What did Oasis play at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut in 1993?

31 May 2024, 17:35

The original Oasis line-up in 1993 with the King Tut's Wah Wah Hut logo inset
It's over 30 years since Oasis played the Glasgow venue. Picture: James Fry/Getty Images, Twitter/ King Tut's

By Jenny Mensah

31 years ago, a small Manchester band took a trip to Scotland and played a gig on a bill they were never on. The rest, as they say, is history...

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On 31st May 1993, Oasis played a gig that would change both their lives and the course of UK music history.

The then-unknown Manchester band had been playing live shows for just over a year and had a demo, but they were yet to be signed.

That would all change when the band Sister Lovers, who they shared rehearsal rooms with in the city, half-invited them to join them in Glasgow for their gig at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut.

Somehow, Oasis - who then consisted of Noel and Liam Gallagher, Paul 'Bonehead' Arthurs, Tony McCarroll and Paul 'Guigsy' McGuigan - managed to play a short set at the small venue despite not being on the bill.

Creation Records boss Alan McGee just so happened to be in the crowd and he saw something in the young band from Manchester, signing them almost immediately after.

The rest - as they say - is history, but how much do you actually know about the infamous Oasis show and how it came about?

Find out what Oasis played on their setlist at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut and more about the gig that almost never happened below...

What date did Oasis play King Tut's Wah Wah Hut?

Oasis played their legendary four-song set at King Tut's in Glasgow on 31st May 1993.

What did Oasis play at their King Tut's gig?

  • Rock 'n' Roll Star
  • Bring It On Down
  • Up in the Sky
  • I Am the Walrus (The Beatles cover)

Oasis played a set of four tracks at the venue comprised of three original tracks, which went on to feature on their Definitely Maybe album and their cover of The Beatles' I am The Walrus - taken from the Fab Four's 1967 television film, Magical Mystery Tour.

Get the story behind the most important gig of the Manchester band's career and the key players that made it happen.

Who was actually on the bill at Oasis' King Tut's gig?

The day Oasis played their career-making set at King Tut's, they were of course not advertised on the bill. The names on the actual line-up for the gig that day were Boyfriend, 18 Wheeler, and of course... Sister Lovers, who had invited them up in the first place.

Who were Sister Lovers?

Debbie Ellis (formerly Turner), who featured in the all-girl band, spoke about her relationship with the band on The Oasis Podcast back in 2020.

"Me and Lorraine had this band going, Sister Lovers, and we were recording on a 4-track and Liam used to come round to the flat and say. 'Listen to this.' And it was crap. He was like, 'Yeah, yeah, that's good. Why don't you come and share a practice room at the Boardwalk with us?'"

She added: "By this point, Noel had joined the band, so they were looking for a band to share and split the rent with even though we didn't really have a band. It was just us two".

On why Oasis didn't get snatched up in their hometown, she explained: "No one was interested in Oasis especially in Manchester, because we'd been in the eye of the storm with the whole Madchester scene, so in some respects from my point of view, I was a bit like, 'Oh, they're a bit scally. They wear coats on stage. It's loud..' Do you know what I mean?"

She went on: "Alan McGee was [interested], 'cause he had a vision about them and he's not from Manchester and he wasn't in the middle of it all. He was an outsider looking in wanting a piece of that Manc action you know?"

On how they managed to be at the famous gig itself, she recalled it was down to them boasting about their first gig to Noel.

She recalled: "We were told we were on the bill, we'd be first on if we could get ourselves up to Glasgow, it'd be on a Bank Holiday weekend".

"There was a bit of rivalry there and I was pretty cocky," she admitted. "So I walked in and remembered Noel putting his guitar away and I went, 'Oh by the way. We've got a gig in Glasgow.' You, know like, trying to show off.

"And I don't know why I said it. Maybe he gave me a dirty look or something and I said, 'Well why don't you do it?'

"It just came out of my mouth."

She added: "I wasn't privy to what happened next all I can assume is they went off and decided to book a van to go up there and come up.'

On Oasis actually gate-crashing the gig itself, she remarked: "That's why I've got to give it to Noel, because who would have done that? I don't know ANY band that would have done that... hand the sort of brass neck if you like, to do it!

"You might have said it, but [thought] 'Oh we can't do it. We're not on the bill.' So good on him."

And it seems as if McGee's appearance was down to Debbie too, as he was a pal of hers at the time. Having known of two band's called Sister Lovers, McGee apparently called a friend in the other band to ask them if they were playing the gig, but when he found out it was Debbie from Manchester, he came down to stand at the front and "freak (her) out".

"So Alan came just to sort of do my head in".

According to Debbie, while McGee was busy pulling strings in the background, the other bands on the bill had galvanised and were threatening not to play if Oasis weren't allowed on the stage also.

In the end, the club manager allowed the band to play on stage and they ended up opening for Sister Lovers!

Listen to her interview recalling the event here.

Oasis have a song called My Sister Lover, which was the B-side of 1997's Stand By Me.

Some fans long-considered it to be Noel's tribute to the band for helping to get them signed all those years ago, but Debbie isn't convinced.

"I wish it was different, but I don't think it's anything to do with us," the Manchester native said. "I can't see it being anything to do with us."

She added: "It never crossed my mind that it would be anything to do with us, but maybe it is!"

Is there any footage of Oasis' 1993 King Tut's show?

Of course, the legendary Oasis gig happened way before smartphones existed, BUT amazingly a Japanese tourist and student by the name of Ayako Misawa walked in with a camcorder and managed to capture part of the set.

As Glasgow Live reported in 2023, the Hiroshima native was visiting the city and had been there for about a month when she decided to attend the showe

"I came to Glasgow in April 1993 for the first time," Ayako told the outlet."My first impression was that the architecture was beautiful and I very quickly felt that the city was my second home. I love Glasgow, nice people and great buildings."

She went on: "I was really fascinated by the Glasgow music scene and loved bands like the Jesus and Mary Chain, Aztec Camera, The Pastels, BMX Bandits, Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, Trashcan Sumatras, Whiteout, etc.

"I thought I should take videos of all the gigs I saw in Glasgow for my personal souvenir. On May 31, 1993, I just went down to King Tut's with my Handycam as usual."

The grainy video, which was captured on Ayako's Sony Handycam Video8 camcorder, is still believed to be the only known footage of the special set.

Watch a snippet of the moment and McGee talking about it below:

Oasis - 1993-05-31 - King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, Scotland

On the Oasis set itself, Ayako, who is now in her 50s, added: "There was no information [on Oasis] at all. Nobody knew who was playing on stage at the time. I recorded only the first two songs as per my rule, but obviously now I regret not having the full set - because their performance was wonderful."

She added: "After the gig, the vocalist went down from the stage and headed straight to the bar."

Sounds just like something Liam Gallagher would do to be fair...

The original Oasis line-up in 1993
The original Oasis line-up in 1993. Picture: James Fry/Getty Images

What has Alan McGee said about the night he discovered Oasis?

In his autobiography, McGee said of the evening: "People don’t like to believe in luck – they assume it’s too much of a coincidence, that Sony sent me to the gig on a tip, but I really thought I was just going to surprise my mate."

"I could hear all these Manc accents arguing," he remarked of the first time he saw the band. "I looked over and saw Liam Gallagher for the first time. He looked amazing. A proper, Adidased-up mod. He had hair like a young Paul Weller. And I thought, ‘He’s got to be the drug dealer’. Because nobody in a band looks that good."

Though he was impressed by their original songs, it was their cover of The Beatles I Am The Walrus that made his mind up.

"And then they played I Am The Walrus, which is one of the most occult songs ever," he continued. "It was that song that made me absolutely certain I wanted to sign them, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence because years later I became fascinated by occult writing."

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