This was the peak of Oasis. They, at this point, had released two very successful albums, numerous quality singles and nothing could seemingly stop the Gallagher brothers Noel and Liam on their musical quest to conquer the charts and the world. They made quintessential Pop/Rock music that many people could easily relate to. This is a very thoughtful and special release of some of the band’s material from the two nights (10 and 11 August 1996) that they played in Knebworth Park where 250 000 fans in total turned up. 1 in 10 people in the country applied for tickets, that’s how crazy the anticipation for the group’s live performance was. 25 years on from the massive event, a well-received documentary and this album have both been released for fans of the group. The film is a must-see for fans, and this album should be a very great live album to hear. Let’s hear this album, and hope that it is a wonderful slice of musical live history.
We begin with Columbia (Live at Knebworth, 10 August ’96) which begins with the crowd cheering, some nice riffing by Noel Gallagher and pounding drums by Alan White. Liam Gallagher screams to the crowd, and this piece begins to get underway. It sounds magical musically, and once the song gets going, one can hear this legendary band at the top of their game and enjoying the experience 100%. Liam’s voice is in fine form (compared to what it was like post-2000) and the band work together well as a unit. A very catchy and awesome live number, Columbia is still great to listen to today. The riffing throughout is really great, and the whole piece sounds legendary. Everyone plays brilliantly. The vocal section with Liam and Noel towards the end which is a call-and-response style performance is amazing. The tune is totally enjoyable and sounds very historically relevant. Great job. It ends with the classic Columbia riff with a load of delay on it. Magical work.
Next is Acquiesce (Live at Knebworth, 10 August ’96) which begins with the legendary riff, Liam talking nonsense and a great sounding piece of monumental music. Liam Gallagher sounds decent here, although a little raspy. Nonetheless, he does hit the notes very well and Noel Gallagher’s chorus vocal is truly awesome. This is a suitable song that sounds lively and youthful. Liam doesn’t stick to all the lyrics but delivers a profanity-laden climax. A very nice pounding Rock number that simply works, a great song. Excellent listening. The outro is feedback-laden but very good. Liam then introduces the next song, rattles his tambourine and talks nonsense. Awesome.
Supersonic (Live at Knebworth, 10 August ’96) begins with some really great drumming by Alan White. The crowd then claps along, with Noel Gallagher encouraging those in the back to get moving, in his inimitable fashion. Noel plays the intro riff, and we are underway. This is indeed, a decent and worthy performance that sounds really cool. This is the ideal song to play at a super loud volume to annoy your neighbours or anyone in the nearby area, just like Knebworth itself was for Oasis. Noel’s guitar work is really great, and Liam Gallagher sings really much like the Rock God that he was (and still is, to a large extent). A really nice piece of live music, this is totally brilliant. Noel’s outro solo is really awesome, playing and sound also like a Rock God. A cool and excellent reminder of all things considered, how really great the 1990s were. An enjoyable listen from start to finish, the outro has a load of great wah-wah guitar. It segues into the next song, with Noel Gallagher addressing the radio broadcast of the performance, stating: “I bet you wish you were here, right now.”
Hello (Live at Knebworth, 11 August ’96) is a great sounding live song, although it is one of the less memorable numbers from the band’s second album. Still, the whole group sounds fantastic on this version of the song. Liam Gallagher has nailed the hybrid of John Lennon and John Lydon, just sounding ridiculously good. It is a decent performance and Liam and Noel sing the chorus wonderfully. Towards the end is a tripped out guitar solo, really great to listen to. The song finishes with some excellent wah-wah palm-muted guitar and feedback. Great job.
Next along is Some Might Say (Live at Knebworth, 11 August ’96) which begins with a load of feedback, before Noel Gallagher launches into some great riffing, before the rest of the band kick in. This is a very wonderful listen and the Gallagher brothers do very well on this live performance. The chorus is magical, this will no doubt put a big smile on your face if you are an Oasis fan. Everything here is wonderful, especially the guitar solo, which is manic. A catchy and lively piece of Pop/Rock music, this is a masterful performance that sounds excellent. It is totally awesome to listen to, even 25 years later. Great song and a great listen, a true gem. Excellent live performance.
Following is Roll With It (Live at Knebworth, 11 August ’96) which has a faster pace and feels indeed, very energetic. It is a great listening experience, with Liam putting in an energetic vocal and delivery as the group’s frontman. This song, although is not the group’s best, is a rewarding listen throughout. The guitars and drums throughout the guitar solo in particular are really powerful and well played. Liam and Noel compete for vocalist of the group here, and to be fair, both have their pros and cons as vocalists. Still, an enjoyable and decent listen from the group. Memorable and magical. Always fun to listen to Oasis, even today. It ends energetically and chaotically.
Slide Away (Live at Knebworth, 11 August ’96) begins with feedback-heavy guitars, a nice drum beat and some awesome playing and singing by Oasis. This is a really cool listening experience by Oasis and sounds more lively and rhythmically enhanced than the original. It is still a very touching song today, as it was upon Definitely Maybe in 1994 when it had its first release. The guitar solo is very emotional and haunting, and Noel Gallagher plays it beautifully. Liam sings with pure passion and delivery, this is a really fine listen and performance that is hugely memorable. Enough to get one grooving along at home or listen to in your car, this is a memorable and magical moment by the group. The outro is fantastic and is a real must hear from the group. Awesome and magical, this sounds really cool. Great live performance from start to finish.
Morning Glory (Live at Knebworth, 11 August ’96) begins with loud and powerful electric guitars, followed by some awesome drumming and a feeling that one is experiencing a great live listen from this song. It is an amazing live version of the classic song about drug use. It is a great ode to that and makes perfect sense if you have ever done drugs before in your life. The guitar solo is manic, and Noel Gallagher sounds like he is on fire on this song. Liam Gallagher puts in a passionate delivery as well. These guys definitely loved their drugs, and this is a brilliant song on the matter. The guitar solo outro is majestic and awesome to listen to. Don’t play this one to your parents or grandparents, just enjoy. Brilliant though. Liam talks some absolute rubbish at the end, with Noel asking, “What the f*** was all that about?” Odd ending to a great live version of the song.
Next along is Round Are Way (Live at Knebworth, 10 August ’96) which begins with loud guitars, a backing section and a cool listen for a Slade cover song. Great, awesome and energetic which points musically to a better and simpler time in people’s lives around the world. Really top sounding, this is really exciting and different and is proof of how good the band were at interpreting different songs. A very refreshing listen, and highly enjoyable. A good piece of music that has aged nicely, even for a cover song. Liam talks some nonsense in the song before it reaches a section that borrows from the Definitely Maybe song Up In The Sky. A good listen and highly enjoyable all the way through. It launches into a rather funny introduction to the next song by Liam right at the end here.
Following is Cigarettes & Alcohol (Live at Knebworth, 10 August ’96) which begins with a super bluesy intro that wasn’t on the original recording, before going straight into the song with Liam talking nonsense over the top of it, at least in the intro of the song. This is an excellent live rendition of the original song and just sounds really superb and awesome. An energetic and pounding number, one remembers one’s youthful indulgences upon hearing this live song. A really entertaining and fun listen, this is a very solid and enjoyable song. Fun from the start to finish, this is cool music. Very, very good. It ends with some pitch-shifted lead guitar by Noel Gallagher. He thanks the crowd, just before we finish Disc One.
Whatever (Live at Knebworth, 10 August ’96) opens Disc Two. It begins with Liam Gallagher devoting the song to the “James Bond lookalikes in the crowd” which is hilarious. Soon enough, Noel Gallagher strums away excellently and Liam does more drunken rambling before this piece with a backing band plays very simply and beautifully. This is one of the most underrated Oasis songs out there and is only on one of their albums. Still, it sounds awesome and will bring tears of joy to your eyes. A really cool and interesting song, the orchestral section adds to the performance by both Gallagher brothers. A very enjoyable song and listening experience for the whole six minutes of this version of the song. Noel Gallagher sings an adaptation of a Manchester City Football Club song towards the end, which is a bit different. Excellent listening regardless. The ending is orchestral beauty and strummed acoustic guitars, an excellent match.
Cast No Shadow (Live at Knebworth, 10 August ’96) which Noel Gallagher and Liam Gallagher devoting the song to Richard Ashcroft, telling him to “get his s*** together”. The song was originally devoted to Richard Ashcroft anyway, but regardless, is a beautiful and wonderful piece of music. It’s the sort of deep, emotional and excellently crafted piece of music that Oasis was really fantastic at creating. Alan White’s drumming is really top, although to be frank, he could have been mixed a little higher on these live performances. Oasis had soul and pride, and this song is a good example of that flowing through their music. The outro is really cool, with Alan White putting in a great part with the orchestration before the band wrap the song. Great tune. There is some nonsense chatter before the next song begins.
Next is Wonderwall (Live at Knebworth, 10 August ’96) which Noel introduces as a song “for the birds” before Noel strums the guitar pattern for the song on acoustic guitar furiously. There is some nonsense chatter away before this piece gets really going. Liam sings better than you’d expect, and this song is done really excellently on this album. A really good live performance, although it is somewhat interrupted at times by banter. Still, the most popular Oasis song is well performed and delivered. A very, very good song with elements of good humour about the performance at times. In the end, Liam leaves us briefly before Noel prepares himself for the next part of the concert.
Following is The Masterplan (Live at Knebworth, 10 August ’96) which is one of the best and most underrated Oasis tunes ever made. It sounds very deep, majestic and magical from the start. The song itself sounds like a top performance by Noel Gallagher, he puts in a load of great singing and passionate musical ability to make this come alive. The harmonica, strings and other musical touches really sound top. This is a song that every Oasis fan should know at least the chorus of, it just sounds amazing and really profound. A beautiful and totally listenable song, this sounds great, even many years later. The harmonies towards the end are delicious. No doubt proof that Oasis could deliver, and maybe these guys were underrated? You be the judge. Good tune all the same. Noel then thanks the crowd, who cheer away.
Don’t Look Back In Anger (Live at Knebworth, 11 August ’96) is a great moment from the performance. It sounds really excellent, with Noel singing his heart out to the crowd. He sounds like he is projecting new emotions that nobody else in the history of music had created ever before. In any case, a really great listen. The line in the middle is absolutely great: “You can put your life in the hands, of this Rock and Roll band, because we’ll never throw it away” which shows how well aware Noel Gallagher was of himself and the audience. Oasis never betrayed their fans trust for the most part during their lengthy career, and they deliver very well here. A very great and anthemic tune that sounds very brilliant and awesome. The ending is amazing. Once the song ends, some cheering occurs and the audience sings an interesting profanity-laden English football/soccer song. It’s worth hearing.
My Big Mouth (Live at Knebworth, 10 August ’96) has Liam introducing the song in a slightly humourous way, before some great guitar playing and pounding drums get this going. Sure, this is a Be Here Now number, but it sounds really amazing, even on this live performance. Liam delivers wonderfully on vocals, and the whole band play in a brilliantly combined and groove-based fashion. This song sounds really gloriously good and although the lyrics are about the sort of fame and riches lifestyle that Oasis had found, it still sounds mammoth. The whole band puts in a great performance on this song. The guitar solo is really exciting and well done, and the drumming by Alan White is not to be underestimated. A very fine listen, and totally enjoyable. Electric, energetic and enjoyable. The outro is golden Rock goodness.
Next along is It’s Gettin’ Better (Man!!) (Live at Knebworth, 11 August ’96) which begins with loud guitars and feedback, before launching into this fairly average song. Liam does do it justice though, despite this being one of the lesser numbers off the 1997 album Be Here Now. The chorus is very good, with Liam and Noel’s voices combining in a classic Pop/Rock style. A really cool and interesting listen though, it does take one back in time to the gig in 1996. In any case, a good rendition of a fairly average song. The midsection with the pounding drums and guitar solos takes us back to the era of Rock music, which is completely different to what we have today on the radio. A very good effort in a live environment for this song, and no, it’s not a rip off of that song by The Beatles on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The guitar solo in the outro is very surprisingly good, too. Liam Gallagher talks some absolute nonsense at the end, he must have been pretty wasted during this performance.
After that is Live Forever (Live at Knebworth, 10 August ’96) begins with the classic pounding tom-tom beat, before guitars and Liam’s singing get going. To be fair, Liam’s voice is not the best here compared to the original song. Still, it is very heartwarming to listen to this from Knebworth. A decent tune, even though Liam sounds like he is struggling to sing this song. The guitar solo is so beautiful, it may swing one’s mood heavily. A really excellent piece of music for what it is, and a must-hear Oasis song, if you haven’t heard it already. Liam gets very animated with his singing towards the end, although he was not even as bad as some of his later performances on this live song. Good but maybe not great. The band then says goodnight, prior to the encore numbers. Some chanting from the crowd then occurs, before the final two songs begin.
Champagne Supernova (Live at Knebworth, 11 August ’96) is introduced quickly, with some awesome guitar riffs, and features The Stone Roses guitarist John Squire. From the start of the song, this is quite a decent and gloriously wonderful listening experience. This piece then quickly gets going, and we hear a good live rendition of the original song. This is one of Oasis’s defining moments as a song, and it does sound pretty massive and interesting. A really cool and interesting piece of music, this is very imaginative and excellent sounding. A good piece of musical history right here, folks. Both Noel and Liam sound very happy to sing and play here. The extra guitar riffing by John Squire is brilliant, and he lightens up an already great song. The outro has Noel singing some nice harmonies, and a really dramatic sounding change right towards the end of the song with the rhythm section. It sounds definitely different to the original song and is quite decent to listen to. The guitar soloing here is manic. Great listen, it concludes with Noel using some pitch-shifting pedals and a slowed-down drum beat, before concluding with a loud drum snare hit. Nice.
I Am The Walrus (Live at Knebworth, 11 August ’96) continues on from the previous song, before launching into this wacky cover of a song by The Beatles. It is a fitting cover, just suiting Oasis nicely and paying homage to their original musical inspiration, The Beatles. It sounds completely different to the original song, sounding much rawer and more energetic than you would ever think. There is an orchestra in the background with strings and horns aplenty. A grand finale to a massive concert, and a historical event to remember for sure. Everyone who is playing here is doing a wonderful job, and the extended outro is ridiculously trippy. A very good way to finish this live performance. The outro instrumentation is super quirky. It ends with a thank you to the crowd by Noel Gallagher and the sound of fireworks. Excellent.
This is a very great and collectable piece of musical history. There is only one main flaw to this album, which is Liam Gallagher’s vocals are not as good as they were on other performances in 1996. Still, this issue is easily overlooked for fans of the group (he sang way worse elsewhere) and this is definitely something to hear and to remember. Rock historians and Oasis followers will want to hear this, as will many others. A very intelligently thought and unique album experience.
Great concert experience.
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