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From Michael Jackson and Tina Turner to The Who and U2, over the years the boards of our Concert Hall have been trodden by some genuine giants of popular music. But rarely has the Concert Hall floor bounced quite so vigorously as it did the night Oasis played a low-key(!) warm up show for Glastonbury here on 23 June 2004... 

It was the band’s first UK gig for some 15 months, their first with new drummer Zak Starkey, and booked as a warm-up for what should have been a triumphant return to the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury two days later. 

Tickets for the Poole show had gone on sale on 15 May, prompting scores of fans to party/camp out overnight and hundreds more to turn up in the early hours of the morning. Even so, many were destined to leave disappointed and empty handed.  

Still, cometh the hour cometh the mayhem. The day of the gig saw heightened security, an elaborate staggered entry system and Lighthouse besieged by thousands of fans in various states of excitement. Backstage, extra fridges were hired in for the band’s comfort, and Isle of Wight support band The Bees got their buzz on. 

The arrival of Oasis on stage was greeted with a roar a Cup Final crowd would have been proud of. Watching on from the balcony were Ringo Starr, Jude Law and Sienna Miller, while stellar watchers from the side of the stage may have included Paul Weller, Nicole Appleton and Noel Gallagher’s now-wife Sara. 

The band were fully on their mettle that night, dropping incendiary versions of fan favourites with hit singles and new songs destined for the Don’t Believe the Truth album, before ending on a riotous shakedown of The Who’s My Generation. 

It was only fitting that this reviewer contrived to lose his office key and had to call a colleague at some unearthly hour to be let into the office in order to file copy in time for the morning’s first edition. 

In an equally appropriate codicil to the tale, the band’s subsequent Glasto gig was panned by the critics and moaned about by fans, with Liam’s snow white parka (in June?) attracting much derision to this day. 

(NC)

photo by Corin Messer

Published 21 June 2021