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European films

Film review – Oasis: Supersonic a rock solid documentary on the one-time kings of Britpop

Featuring previously unseen footage of the band on tour and in the recording studio, film covers the three years leading up to their breakthrough concert in 1997 and focuses firmly on the feuding Gallagher brothers

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 December, 2017, 10:02am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 December, 2017, 10:02am

4/5 stars

Hailed as the kings of Britpop and the last great rock & roll band of the 20th century, Oasis is the subject of Oasis: Supersonic, a documentary by music video director Mat Whitecross produced by Oscar winner Asif Kapadia (Amy, Senna).

Bursting onto the scene with a slew of catchy pub anthems and a swagger that helped define Cool Britannia and its prevailing lad culture, Oasis eclipsed their Britpop rivals to become the premier pop outfit of the 1990s.

Rather than attempt to chart the band’s entire career, from the public housing estates of Manchester to band members’ shaky solo careers, this film focuses on the three-year period between signing to Alan McKee’s Creation Records in 1994 and their record-breaking open-air shows at the Knebworth Festival north of London in the summer of 1997.

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Inevitably, the film’s primary focus is the simmering rivalry between brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher, respectively the band’s outspoken songwriter and unpredictable frontman. The rest of the band pales beside the larger-than-life personas of these self-styled “wild men of rock”. In fact, the band replaced both their drummer and bass player during this period, though few fans even noticed.

As all those involved reminisce about Oasis’ meteoric rise in new off-camera interviews, Whitecross dazzles us with live performances and reams of previously unseen footage of the band on tour and in the recording studio.

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Disappointingly, the film ends on a high rather than charting the band’s descent into mediocrity and eventual breakup, as the feuding Gallaghers grew ever more distant. But as singalong hagiographies go, Oasis: Supersonic is rock solid.

Oasis: Supersonic opens on December 21

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