Does Liam Gallagher have to pay Noel to sing Oasis songs?

12 May 2023, 16:17 | Updated: 12 May 2023, 16:54

Noel and Liam Gallagher in March 1996
Noel and Liam Gallagher in March 1996. Picture: DPA Picture Alliance/Alamy Stock Photo

How does it work when the younger Gallagher plays a tune by his older brother? Radio X digs into the story...

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Liam Gallagher has carved a pretty respectable solo career from himself in the decade since Oasis split. Now, the star has announced that he'll be playing the band's debut album Definitely Maybe in full at series of 30th anniversary shows next year.

But one of the most asked questions is: Does Liam Gallagher have to pay Noel to play Oasis songs live?

Liam's solo career started when he formed Beady Eye not long after the demise of his old band in August 2009, featuring ex-Oasis members Andy Bell, Gem Archer and Chris Sharrock. While they avoided playing any vintage Liam songs in the early days, by the time Beady Eye split, they threw in a couple of the old tunes to showcase Liam’s illustrious past, namely Live Forever, Champagne Supernova and occasionally Cigarettes And Alcohol.

Liam Gallagher - Rock ’N’ Roll Star LIVE | Radio X

With the advent of full-blown Liam Gallagher solo shows in 2017, it appeared that the former Oasis frontman would be embracing material from his old band. His first show at Manchester’s O2 Ritz saw the legend hit the stage with the first song on the first Oasis album: Rock ’N’ Roll Star, quickly followed by the title track of the second Oasis LP, Morning Glory. He opened with the same one-two at Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage in 2019.

Liam Gallagher at Glastonbury 2019
Liam Gallagher at Glastonbury 2019. Picture: Jason Richardson / Alamy Stock Photo

Liam performed another pair of Oasis classics acoustically when he performed on the roof at Radio X's London studios in 2018, namely Wonderwall and Live Forever.

Liam Gallagher - Live Forever live at Radio X

But the question is, does Noel Gallagher get paid if Liam sings the songs that his brother wrote?

  • The short answer is: yes. Liam doesn't pay Noel himself directly,

    There is the matter of Performing Rights. All music venues are required to have a Performing Rights Society license and each artist playing needs to fill out a PRS form for every show, detailing which songs were played. This means that the owner of the publishing receives a PRS cheque as payment for their work being performed.

Liam Gallagher - Wonderwall live at Radio X

So when Liam Gallagher plays an Oasis song that was written by Noel Gallagher, Sony/ATV Music (Noel’s publisher) will receive a payment, and will pass on payment to the author of the song, ie Noel.

In July 2012, Noel said to The Sun about Liam performing Oasis tunes with his band Beady Eye: “I say he should go around the world, do those songs and fill out the PRS forms."

Later, in December 2018, Noel told MOJO magazine: “When he's headlining Finsbury Park, I'm sitting here watching Match of the Day getting a PRS cheque for him playing my songs. But instead of making him happy, it's made him even worse, it's made him even angrier."

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But however "angry" Noel thinks Liam is, the younger Gallagher is going to be playing many, many more Oasis tunes in the near future!


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