Oasis Mania: Music That Beats Mental Illness
‘God dammit, here we go again’, comes an imminent fart from a corner of the room. Anyone who’s spent a good hour with me while I hover over the music scene can safely say that the British band Oasis means more to me than my job or my weekends or anything else I’d consider ‘vital’. Put simply, I’m mad for it.
My day starts with a mellow hum of Noel Gallagher’s Talk Tonight, the singer-songwriter’s claim to solo fame, shifts to clinically planned lyrics of The Masterplan, and peaks at Supersonic, a track that’ll make anyone feel like a badass. With a plethora of Number 1 hits in their pocket, I strongly believe that none of their lyrics make any sense, unless Noel sits down for an interview and explains just what the hell is going on. Something as simple as ‘I’m feeling supersonic, give me gin and tonic, you can have it all but how much do you want it’ hardly gives meaning to the words. Getting high and penning a song in ten minutes was a strong characteristic about Noel’s songwriting; quite obviously, as a twenty-something, some of it just made sense to Noel at the time, when his views were soaked in an assortment of drugs.
In my storyline of bathroom fame, it all started in the spring of 2007, the year I started at Doon. Sitting in the common room of my house, with the room mostly filled with the older boys, I was introduced to a bucket full of genres. It felt as if I’d just entered a whole new world replete with Led Zeppelin’s guitar riffs, The Beatles’ romantic hymns, and dark overtones of The Rolling Stones. This was a time when Worldspace Satellite Radio was the one-stop source for fresh pop culture, and boys used to rush back to the house to tune into the lunch-hour popular, 40 on 40. It can be assumed that it was here that I came across Liam’s blaring voice over dead beat speakers. Ten years later, the obsession still breathes.
A strong explanation for this obsession comes from the knowledge that their music is a safety net for me. When I feel like cutting off my thoughts and be completely free, it’s a session of Oasis that I get by with. For the last two years, I’ve struggled with an unhealthy dose of mental illness, and when things get rough and the world doesn’t make sense, Oasis still does. Hour long sittings of Definitely Maybe and (What’s The Story) Morning Glory – the bands biggest albums – hold off my problems and take me to a live concert in Wembley Arena, where I’m screaming every lyric back to the Gallagher brothers with an irrelevant pint in hand. When the body is down and out, verses like ‘Need a little time to rest your mind, you know you should so I guess you might as well. What’s the story morning glory?’ pull me into a zone where the band is glorifying the failing success of Man City way past the midnight lager.
Coming back to the badass behaviour that Supersonic incites in me, just like any other band that might influence moods and emotions, some songs just change the brain chemistry when played at the right moment. After a huge fight with Liam, Noel fled to San Francisco while the band was touring across America to join a girl he met at one of their gigs. He had a moment of creativity and penned Talk Tonight, where he goes ‘I wanna talk tonight, Until the mornin’ light, ‘Bout how you saved my life.’ Goosebumps assured.
//Maybe I will never be
All the things that I wanna be
Now is not the time to cry
Now’s the time to find out why
I think you’re the same as me
We see things they’ll never see
You and I are gonna live forever//
Arguably their most popular song, Live Forever genuinely took Britain by storm and was the rage of the 90s. A song that gave Britain strength after the Manchester mass shooting is surely something I fall back on when nothing goes right and I’m in dire need of some love from the Mancunian brothers.
Sitting behind the shine of my laptop, I can assert that I’ve heard every song ever released and can shout out the lyrics of a majority of them. In context of my struggle with the monotony of city life and pining for exploring unknown roads, it’s the boys from Manchester that facilitate my urge to daydream about looking over the horizon and wonder what lies around the corner. On my 5 am mountain biking attempts, its the coarse voice of Liam that I prepare myself for the torture that follows. They make even more sense to me when I’m out touring, a time when I’m cursing the sun’s repeated attacks and the tires refuse to roll. It’s quite an efficient way to pull yourself together and fight away the desire to call it a day and dive into the comfort of hot water and half a kilo of dinner.
For what seemed to be periodic phases on my iPod, this strong attraction to their music comes from a calculated interest in British pop culture. For me, British rock music supersedes any other genre across the seven seas, and nothing comes close, no matter how hard I try. Alex Turner’s wondrous gift of songwriting for Arctic Monkeys, Pete Townsend’s aggressive yet soothing monologues for The Who, and Damon Albarn’s experimental tracks for Gorillaz just elevate you to a meditative space where you just can’t be bothered.
I wonder if obsessing over a local pub band that turned into a worldwide sensation is healthy. We all have interests which evolve into passions, and in some cases, it just gets out of hand. Cycling for me is an obsession, one that I have no control over. Take cycling out my life, and I doubt the world will make sense to me. Take away Oasis, and maybe I’ll struggle to cope with situations and crises with the elegance with which I do now. My iPod and I are very grateful to Liam for bringing together Noel, Bonehead, Guigsy, Tony, and himself in the dreary years when Brit pop was in its infant stage and Duran Duran ran the scene. Little do they know that their tomfoolery and heart-melting melodies are the soundtrack of a dreamy twenty-two year old wondering when he’ll figure out what lies over the horizon.
ET On A Bike