Oasis on TV

In this section you will find a chronological list of notable performances and appearances by Oasis on British TV between 1994 and 1996. Please note that this is a work-in-progress and may be subject to revision. I would like to thank the classic television organisation Kaleidoscope for their help with my enquiries on this subject and for granting me permission to quote archive holding information from their excellent reference book The British Television Music and Variety Research Guide 1950-1997 on this page. The transmission dates and track-listings of the editions of Later with Jools Holland listed below are quoted from the programme’s own website. The recording dates for various editions of Top of the Pops and The White Room are quoted from Tony McCaroll’s book Oasis: The Truth and Paul Gallagher’s Brothers: from Childhood to Oasis – The Real Story. Thanks are also due to themanwithnoname, Howdo, and birchy of the L4E Oasis forums for their help in providing invaluable information on several of the programmes listed in this guide.

1992

The Blackpool Roadshow (performing Take Me)
Un-transmitted performance, 18th July 1992

The first performance Oasis recorded for TV has proven somewhat of a mystery down the years, due to the sparse and inadvertently misleading accounts of it in various Oasis books and articles (e.g. in his book Oasis: The Truth drummer Tony McCarroll recalls the appearance but mistakenly attributes it to Red Nose Day, where he says that Alvin Stardust introduced them miming their pre-Definitely Maybe song Take Me (McCarroll, pp. 69-71). In the course of researching this event on the Missing Episodes Forum, it’s emerged that whilst they did perform Take Me, the event concerned was not Red Nose Day.

Oasis’s performance was actually for an event called ‘The Blackpool Roadshow’, who won a contract to supply coverage of its 24-hour entertainment programme for Granada’s contribution to the 1992 ITV Telethon. The Blackpool Roadshow was owned by Shirley Jones (née Pearson) and her brother, Johnnie Doolan. Johnnie had built recording studio mixer desks with Bonehead’s brother Martin Arthurs, and asked Shirl if she could provide a slot for his brother’s band Oasis.

In 2015 Shirl recalled that “[Oasis] were cool guys: polite, nice to all the crew, had a lot of fun, and [were] very appreciative of the opportunity!” (Shirl Jones, quoted from the Missing Episodes Forum). Shirl adds that she “Would always insist on a copy of anyone’s music before I offered them a slot, just to make sure it was audience-friendly; consequently they went into a studio and recorded [two different versions of] Take Me and labelled the cassette accordingly (Shirl Jones, quoted from private email correspondence with the author, 2016). This cassette was later sold on the eil.com music memorabilia website, alongside the fax Bonehead sent to Shirl (showing the band’s availability) and a copy of some recent coverage Oasis had received in the Manchester Evening News.

Above: Bonehead’s 1992 fax to Shirl, as pictured on eil.com. The message reads: “Dear Shirl… There is 5 of us… 2 guitars, 1 bass, 1 drums + Liam… Our music is very guitar based… We are up for doing Preston Sept 6th or Telethon 18th July and anything else you might have. We’re not contactable through this fax machine but if you need us ring […] if you need me. Nice one… OASIS.”

Recalling the event in a post on the Missing Episodes forum, Johnnie Doolan reflected that:

“I was the engineer, Shirley’s brother – (Surprised that day didn’t kill us both off or at least persuade us to leave the industry) […] Martin Arthurs, pretty much my mentor at the time […] asked me if there would be any chance of a slot for his brother’s band on the Telethon gig. Shirl already had a stacked schedule of artists but said to me ‘sure, I’ll get the guys slotted in’.

The day before the event, we were down at Granada TV’s grounds setting up the two stages and organising the PA and OB cabling links. I was working away and noticed Martin and a bunch of guys standing over on a corner of Granada’s buildings, so went over to meet him and the guys. Handshakes and all that malarkey over with, I think the Oasis boys came backstage for a root around, passed us a demo tape, and possibly did some basic sound check (bit sketchy here – sorry).

Saturday. Now then (this next bit is really sketchy)… this was the era when Utah Saints reached no. 4 with Something Good, the track with the Kate Bush sample in it. They were slotted in to do their bit but decided to get above their station just prior to their scheduled performance. Andy Hatcher was one of our stage managers at this event. From what I can gather, he basically hoofed them off stage (which they were none too chuffed about). I believe Oasis took their place, although if Shirl can fish out the schedules we may get a more accurate picture.

The next time I saw them it was on Top of the Pops in October (the same year I believe). I also believe Martin was potentially one of the band during earlier days but his travelling career at Amek in Manchester took him in a different direction. (Johnnie Doolan, quoted from the Missing Episodes Forum).

I am very grateful to Shirl Jones (owner of the Blackpool Roadshow) and Johnnie Doolan for getting in touch with me to explain the above details of this event. Pictured below is a photo from an Oasis scrapbook kept by Bonehead’s wife Kate Arthurs showing the band onstage at the Blackpool Roadshow, on 18th July 1992 (special thanks to James McDonald of the Missing Episodes Forum for his invaluable work in determining the date and extensive research into this performance).  (This entry updated 13th February 2016).

Above: Oasis on stage at the Blackpool Roadshow 1992, pictured on the Official Oasis site. With special thanks to James McDonald on the Missing Episodes Forum for his invaluable help in researching this scarce early Oasis performance. Click the image to open the original page on the official Oasis website.

1994

The Word
Series 4, episode 17
Originally broadcast Friday 18th March 1994 on Channel 4

Oasis’s national television debut came on Friday 18th March 1994 when they recorded a live performance of their first single Supersonic at Teddington Studios for Channel 4’s late-night entertainment show The Word. Also appearing on this edition were Sister Act, The Kaliphz, Soul Asylum, and Kathly Le Jimmy. The programme was hosted by Terry Christian and Mark Lamarr. It was shot in 625-line standard definition in 4:3 aspect ratio and recorded onto D5 format digital videotape. For broadcast, the green backdrop Oasis performed in front of was replaced (using chroma key) with a psychedelic pattern of swirling colours; ten years later bass guitarist Andy Bell remembered that this produced an effect ‘almost like 3D TV… Liam seemed to leap out of the screen at you.’ Channel 4 included this performance as part of a programme celebrating The Best of the Word, which was shown on 18th June 1999; it was also included on the 10th anniversary DVD edition of Definitely Maybe, where it was presented in 16:9 widescreen format. Terry Christian recalled how Oasis were booked and what went on that night in this article for the Guardian newspaper.

Naked City
Series 2, episode 9
Originally broadcast 22nd June 1994 on Channel 4

Naked City was a late-night entertainment show made by Rapido TV for Channel 4 and was hosted by Johnny Vaughan and Caitlin Moran. Oasis recorded a live performance of Supersonic and Shakermaker for the programme on 7th June 1994, which was eventually broadcast in episode 9 of its second series (transmitted 22nd June 1994, two days after Shakermaker has been released as a single). This episode also featured Noel Gallagher’s first-ever TV interview, which he shared with Peter Cunnah, the lead singer and songwriter of the group D:Ream. The programme was shot in 625-line standard definition in 4:3 aspect ratio and recorded onto D5 format digital videotape. The performance of Shakermaker was later included in the DVD edition of Definitely Maybe, where it was presented in 16:9 widescreen.

4 Go to Glastonbury (26th June 1994)

Channel 4’s coverage of the 1994 Glastonbury festival included coverage of Oasis’s performances of Live ForeverFade Away, and Digsy’s Dinner. The performance of Live Forever was included as the live version of the track included in the DVD version of Definitely Maybe released in 2004. On 29th January 2016, ZCZ Films (the company who shot this footage for Channel 4) uploaded Oasis’s complete Glastonbury performance to YouTube.

The Beat
Originally broadcast 28th June 1994 on ITV Carlton

On 8th June 1994, prior to their gig at the Marquee in Manchester, Noel and Liam were interviewed in a guitar shop in Denmark Street by Gary Crowley for Carlton TV’s music programme The Beat; the interview was eventually broadcast by Carlton on 28th June 1994. The brief clips from it used in the 2004 Channel 4 documentary There We Were, Now Here We Are: The Making of Oasis seem to have been dubbed from a multi-generation VHS recording, suggesting that the the master tape of the programme may no longer exist.

Top of the Pops (performing Shakermaker)
Originally broadcast 30th June 1994 on BBC 1

Oasis’s first appearance on the BBC’s Top of the Pops was in support of their second UK single Shakermaker, which was released on 13th June 1994 and entered the charts at number 11 (also its peak position). On 29th June 1994 the band recorded a performance of the song at the BBC’s studios in Elstree, which featured Liam Gallagher singing live over an instrumental backing track. When the performance was broadcast the next day, the then Radio 1 DJ Bruno Brookes introduced Oasis under a caption labelling the band ‘New UK talent from Manchester.’

This performance was also notable in that it presented the band with drummer Tony McCarroll at the front of the stage, Noel Gallagher, Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs, and Paul McGuigan a step back, and Liam Gallagher at the back. In his book Getting High: The Adventures of Oasis, writer Paolo Hewitt noted that, whether deliberately or not, this recalled The Jam’s performance of their last single Beat Surrender in 1982, in which Paul Weller ‘put everyone [else] forward and hid himself at the back.’ (Hewitt, pp. 228-9).

Something for the Weekend
Originally broadcast 1st July 1994 on ITV Granada

These performances of Rock ’n’ Roll Star, Supersonic, and Shakermaker were broadcast as part of the episode of ITV Granada’s programme Something for the Weekend broadcast on 1st July 1994. They are notable for the fact that they feature live vocals from Liam Gallagher over instrumental backing tracks. The performance of Shakermaker is unusual in that it includes the line “I’d like to teach the world to sing/In perfect harmony/I’d like to buy the world a Coke/To keep it company” that was removed from the single and album version following the legal action taken by the New Seekers detailed in the Recording Studios section of this site. Rock ’n’ Roll Star is cut down to four minutes here, which was presumably an edit done specially for radio and TV transmission.

MTV Most Wanted
Originally broadcast 18th August 1994 on MTV Europe

Oasis appeared on MTV’s Most Wanted to play Live Forever and Whatever (the latter including the line “all the young blues/carry the news”). This lyric was removed from the version released as a single on 18th December 1994 following a threat of legal action from David Bowie, who recognised its debt to All the Young Dudes, a song he had written for Mott the Hoople. Later on the song came to the attention of Neil Innes, who claimed that Noel Gallagher had copied the melody to his song How Sweet to be an Idiot; Innes is now credited as co-writer of Whatever. Noel comments on the composition and recording of Whatever in this video released to promote Oasis’s greatest hits compilation, Time Flies.

Top of the Pops (performing Live Forever)
Originally broadcast 19th August 1994 on BBC 1

Oasis’s next appearance on Top of the Pops saw them play Live Forever, which was released as a single on 8th August 1994 and entered the UK charts at number 10 (also its peak position). On 18th August 1994 the band recorded a performance of the song at the BBC’s Elstree studios, again with Liam Gallagher singing live over an instrumental backing track.

This backing track, which was later included on a promotional CD called the Stop the Clocks collection, features Liam Gallagher’s falsetto delivery of the refrain “You and I are gonna live forever”, which can be heard here under Noel Gallagher’s live delivery of the line (by this stage it seems that Liam could no longer reach the high notes of the song, leaving Noel to sing them instead). This performance was broadcast on BBC 1 on 19th August 1994, where it was introduced by Radio 1 DJ Bruno Brookes under a caption stating that Live Forever was the highest new entry that week.

Top of the Pops (performing Rock ‘n’ Roll Star)
Originally broadcast 18th September 1994 on BBC 1

Ahead of the release of their debut album Definitely Maybe on 30th August 1994 Oasis were given the rare privilege of performing an album track on Top of the Pops. They chose Rock ‘n’ Roll Star, the opening track of the album. The performance was broadcast on BBC 1 on 18th September 1994. In 2004 it was released on the 10th anniversary DVD edition of Definitely Maybe, where it was presented in 16:9 widescreen format.

The O Zone
Originally broadcast October 1994 on BBC2

In advance of Oasis’s then forthcoming single Cigarettes and Alcohol, the O Zone’s presenter Zoe Ball interviewed Noel and Liam Gallagher to ask them if they thought they deserved their reputation for trashing hotel rooms and as the best new band in Britain.

With Oasis
Originally broadcast 31st October 1994 on ITV Granada

In the words of its presenter John Robb, this documentary charted Oasis’s ‘glorious, swaggering ascendancy.’ It was made by the independent production company Music Box and was transmitted on ITV Granada on 31st October 1994. It has never been repeated, but has since been made available in three parts on YouTube: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3.

120 Minutes
Originally broadcast 13th November 1994 on MTV

This edition was guest hosted by R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe and featured a live performance by Oasis of Supersonic, in addition to tracks by Nirvana, James and Suede, amongst many others. Also recorded in this session were performances of Rock ’n’ Roll Star and Live Forever; these were broadcast at a later date. (This broadcast and playlist information is quoted from the comprehensive 120 minutes archive site).

Later with Jools Holland
Series 4, Episode 6
Originally broadcast Saturday 10th December 1994 at 8.00 p.m. on BBC 2

On 6th December 1994 Oasis recorded three songs for this programme; their Christmas single, Whatever; a cover of the Beatles’ I am the Walrus; and an acoustic performance by Noel Gallagher of the vinyl-only bonus track Sad Song. The episode was last shown on BBC 2 on Saturday 29th April 1995 at 1.30 a.m. The performance of Sad Song from this edition was presented in widescreen format as a bonus track on the 10th anniversary DVD edition of Definitely Maybe.

Top of the Pops (performing Whatever)
Originally broadcast 15th December 1994 on BBC 1

Oasis’s next performance on TOTP was of Whatever on 15th December 1994, three days ahead of its release as a single (the song would ultimately peak at number 3 in the charts). They were introduced by Blur’s Damon Albarn under a caption stating that Oasis had sold 350,000 copies of Definitely Maybe. Unlike their previous appearances on the show, this time the whole performance was mimed.

1995

The White Room
Series 1, episode 6
Originally broadcast 22nd April 1995 on Channel 4

The White Room was a live music show hosted by Mark Radcliffe and broadcast at 10.00p.m. on Saturdays on Channel 4. The series was made by Initial Film and Television and was produced by Chris Cowey, who later produced Top of the Pops for the BBC. It was broadcast with NICAM digital stereo sound, which was then becoming a more commonplace feature of British TV.

On 14th April 1995 Oasis recorded performances of Acquiesce (the b-side to their then forthcoming single Some Might Say) in addition to It’s Good to Be Free and a duet by Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller on Talk Tonight. Weller followed his earlier performance of Sunflower (the opening track of his 1993 album Wild Wood) with renditions of two songs from Stanley Road: the then forthcoming single The Changingman and the album track Porcelain Gods. Also appearing on this episode were PJ Harvey, Bobby Womack, and CJ Lewis. The episode was broadcast on Channel Four at the earlier than usual time of 8.00p.m. on 22nd April 1995, two days before the Some Might Say single was released.

Top of the Pops (performing Some Might Say)
Originally broadcast 27th April 1995 and 30th April 1995 on BBC 1

On 27th April 1995 Oasis appeared on Top of the Pops with a mimed performance of their single Some Might Say, which had been released three days previously. The band was introduced by Radio 1 DJ and Big Breakfast presenter Chris Evans under a caption informing viewers that Oasis’s total world album sales had reached 1.3 million. This was Tony McCarroll’s last televised appearance by the band. He was sacked on 30th April 1995 and replaced by Alan White, whose first TV appearance with the band was miming a second performance of Some Might Say on Top of the Pops on 4th May 1995. The song was Oasis’s first number 1 single.

4 Go to Glastonbury (June 1995)

Channel 4’s coverage of the 1995 Glastonbury festival included coverage of Oasis’s headline set, in addition to a backstage acoustic performance by Noel Gallagher of Wonderwall, which is thought to have been the first time the song was played in public.

Top of the Pops (performing Roll With It)
Originally broadcast 17th August 1995 on BBC 1

On 17th August 1995 singer Robbie Williams introduced Oasis playing Roll With It on Top of the Pops, under a caption stating that the band had now sold 2 million albums worldwide. Roll With It was kept from the number 1 spot by Blur’s Country House, which had been released the same day, sharpening the rivalry between the two bands. The ensuing chart battle between Blur and Oasis captured the imagination of the British press and public and became one of the most memorable moments of the Britpop years. The event was even covered by BBC 1’s Six O’ Clock News and ITN’s News at Ten. For this TOTP appearance (recorded a day ahead of its broadcast) Noel and Liam swapped places, sending up the fact that they were miming.

Top of the Pops (performing Wonderwall)
Originally broadcast 9th November 1995 on BBC 1

Oasis performed Wonderwall on Top of the Pops on 9th November 1995. They were introduced by the comedian Lee Evans under a caption informing viewers that the song had reached number 2 in the UK charts, having sold 180,000 copies. Wonderwall was kept from the top of the charts by Robson and Jerome’s cover of Unchained Melody.

Later with Jools Holland
Series 6, Episode 5
Originally broadcast Saturday 2nd December 1995 at 11.15 p.m. on BBC 2

On 28th November 1995 Oasis, minus Liam Gallagher, played three songs: a cover of Slade’s Cum on Feel the Noize, Wonderwall, and Round Are Way. This episode was broadcast on BBC 2 on 2nd December 1995 and was repeated on Sunday 4th August 1996 at 1.40 a.m.

The White Room: New Year Special 
Series 2, episode 1
Originally broadcast 31st December 1995 on Channel 4

On 22nd December 1995 Oasis recorded five songs for The White Room’s New Year Special, which was hosted by Radio 1 DJs Mark Radcliffe and Jo Whiley; these were: Don’t Look Back in Anger, WonderwallRoll With It, Round Are Way, and Some Might Say. The first three songs of this set were broadcast in the special, with Wonderwall featuring an on-screen countdown into the new year; this then segued into Roll With It. The recordings of Round Are Way and Some Might Say were shown later, in the episode broadcast on 27.01.96. The episode also featured performances by David Bowie, PM Dawn, and Chris Farlowe. It is currently held on D5 digital videotape.

1996

Hotel Babylon
Originally broadcast 8th January 1996 on ITV

Not to be confused with its latter-day BBC 1 namesake, this ITV series was a late-night music and entertainment show which featured a live performance by Noel Gallagher of Don’t Look Back in Anger, before which he was interviewed by its host, Dani Behr.

The White Room 
Series 2, episode 3
Originally broadcast 27th January 1996 on Channel 4

This episode included the performances of Round Are Way and Some Might Say that had been recorded on 22nd December 1995. Note: Given his comment that (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? had just gone top 10 in the US, presenter Mark Radcliffe’s comment at the end of the performance of Round Are Way must have been recorded close to its transmission. Oasis’s performance of Some Might Say was presented in black-and-white, matching the format of an archive clip (shown immediately beforehand) of The Hollies playing Look Through Any Window at the London Palladium in 1965. Presenter Mark Radcliffe linked the two performances by saying “from Manchester’s top beat combo of the ’60s to their equivalent in the ’90s”, with the picture still monochrome, returning to colour after Some Might Say. (Many thanks to birchy and themanwithnoname for providing invaluable information on this episode of The White Room). The episode also featured performances by The Smashing Pumpkins, The Pretenders, Lush, and BT. It is preserved on D5 format digital videotape.

Top of the Pops (performing Don’t Look Back in Anger and Cum on Feel the Noize)
Originally broadcast 22nd February 1996 on BBC 1

Oasis played Don’t Look Back in Anger twice on Top of the Pops: the first appearance was on 22nd February 1996, where they were introduced by Radio 1 DJ Lisa I’Anson. This appearance was notable in that the band played two songs, the second being their cover of Slade’s Cum on Feel the Noize. The song reached number one in the UK charts, after which a second appearance was shown which included a caption stating that the single had sold 250,000 copies. The first TOTP performance of the song was later included in the Top of the Pops: 40th Anniversary DVD released by 2 | entertain in 2004.

The Brits
Originally broadcast 22nd February 1996 on ITV

The 1996 Brit Awards were held on 19th February 1996 at Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London and broadcast by ITV on 22nd February 1996. Chris Evans and his co-hosts Michael Hutchence, Lenny Kravitz, and Pete Townsend presented Oasis with the Brit awards for best British video (for Nigel Dick’s Wonderwall promo); Best British Album for (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, and Best British Group respectively. The ceremony is perhaps best remembered, however, for Jarvis Cocker’s comical on-stage protest at Michael Jackson’s performance of Earth Song. The programme is held by ITV on D2 digital videotape.

TFI Friday
Series 1, episode 9
Originally broadcast 5th April 1996 on Channel 4

5th April 1996 saw Noel Gallagher appear as a guest on an edition of Channel 4’s TFI Friday broadcast from its host Chris Evans’s living room. Other guests on this edition were Danny Baker, Gaby Roslin, and Shooting Stars co-host Bob Mortimer. The programme was produced by Ginger Productions for Channel 4 and is currently held on D5 format digital videotape.

From the Beatles to Oasis: Forty Years of Granada Pop
Originally broadcast 3rd May 1996 on ITV Granada 

This 50-minute documentary presented by Tony Wilson helped to celebrate forty years of Granada TV with a selection of classic pop and rock performances from its archives. These included an appearance by The Stone Roses playing Waterfall on The Other Side of Midnight and footage of Oasis performing Live Forever (which is currently unidentified, but thought to be from a gig they played in 1994 at the Buckley Tivoli; clips of this gig had appeared in the earlier Granada documentary With Oasis, edited with an interview in the middle. Thanks to pheel and K007oasis of the L4E Oasis forums for providing information on this. Additional broadcast information for this programme is quoted from its listing on the BFI’s Film & TV database).

Oasis: Special Report 
Originally broadcast on Monday 12th August 1996 on Channel 4 
On 12th August 1996 Channel 4 News broadcast a special report by Nicholas Glass on Oasis’s massively-attended concerts in the grounds of Knebworth House, Hertfordshire on 10-11.08.1996. The concerts were also covered in the news bulletin of Channel 4’s The Big Breakfast earlier the same day.

MTV Presents Oasis Unplugged
Originally broadcast on MTV Europe on 4th November 1996, following an earlier transmission by MTV America. Also shown on BBC1 in May 1997

This performance, recorded on Friday 23rd August 1996 at the Royal Festival Hall, became famous for Liam Gallagher’s late decision not to sing, having stated that he had been diagnosed with laryngitis. Instead he watched (and heckled) from a stage-side box as  Noel sang lead and backing vocals for the whole concert. Subsequent newspaper reports suggested that MTV were unhappy with Liam’s absence and were considering not screening the recording. Eventually though the concert was broadcast by MTV Europe on 04.11.96 at 8 p.m. (UK time) and on MTV America at an earlier date. Its first screening on UK terrestrial television was in May 1997, when BBC 1 showed it in a late-night slot. This edition of MTV Unplugged has, surprisingly, never been officially released; however, two tracks have appeared on official compilations: Don’t Look Back in Anger was on The Very Best of MTV Unplugged CD and Listen Up appeared on a DVD of MTV Unplugged Finest Moments with a 5.1 surround sound mix! (Many thanks to birchy for providing information on the commercial availability of tracks from this concert. The transmission data and background information for the programme is quoted from Phil’s excellent Music Appreciation Page on Oasis).

The Smash Hits Poll Winners Party
Originally broadcast on 1st December 1996 on BBC 1

Christmas 1996 saw Oasis pick up the Smash Hits award for Best Indie Band, beating off competition from the likes of Cast, Ocean Colour Scene, and Blur. Noel Gallagher’s acceptance speech was taped in a control room at Abbey Road Studios, where the band had just started recording their third album, Be Here Now.

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Note: all of the above BBC programmes were shot in 625-line standard definition PAL colour format in a 4:3 aspect ratio, and recorded on D3 digital videotape. They were broadcast with NICAM stereo sound on analogue and (for the Cool Britannia edition of Later…) digital stereo sound on Freeview, satellite and cable platforms. These recordings are likely to have since been transferred, via the BBC’s Transform PAL decoder, to Digital Betacam videotape and MXF file formats, as part of the corporation’s ongoing project of modernising its archive. You can learn more about the work of the BBC Archive on their website, which includes a video on the challenges of preserving the archive. More technical details of how the BBC’s stock of D3 tapes from the mid-’90s are being preserved can be found in the BBC Research and Development Annual Review of 2006-07, which is available for direct download as a PDF. (Thanks to David Stead of the Missing Episodes Forum for his comments on the likely format on which these programmes are currently held).