Wednesday, September 04, 2002

MILKING IN THE EVENING: Oasis, we're told, are going to start recording on another album just as soon as they can - not bothering to wait until they've got something to say, or something worth hearing. Churn... churn... churn. I used to hope that they'd split, sooner or later; that Noel would buy into Man City and Liam would start to collect bus conductor's caps; that as their charmlessness faded into memory and the constant feed of meaningless stories and valueless opinions dried up, we might be left alone with a body of work, which we could weigh, and that the excitement and delight with which we greeted the very early stuff like Live Forever might become again the primary thought when we hear the name Oasis, rather than the unedifying sight of Liam and Noel shouting at passing cars and trying to pretend that I Am the Walrus was them all along.
It's not going to happen, is it?
Now, I see the future stretching out for us, as long as it takes a thought to form in Liam's mind; peppered with roughly an album a year, each a little bit less special than the one before; each selling enough to convince the boys that its worth shuffling the same elements again. There's no sense of compulsion to create in the work of Oasis, just a punch-the-clock mentality - "we're a band, therefore we must make a record" - and this shows in the quality of work produced.
The tour coming up also shows a similar machine-like attitude to the act of being Rock Stars. They've stepped down a venue size, but it's the same die-cast routine - credit card hotline, sell-out in as many minutes possible; and always, always - maximise the profits. Bearing in mind that a small tour costs less than a big tour (you've got a smaller stage and don't need as much stuff; fewer people coming means less stewarding; less insurance; less of everything) and that neither the Gallaghers are exactly blown away for a few bob, didn't anyone who scrambled to get tickets stop for just a moment to ask whether £28.50 is anything more than a figure that they've come up with and doubled? Thirty quid for a gig at the Royal Court is bloody outrageous - nobody minds bands making a living, but then there's just out and out greed. If a tout tried to charge face value for this show, they'd be lynched - "how much, mate? thirty? you're having a bleedin' laugh, aitcha?" - the same price as a night at Glastonbury (itself disgustingly overpriced, remember?). And yet the remaining Oasis fans pitch up, slap their cash down, doubtless plan to buy the £45 tshirt too. It's been too easy to suggest that anyone who's made it to 2002 with anything but contempt for the Gallaghers must be a little bit soft underneath their beanie hat, but when they happily line up to hand over such sums to the people they've already made multi-millionaires (Noel reputed to be worth about £23million) and don't even stop to murmur, you have to wonder.


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