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Oasis Photographers Share Their Memories

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Ahead of exhibition ‘Chasing The Sun: Oasis 1993-97’, marking 20 years since Oasis’s debut single, the band’s photographers share their memories

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1. NOMAD STUDIOS, MANCHESTER, 29 OCTOBER 1993

Jamie Fry

“When you shoot new bands they are often gooey-eyed and lost, but Oasis weren’t: they had a really good perception of themselves, a grounded reality with no bullsh*t. They were clearly driven. Particularly Noel. He was fired up for something.They had just signed to Creation, played the odd gig, but this shoot documents the unfinished article: not just for Oasis, but for me as a photographer. We were both beginners. I first met them the night before. They were playing at Sheffield uni supporting a really sh*te band called CNN. The gig was great, but no one was there. I knew a few of their songs because the manager had brought a cassette round to my flat in Kilburn. At the bar after, Liam asked what I was drinking, I asked for a pint of lager and he brought back a Jack Daniel’s and Coke and said, ‘You drink this when you hang around with us.’

I was made very welcome. Later that week I went to Glasgow to see them support Saint Etienne with some mates. After the gig, Liam was at the bar, and when we asked for lager we got Jack Daniel’s again. When Oasis went back to Glasgow to play a gig with The Verve a few weeks later, they put my mates on the guest list. They were a sound bunch.

I could claim that I saw their success coming, but I’d be a liar. You could tell they were going to do all right, but... f*cking hell. Like me, they came from Stockport – I love the fact that they took on the world and won. Not bad, eh?”

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2. Nagoya, Japan, 19 September 1994

Paul Slattery

Definitely Maybe had been out for a month, it was getting great reviews. During our stay in Japan, the fans had been overwhelmingly friendly. From the moment Noel stepped on stage in Nagoya for their last gig of the tour, the crowd went crazy: there was this massive surge of emotion in what was the best gig I had ever seen them play. All these hands came out of the crowd and Liam – who never smiles on stage – just lit up. There was nothing else to do but an encore, their first ever, which was Rock’n’Roll Star.”

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3. Wherehouse, derby, 4 May 1994

Johnny Hopkins

”I was lucky to go to those early shows at venues such as Derby Wherehouse and Hull Adelphi. This shot shows that even at the heart of a rock’n’roll maelstrom, there’s a lot of waiting for something to happen. And happening it was. When I first met them I could see that they had ambition, a cool natural image and were articulate and funny. When I saw them live for the first time, they were amazing, I could see how they would have No1 hits. That said, none of us realised quite how huge they would become.”

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4. MTV studios, London, 18 August 1994

Paul Slattery

“Oasis played a lot of gigs at the beginning of August. Noel survived an assault onstage in Newcastle – the bruise over his eye was receding. Live Forever had been released on the 8th, and on the 16th the band played a superb gig at The Forum. The next day was TOTP, and the following day they showed up at MTV for an acoustic set. I was walking with Noel and Liam into the studio, and saw this white wall and posed them up for a few shots. Then it was off to do the recording before another gig. It was non-stop.”

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5. MANCHESTER, 30 OCTOBER 1993

Jamie Fry

“The car was parked outside a shop called ‘Sharp Dressed Man’, in Withington, south Manchester. Someone in the band knew whose it was, so we got the keys and did some shots inside. The band were in good spirits because Peter Swales, chairman of Manchester City Football Club, had just resigned. There was this belief that success for the team was just around the corner. They were up for doing the pictures, there were no problems keeping it all going, no arguments. It was very much a band of five people, or a gang. You could kind of tell that it was Noel driving it. They were a friendly bunch. Helped me with my camera gear and lights and, after we were done, Bonehead – I think it was Bonehead – gave me a lift to the station in his dad’s car. They were the last pictures we did from the session that day. It’s one of my favourites from the shoot. You can’t go wrong with cars and bands, can you?”

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‘Chasing The Sun: Oasis 1993-97’ is at LondonNewcastle Project Space, 28 Redchurch St, London E2 from 11-22 April; oasisinet.com

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