Film Review: Oasis Knebworth 1996 – 8/10

‘This is history, this is history, right here, right now…’

My ’90s obsession ensures there is very little out there that is actually new to me. I have seen so many documentaries that focus on Oasis that I know the story beats like the back of my hand. The gig at King Tut’s in Glasgow that led them to being signed, the release of ‘Live Forever’, the chart battle with Blur, and then it goes Knebworth, meeting Tony Blair and Be Here Now. Director Jake Scott, a veteran of music videos, chooses that iconic gig at Knebworth for this nearly two hour retrospective, and for Oasis fans, it’s vital viewing…

In 1996, perhaps the most iconic year in what was an incredible decade in Britain for music, politics, fashion, sport and cinema, 4% of the population applied for tickets to see Oasis play over two nights at Knebworth. Oasis Knebworth 1996 charts the journey of a smattering of those that were successful in securing tickets, as well as the musings of various band members and talking heads.

I went into this expecting a concert movie, and while there is plenty of live footage (much of which still sounds incredible), there is also plenty of context provided by the extensive interviews that play over footage of fans arriving at the gig, going nuts during the show, and then walking out of Knebworth in a daze. In short, this is as close as it is possible to get to experiencing this high point in ’90s culture without actually being there on the day, and surely that was Scott’s intention when he began this project.

While it is lacking interviews with Liam (his only contribution comes right at the end of the film), the rest of band more than make up for it, and the fully remastered and restored live footage is worth the admission fee alone – particularly the incendiary cover of The Beatles’ classic ‘I am the Walrus’,

Just when you think there are no more stories left to tell about ’90s culture, something like this come along and proves you wrong. It also makes a great companion piece to Shane Meadows’ Stone Roses doc. Fans of the era would do well to watch both.