Liam’s spit-and-sawdust vocal, the results sounded like the voice of God. ‘Supersonic’, ‘Slide Away’, ‘Columbia’, ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’… circa ’94, Oasis were pissing out classics like a man with a golden cock.

Granted, there are two tracks you always skip (‘Up In The Sky’ and ‘Bring It On Down’) and one lasagne-fixated abortion that’s as irritating as crabs on a tourbus (hang your head, ‘Digsy’s Dinner’). But let’s not split hairs. ‘Definitely Maybe’ is as good as rock ‘n’ roll gets.

2. ‘What’s The Story (Morning Glory)’ (1995)

I struggle with ‘Morning Glory’ these days. Blunted by too many jukeboxes and wedding discos, listening to this second album now feels a bit like watching Del Boy fall through the bar: I buy into it, but only because society demands it. For me, it’s become cultural wallpaper, and it’s got a few skid-marks, too, like the turgid ‘Hey Now!’ and the caveman clatter of ‘Roll With It’. I even considered bumping it for ‘The Masterplan’, until I consulted with my inner ’90s schoolboy and he set me straight: “What the fuck? We loved this! Put it as #2, you raging twat!”

He’s got a point. Suspend your cynicism, wipe away the suffocating context, approach these 12 songs with virgin ears, and ‘Morning Glory’ is still a staggeringly good record. From the knockout one-two of ‘Wonderwall’ and ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’, through the haunted strum of ‘Cast No Shadow’, right up to the lapping tide of ‘Champagne Supernova’, these are unofficial national anthems that soundtracked a generation’s coming-of-age. In fact, I’ll stick my neck out and argue it’s the last time that an album – or a band – truly changed British culture.

3. ‘The Masterplan’ (1998)

Advice to fledgling songwriters on a white-hot creative streak: don’t spunk away your youth anthems as b-sides. Your fire will die. Your muse will wither. Before you know it, you’ll be singing about magic pies and wondering why you buried that bristling call-and-response duet with your brother. You may have gathered that I have a tricky relationship with ‘The Masterplan’. I suspect Noel does too. Sure, as those early singles swung in like wrecking balls, it seemed thrillingly cocksure to toss gems like ‘Acquiesce’, ‘Talk Tonight’ and ‘Fade Away’ away as flips, but by the time this compilation arrived in ’98, it came laced with forehead-slapping frustration that Noel didn’t hold them back for a great third album.

4. ‘Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants’ (2000)

In another NME blog, I posited the theory that ‘Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants’ is not the musical colonic irrigation implied by its sales figures and critical standing. Some people agreed. Many didn’t. Some felt I should have been throttled at birth with my own umbilical cord. Whatever: I still rate this fourth album, from the loping groove of ‘Go Let It Out’ to the cold-sweat atmospherics of ‘Gas Panic’. Even ‘Little James’ has a certain so-shit-it’s-funny charm.

5. ‘Don’t Believe The Truth’ (2005)

Like Quentin Tarantino, TFI Friday and Hooch, by 2005, I had Oasis down as something that should never have crossed the millennial boundary line. They threw me for a loop with ‘Don’t Believe The Truth’: a sixth album that had some blood and thunder, with ‘Lyla’ shaking off the dust and ‘The Importance Of Being Idle’ relocating Noel’s mojo for the first time in years. I wouldn’t quite trumpet it as a Return To Form!, but when someone’s been kicking you in the balls for years, it’s a relative relief when they just slap you in the face, and ‘Don’t Believe The Truth’ was a decisive step in the right direction.

6. ‘Be Here Now’ (1997)

We came. We queued. We paid. And all for this: an overcooked dog’s dinner knocked up by five dusty-nosed egotists and a producer who approached his craft with all the grace of a man overfilling a sausage. After an initial music press starburst, ‘Be Here Now’ quickly became indie’s favourite whipping boy, for its slack songs, its gaudy production and its ice-age duration, and these days it sits cowering on the naughty step, covered in critical pinpricks, with its hands over its bloated face. To be honest, I’m not angry with this album anymore, just disappointed. It’s the end of Noel’s imperious early run and the bellyflop that launched a tsunami of duds.

7. ‘Heathen Chemistry’ (2002)

I never liked Oasis as a songwriting democracy and ‘Heathen Chemistry’ was a four-way fuck-up. Noel waded through treacle on ‘Stop Crying Your Heart Out’ and made us dry-heave with ‘She Is Love’. Liam briefly raised hopes that he was a Dylan-esque genius with ‘Songbird’, before revealing that, no, he wasn’t, with ‘Born On A Different Cloud’. Gem Archer and Andy Bell’s efforts go off like damp fireworks. In summary, then, ‘Heathen Chemistry’ is very nearly abysmal, and with The Strokes and The Libertines tearing it up circa 2002, you’d have been certifiably insane to waste time with this rock dinosaur’s dump.

8. ‘Dig Out Your Soul’ (2008)

I’m aware that some press and punters saw ‘Dig Out Your Soul’ as a late return to form, and I’m honestly not trying to stir the shit by handing it the wooden spoon. Personally, I hated this album. Actually, ‘hate’ is too strong a word, implying some kind of emotional response or a quickening of the pulse. I was merely bored by the valium grooves of ‘Falling Down’, the death-march cod-Lennon-isms of ‘I’m Outta Time’ and the half-arsed psychedelic toe-dip of ‘To Be Where There’s Life’. Every other Oasis album has at least one song that stops me feeding it to the bargain bucket. ‘Dig Out Your Soul’ is dead to me.



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Festival of The Dead Comes To Edinburgh

Festival of The Dead Comes To Edinburgh

Oct 28, 10:00pm - Oct 29, 3:00am

Cav Edinburgh
3 West Tollcross
Edinburgh,  EH3 9BP Map

Cav, Edinburgh - 28th October 2017

Ticket Link ☞ 2018.festivalofthedead.co.uk/web/

A festival like no other. With carnival-esque pageantry, giant skull processions, acrobats, dancers and beautiful decorative art & costumes.

Festival of the Dead is a contemporary event infusing elements carnival, circus, theatre and unadulterated partying.

- Giant Skull processions around the venue

- Acrobats & circus performers

- DJ’s and live music

- Professional skull face painting

- Confetti, co2 and light show

This event is for persons 18 and over

Please note: this event is not part of the Dia de los Muertos public holiday, which has significant religious meaning and many traditions that will not be happening at our show.
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Ilfracombe Blues, Rhythm and Rock Festival 4

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VegfestUK Brighton 2018

VegfestUK Brighton 2018

Mar 24, 11:00am - Mar 25, 5:00pm

Brighton Centre
Kings Rd
Brighton,  BN1 2GR Map

VegfestUK returns to the South Coast after 9 fabulous years at one of the nation’s biggest concentrations of vegan food and products in Brighton. In 2018, there will be a slight makeover of featured areas to go along with the usual vibrant mix of stalls and culinary delights, and we are so excited to introduce a whole new world of vegan delights to everybody looking for more vegan options at our first event of 2018 at Brighton.

NEW featured areas will include The Veganuary reunion party on the Sunday, with Veganuary participants, staff, ambassadors, friends of the campaign involved – the party will be open to attendees of Brighton Vegfest too.

Returning to the Saturday part of the show is The FxEctive Factor competition with a range of talented vegan musicians and activists pitting their wits against each other in the spirit of showcasing the unique talents we’ve got in the UK vegan community right now.

Also making their debuts at VegfestUK Brighton 2018 are a trio of newly themed talks rooms, namely The Vegan Academy, with a diverse range of topics on veganism for everyone at various stages of their journeys towards veganism, followed by a couple of talks rooms on the benefits of Plant-Based Diets, one focused on Optimum Performance and the other focused on Optimum Health.

The Vegan Comedy Festival, which was introduced back in 2015 when VegfestUK made its first return to the modern, sleek and spacious Brighton Centre, will once again be a 2-day festival featuring some of the most original vegan comedians in the country.

Other exciting areas not to be missed include the Cookery Demos, the Mature Zone, the Kids Area, the Stage, plus more TBA.

Of course, don’t miss the huge collection of around 230 stalls packed full of some of the best vegan products in the market, on top of 19 caterers serving a mouthwatering vegan menu at what is expected to be a very busy show.

Advance tickets will cost £7 per day and £10 for the whole weekend, plus booking fees, whilst tickets on the door will cost £10 for adults and £5 for concessions. Kids under 16 get free entry as long as they are accompanied by adults. Advance tickets will be available to buy in January 2018.

Meanwhile, read this blog here for a full summary of VegfestUK Brighton 2017:

bit.ly/BRIG2017-Summary
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The London Intl Ska Festival 2018 / 30th anniversary

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Crookfest 2018

Crookfest 2018

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CrookFEST
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Bearded Theorys Spring Gathering 2018

Bearded Theory's Spring Gathering 2018

May 24, 12:00pm - May 27, 11:00pm

Bearded Theory's Spring Gathering
Catton Hall & Park
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BEARDED THEORY - THE SPRING GATHERING 2018

Thursday 24th May - Sunday 27th May 2018
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🎟 2018 Prices 🎟
2018 Tickets - goo.gl/Chs9pj
'Early-Bird' Standard Adult (16+): SOLD OUT
Standard Adult (16+): £115
Ages (12-15): £55
Ages (6-11): £28
Ages (0-5): FREE
Car: £12.50
Campervans: £37.50

ALL TICKETS INCLUDE THURSDAY ENTRY & ENTERTAINMENT.

Tickets are on sale via the SEE Tickets website or by calling the Box Office on: 0871 220 0260. All ticket funds are secured in SeeTickets escrow account until after the festival.

All children under 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult (21+). Please ensure you purchase the correct ticket for the age of your child as of May 25th 2017. Our gate entry will require photographic identification for any children that look older than their age. Ages 16+ might require identification to validate their age.

Bearded Theory is a multi-award winning creative and performing arts festival set in the beautiful grounds of Catton Hall in the heart of the National Forest. The festival borders 3 counties of West Midlands, South Derbyshire and Staffordshire and only 2 hours away for 50% of the UKs population.

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We Are FSTVL 2018

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Staffs Fest 2018!

Staffs Fest 2018!

May 25, 5:00pm - May 27, 10:00pm

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STAFFS FEST 2018!
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You'll get to experience the very best of the UK's up-and-coming bands, some golden oldies, and Staffs Fest favourites, allowing you to sink your teeth into some incredible Rock, Blues, Reggae, Soul, Acoustic Magic, and undeniable talent!

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SOUL ALL DAYER with ten Soul & Motown DJs playing the best of sound on vinyl

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ALL tickets included free camping! So, whenever you decide to turn up, bring your tents or your caravans, pitch up and stay the night!

Kids under 16 get FREE ENTRY!!!
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GET SHARING, GET SPREADING THE WORD!
Enquiries to admin@staffsfest.co.uk
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Heartland Festival 2018

Heartland Festival 2018

May 31, 4:00pm - Jun 2, 10:59pm

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BILLETSALGET TIL HEARTLAND FESTIVAL 2018 ER STARTET

Heartland Festival vender tilbage til Egeskov Slot den 31. maj til 2. juni 2018 og præsenterer sine gæster for et festivalprogram fordelt på fire søjler: MUSIC, TALKS, ART og FOOD.

Første musiknavn er engelske The The, der gæster Danmark for første gang i 18 år.

I 2017 bød Heartland bl.a. på Eddie Vedder, Bryan Ferry, Cat Power, Bomba Estereo, Londaon Grammar, Miguel, Tony Oursler, Michael Stipe, Douglas Coupland og Olafur Eliasson.

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Farmer Phils Festival 2018

Farmer Phils Festival 2018

Aug 10, 12:00pm - Aug 13, 1:00am

Farmer Phil's Festival
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Back for the 20th year 😍

Winner of Festival Kidz Best Tiny Festival Award🥇 😍 👏🏻

Farmer Phils Festival offers you...
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Ticket information to follow...

Website >>> www.farmerphilsfestival.com
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