What did Oasis play at their Maine Road shows 25 years ago?

27 April 2021, 20:02

Noel Gallagher at the first Oasis show at Maine Road 27 April 1996
Noel Gallagher at the first Oasis show at Maine Road 27 April 1996. Picture: Peter Wilcock/PA Archive/PA Images
Radio X

By Radio X

In 1996, Britpop was at its height: (What's The Story) Morning Glory? was a huge seller and Oasis were all set to headline the home of Manchester City FC... Let's look back.

Six months after the release of their second album, (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?, Oasis had one of the key moments in their career. We tend to remember the year of 1996 for the huge event that saw the band play at Knebworth House in August, but in April the Gallagher brothers enjoyed a more personal achievement.

Manchester City fans since birth, Noel and Liam had a dream come true on the weekend of Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 April, when Oasis headlined two shows at the football club’s ground of Maine Road. There were some doubters, however, as Noel told the BBC's Reel Stories in 2019: "They were saying, 'You cam't play outdoors in Manchester in April, it'll rain! I was like, 'It f**king rains in August! What's the difference? The said, it'll be freezing. Well, wear a coat!""

Liam Gallagher crouches at the edge of the stage on the first night at Maine Road, 27 April 1996
Liam Gallagher crouches at the edge of the stage on the first night at Maine Road, 27 April 1996. Picture: Fred Duval/FilmMagic/Getty Images

40,000 people flocked to the stadium each night to watch Oasis unleash an accomplished set that showcased their first two, generation-defining albums. Tickets were apparently changing hands for £300 each. Supporting Oasis at both shows were Manic Street Preachers, then regrouping after the disappearance of guitarist Richey Edwards and about to release their classic album, Everything Must Go.

A view of the first night of Oasis at Maine Road, 27 April 1996
A view of the first night of Oasis at Maine Road, 27 April 1996. Picture: Dave Hogan/Getty Images

Also on the bill were Ocean Colour Scene, whose Moseley Shoals album had been released earlier in the year - they were about to become household names when Chris Evans used their track The Riverboat Song on his TV show TFI Friday.

Britpop heroes Cast were also due to play, but their drummer had broken his arm. GUTTED? Yes, very probably.

Both shows opened with the Morning Glory helicopter sound giving way to The Swamp Song, with Noel playing his distinctive Union Jack-emblazoned Epiphone Sheraton guitar and Liam taking a crafty smoke onstage in those pre-ban days.

The setlist showcased the highlights of Definitely Maybe and Morning Glory, with older tracks like Supersonic and Cigarettes And Alcohol sitting comfortably alongside the “newies” like Hello and Roll With It.

The Morning Glory tour had previously seen Noel Gallagher take on Cast No Shadow and Wonderwall in a special acoustic section of the set, but Maine Road saw full band versions, with Liam on vocals.

There were also the covers: the band's famous take on The Beatles' I Am The Walrus and a rabble-rousing version of Slade's classic 1973 single Cum On Feel The Noize

It was the first big event of a summer that saw Euro ’96 catch the country’s imagination, and with one in five households owning a copy of (What’s The Story) Morning Glory, it was a high water mark for Britpop.

For Noel Gallagher, it was a life-changing experience. "I remember sitting behind the stage at the Platt Lane end in a box and watching them dismantling the whole thing, ending up wit just an empty stadium," he remembered in 2019. I was just kind of taking the moment in, do you know what I mean? They were amazing gigs and it will never be repeated."

Noel Gallagher performing on the second night at Maine Road, 28 April 1996
Noel Gallagher performing on the second night at Maine Road, 28 April 1996. Picture: Patrick Ford/Redferns/Getty Images

Those setlists in full, courtesy of www.setlist.fm.

Oasis At Maine Road, Manchester
Saturday 27 April 1996

  • The Swamp Song
  • Acquiesce
  • Supersonic
  • Hello
  • Some Might Say
  • Roll With It
  • Morning Glory
  • Round Are Way
  • Cigarettes And Alcohol
  • Champagne Supernova
  • Whatever
  • Cast No Shadow
  • Wonderwall
  • The Masterplan
  • Don't Look Back in Anger
  • D'Yer Wanna Be a Spaceman? (aborted)
  • I Am the Walrus

Encore:

  • Cum On Feel the Noize

Oasis At Maine Road
Manchester Sunday 28 April 1996

The Swamp Song
Acquiesce
Supersonic
Hello
Some Might Say
Roll With It
Morning Glory
Round Are Way (with another bit of Up In The Sky at the end)
Cigarettes & Alcohol
Champagne Supernova
Whatever (Noel on vocals)
Cast No Shadow
Wonderwall
The Masterplan
Don't Look Back in Anger
Live ForeverEncore:
I Am the Walrus
Cum On Feel the Noize

A photographer's pass from the second Maine Road Oasis show
A photographer's pass from the second Maine Road Oasis show. Picture: Phil Dent/Redferns/Getty Images

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