19 years ago today I was a 14 year old boy witnessing one of, if not THE greatest live music event of my life. By the time this concert came about Oasis had already hit the big time and for me and thousands of others they were my band.
They came around just at the right age for me, getting into a band before they hit the big time also gives you a bit of a superiority complex and while most of the people at my school were listening to the kind of happy hardcore that is more in place on the waltzers I was listening to the birth of Britpop. It didn’t take long for the people who would call you a hippy for liking music with a guitar in it to start listening to it and claiming they loved it from the start but that’s what happens when something special comes along. Looking back there was a fair amount of shite but some of the music was perfect for the time and still stands up. Spearheading the way were the likes of Oasis and Blur but smaller bands like Northern Uproar and Gene still get spun now and agin in my house.
For me, the 90′s was the last great era of music. There was a scene and you had to work hard to hear the songs you liked, buy records or see live music. I don’t want to sound like I don’t appreciate how convenient the internet has made access to music but there was something special about waiting for an album to come out, picking it up the day it was released and going home to listen to it hoping the inlay had the words or something good in it and wasn’t just a piece of folded card.
Getting back to the point of this, 19 years ago today I went to see my favourite band at Irvine Beach Park of all places. Being about ten or fifteen minutes from my house by car it was a dream come true and I remember myself and my brother painting a wall at my Mum’s work who in turn bought us tickets. Looking back at the price it was an incredible deal at just £12.50 to see Oasis who were riding high, Ocean Colour Scene who had been doing the rounds and not yet reached the peak of their fame and a new band Cast who had just released their debut single ‘Finetime’.
I could try to go into detail but I just have memories of a great summer day kicking about the streets of Kilwinning before heading on to Irvine for the main event. It was the first time I saw Oasis, or Ocean Colour Scene and Cast for that matter but I was blown away. It is hard to believe it was 19 years ago but I am sure everyone that was there that day feels the same. For me and many like me, this Oasis, the Oasis of ’94-’96 were the sound of an era. When you get THAT much into a band you start looking at their influences and it was around this time that I started to take a real interest in older music and, I suppose, from that came my interest in subcultures. Standing on the peripheries of Mod as a young boy getting my first Fred Perry, getting an old German Army jacket from the indoor market on Argyle Street (Little did I know that Dee’s just along the road would have been perfect) and cutting off the badges before putting stuff about The Who on it, watching Quadrophenia and listening to The Jam in what now looks like a bit of a paint by numbers but I enjoyed it and I wouldn’t swap it in the world for anything.
I think it will be hard to see a time like that again when there was a real feeling of being a part of a movement, but I wouldn’t write it off. There are a few good bands kicking about but whatever does come along I will be saying it’s not a patch on music in my day.
For more head over to Dead End St British Subcultures clothing.