Why did Oasis split? The full story of Liam and Noel Gallagher's feud...

28 August 2023, 08:00 | Updated: 31 August 2023, 13:19

Oasis in Oasis in Munich, March 1996: Paul "Bonehead“ Arthurs, Alan White, Liam Gallagher, Noel Gallagher, Paul McGuigan
Oasis in Oasis in Munich, March 1996: Paul "Bonehead“ Arthurs, Alan White, Liam Gallagher, Noel Gallagher, Paul McGuigan. Picture: DPA Picture Alliance / Alamy Stock Photo

Radio X tells the full story of the bad blood between the brothers Gallagher... Could they ever bury the hatchet and get the old gang back together?

“I didn’t leave Oasis,” Liam Gallagher tells Radio X. “Noel Gallagher left Oasis. He couldn’t handle the vibes any more. He couldn’t handle the rock ’n’ roll. He was too scared of it. So now he’s gone all cosmic pop and Leo Sayer.”

That was the statement from the younger Gallagher, when he answered some of his Most Googled Questions for Radio X.

Ten years on, the great reconciliation between Liam and Noel seems as unlikely as ever… let’s look back at how the Oasis split happened, over a decade after the band called it quits.

Noel and Liam Gallagher at the height of their fame, in March 1996
Noel and Liam Gallagher at the height of their fame, in March 1996. Picture: DPA Picture Alliance/Alamy Stock Photo

29 September 1994: Noel Quits!

The first public cracks in the Oasis facade came during a showcase gig at the Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles. According to the Supersonic film, the band were all in various states of “refreshment” and Liam started to fling insults at the band, and chucked a tambourine at his brother. Disgusted, Noel stormed off and disappeared for a couple of days. He eventually returned, but turned the incident into the brilliant song Talk Tonight.

Oasis - Bring It On Down (The Whiskey, LA , USA , 29-09-1994)

November 1995: Wibbling Rivalry

An interview by journalist John Harris with Liam and Noel found its way onto vinyl and CD via the label Fierce Panda. The release, entitled Wibbling Rivalry, was “14 minutes of verbal mayhem” according to the blurb and had been recorded the previous year and cemented the brothers’ turbulent reputation in the minds of the public.

Oasis - Wibbling Rivalry (with transcript 1/2)

May/June 1995: Cricket Bat-Gate

During the recording of the second Oasis album (What’s The Story) Morning Glory in Wales, Liam brought a group of people back to the studio while Noel was trying to work. Noel responded to this disruption by reportedly hitting his brother over the head with a handy cricket bat. The bat was rescued from the studio by writer Paolo Hewitt and later sold at auction.

23 August 1996: MTV Unplugged No Show

Oasis were due to perform their high-profile MTV Unplugged show at the Royal Festival Hall in London straight after their huge Knebworth gigs, but Liam pulled out due to illness. Noel announced: "Liam ain't gonna be with us 'cause he's got a sore throat, so you're stuck with the ugly four" went on to play a 12-song set, proving he didn’t need his brother. Despite not wanting to join them on stage, Liam decided to watch the whole show and heckle from the crowd. Bad vibes.

Oasis - Live Forever (Acoustic) MTV 1994 (HD)

27 August 1996: Liam doesn't go to America

At the very last minute, Liam pulled out of a US tour, leaving Noel to front the band. A statement from Creation Records said: “Liam was called away at the last minute to sort out a personal matter” Turns out, Liam had sold his house but had nowhere for his wife to live. He joined the tour three days later, but the tour was cancelled after two weeks.

Oasis "Liam pulls out of US tour" report | Newsround (CBBC) | August 1996

21 May 2000: Barcelona incident

A show in Spain was cancelled after drummer Alan White injured his arm, leaving the rest of the band to start drinking. As the night wore on, an argument ensued, in which Liam apparently questioned the legitimacy of Noel’s daughter Anais. Noel attacks Liam and leaves the band for the second time and the band completed the rest of the European tour without him.

1 October 2002: Bad Chemistry

The band’s Heathen Chemistry tour was marred by problems with Liam’s voice - a show in Spain in July was postponed and a show in Florida the following month saw the singer leave the stage after four songs. At a show in Fukuoka Kokusai Centre in Japan on 1 October, Liam lasted just six songs. The year ended with Liam involved in a brawl in a Muncih bar, kicking a German police officer and losing several teeth in the fracas. The remaining Oasis dates in Germany were cancelled while the younger Gallagher visited the dentist.

12 June 2005: “I can f**kin’ play him like a slightly-disused arcade game”

At the Heineken Jammin’ Festival in Imola, Italy, Liam left the stage during Champagne Supernova. In an interview with Spin magazine in October that year, Noel said of his brother: “I’ve kind of learnt that instead of arguing stuff out with him and ending up in a fight, I work on his psychology and he’s completely freaked out by me now, He’s actually frightened to death of me.”

April 2009: The beginning of the end?

In an interview with Q magazine, Noel made his notorious comment about Liam: He's the angriest man you'll ever meet. He's like a man with a fork in a world of soup.” In the summer there was much bickering between the brothers on social media, with Noel claiming “Life would be easier without Oasis..."

The final iteration of Oasis, Milan, May 2005: Liam Gallagher, Gem Archer, Noel Gallagher and Andy Bell
The final iteration of Oasis, Milan, May 2005: Liam Gallagher, Gem Archer, Noel Gallagher and Andy Bell. Picture: Diena / Di Piazza / Alamy Stock Photo

23 August 2009: No V Festival

Oasis were due to play the Chelmsford leg of the festival on the Saturday, but cancelled at the last minute as Liam reportedly had laryngitis. Noel claimed his brother was “hungover”, which later led Liam to take legal action - Noel would apologise and the legal action was dropped.

Liam Gallagher on THAT Pretty Green spat with Noel

28 August 2009: Oasis split!

As Oasis prepared to go onstage at the Rock En Seine festival in Paris, an argument broke out, with Liam wielding Noel’s guitar around “like an axe”. It was the last straw: the show was cancelled, along with the rest of the tour and Noel issued a statement: “It's with some sadness and great relief to tell you that I quit Oasis tonight. People will write and say what they like, but I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer.” 

In another statement a few days later, titled "Tales From The Middle Of Nowhere", Noel added: "The details are not important and of too great a number to list. But I feel you have the right to know that the level of verbal and violent intimidation towards me, my family, friends and comrades has become intolerable. And the lack of support and understanding from my management and band mates has left me with no other option than to get me cape and seek pastures new.”

Noel later claimed that the argument was started over an ad for Liam’s clothing firm Pretty Green in the V Festival programme… However, Noel later told Radio X: “I had enough when Liam and Bonehead - and this is true - started arguing over a leather jacket. I am not even kidding. I can dress it up more than this, but this is what happened.”

What Would An Oasis Reunion Mean To Liam Gallagher?

19 November 2009: Beady Eye!

In the aftermath of the split, Liam announced that he was to start a new band with former Oasis members Gem Archer, Andy Bell and Chris Sharrock. The band was to be called Beady Eye and would ultimately release two albums: Different Gear Still Speeding (2011) and BE (2013).

Beady Eye - Flick of the Finger

26 March 2010: Noel returns

Noel Gallagher officially launched his career as a solo artist with a show for Teenage Cancer Trust at the Royal Albert Hall in London. He avoided playing any new songs, saying: “As f**king brilliant as they are, now's not the right time or right place.”

Noel Gallagher - Whatever Teenage Cancer Trust 2010

12 August 2012: The Olympics

At the closing ceremony for the London Olympics, Liam appeared with Beady Eye to sing the Oasis hit Wonderwall. Speaking to Radio X shortly afterwards, Noel claimed that the organisers had to get his agreement for the iconic track to be used by his brother/former bandmate's new band. “I did play a bit of cat and mouse with them for a few days - I took it 'til Friday night at ten o'clock before I said yes and they were shitting it.”

21 November 2013: Noel won’t be part of it.

Speaking to Rolling Stone magazine, Noel said of a potential Oasis reunion: "We are split up. You've heard that, haven't you? You must've heard... Yeah, so, ergo, band splits up, band is no more. There is no band. So, no, I won't be getting involved, anyway. If there is a reunion, I won't be in it."

25 October 2014: Beady Eye split!

Liam tweets that his solo band Beady Eye have called it a day. The announcement immediately started Oasis reunion rumours, with some people even going as far as to speculate that they’d play Glastonbury in 2015. Noel told Radio X: "I'm available that weekend - it's not up to me though, is it?"

6 May 2015: Reunion rumours abound! 

Following rumours that Oasis are to reunite in 2016 following “a gentleman’s agreement”, Noel’s camp have to issue a response saying it’s not true. Liam responds in kind…

22 July 2015: No solo Liam 

Following comments that Liam Gallagher is recording a solo album with Lee Mavers of The La’s, his “people” say “There isn’t any truth in this.”

21 September 2015: Never say never

Speaking to Chris Moyles on Radio X, Noel Gallagher said of an Oasis reunion: “One should never say never, should one look like a bit of an idiot somewhere down the road, when you’re waving a cheque for a quarter of a billion in The Sun!”

Are Oasis Getting Back Together?

9 July 2016: POTATO

Liam issues the greatest tweet of all time…

25 August 2016: Liam announces solo career 

Despite his previous comments, Liam announces that he’s working on solo material, with an album due in 2017.

22 May 2017: Noel hits 50 

On Noel’s 50th birthday, Liam sends him a tweet: “Happy 50th rkid stay young LG”. He told Radio X’s Johnny Vaughan: “Nah, I just woke up, you know with all the stuff that went on in Manchester, I woke up and I just thought: ‘You know what? I’m going there.”

Liam Gallagher on why he Tweeted Noel on his 50th birthday

30 May 2017: Liam goes solo

Liam plays his first solo show at Manchester’s Ritz. His debut album, As You Were, is later announced for October.

Liam Gallagher's first solo gig

5 June 2017: Liam attacks Noel over Manchester show

Following the Manchester terror attack that saw 22 people killed, Liam slates Noel for not attending the tribute concert at Old Trafford. Noel’s camp responds by saying he was out of the country and had donated proceeds from Don’t Look Back In Anger to the fund for victims of the atrocity.

19 July 2018: “Let’s Get The Big O Back Together”

The summer of 2018 saw England do quite well in the World Cup, but when Noel claimed he thought football WASN’T coming home, Liam fired a few more insults his way. Strangely, this changed a week later when the elder Gallagher played a show at Edinburgh Castle in Scotland. This was a “dry” gig, meaning Liam let rip, while also offering a plea to his brother to get Oasis back together: “I forgive you now let's get the BIG O back together and stop f**king about the drinks are on me LG x” When Noel didn’t respond, Liam tweeted “I’ll take that as a no then.”

21 November 2019: "It's not f**ing banter"

After a summer of quite vitriolic back-and-forth, Noel Gallagher told Beats 1 that he took Liam's Twitter comments seriously : "When I eventually see him, he'll realise it's not f**king banter."

Noel Gallagher discusses This Is The Place single & EP

30 April 2020

In the middle of the coronavirus lockdown, Noel releases an unheard song recorded at an Oasis soundcheck in Hong Kong "about 15 years ago". Titled Don't Stop, the tune features Noel on vocals, which prompted Liam to retort: "Ir you're gonna release old demos make sure I'm singing on it and Bonehead's playing guitar... if not, it’s not worth a wank."

Oasis - Don't Stop... (Demo)

May 2021: Noel will do it for £100 million!

Speaking on The Jonathan Ross Show, the elder Gallagher responded to a claim that he'd turned down £100 million to reform Oasis. He said: "If anybody wants to offer me £100 million now, I'll say it now, I'll do it. I'll do it for £100 million" - but added "There isn't £100m in the music business between all of us."

Inevitably, Liam countered this claim; commenting under a post made by fan page Oasis Mania which shared the recent quote from Noel, the Wonderwall singer wrote: "I'd do it for FREE".

Noel Gallagher on his new album Council Skies and more

March 2023: Noel to Liam: "Call us"

Speaking to Radio X's Dan O'Connell in January 2023, Noel's response to the Oasis reunion question: "Look it’s the done thing now isn’t it? Kind of everybody’s getting back together and Blur are playing Wembley stadium, everyone’s getting back together.

"I will say, and I’ve said it a thousand times, if Oasis hadn’t had reached their potential, and there was something left to do, it would be different, but I just don’t see what the point would be. It would be make a load of money, I’ve got a load of money. To do some monumental [venue] I’ve already done them."

He went on: "It’s just not something that appeals to me," he added, before teasing: "Now that’s not saying in 10 years' time it won’t appeal to me..."

On 18th March 2023, responding to a fan on Twitter who asked if there's a "small percentage that Oasis get back together," Liam simply replied: "It’s happening."

When quizzed about this statement by a French news outlet, Noel laid it on the line: "He should get his people to call my people to call my people. They know who they are. They know where we are.

"He's got my manager's number. Call us. But you know what? He won't call.

"Stop talking on the f***ing internet and let's see what you've got to say."


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