The day Oasis mania rocked Blackpool with sell-out gig

Noel Gallagher performing at the Empress Ballroom on October 2 1995Noel Gallagher performing at the Empress Ballroom on October 2 1995
Noel Gallagher performing at the Empress Ballroom on October 2 1995
Twenty five years ago today, Oasis mania hit Blackpool.

With plenty of attitude Noel and Liam Gallagher, burst on to the stage at The Empress Ballroom.

And they didn’t disappoint.

Packed to the rafters the concert was a sell-out, with touts outside lining their pockets with ticket sales of up to 15 at a time. They were eagerly snapped up by those who missed the official sale.

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Frontman Liam GallagherFrontman Liam Gallagher
Frontman Liam Gallagher

And then there was the music’s north-south divide rivalry, strong as ever between Oasis and Damon Alban’s Blur, as the bands fought for number one spots.

But Oasis were on firm territory in Blackpool.

A typical group were a bunch of teenage classmates from Preston who had travelled to the resort with no idea how they would get in to see the band.

One said: “They are brilliant, they are different from anyone else and they are northern. Blur are OK but they are southerners so we prefer Oasis.’’

Oasis on stage during their 1995 tourOasis on stage during their 1995 tour
Oasis on stage during their 1995 tour

Jane Bradley, 22, of Poulton-le-Fylde, said: “There is no comparison with Blur whatsoever. They are the right band at the right time.’’

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Jane must have had a claim to being one of the band’s most dedicated fans after cutting short a trip to Italy to see them. Unfortunately the earlier gig planned for September 14 was postponed, making the effort worthless.

The Manchunian five-piece were forced to postpone the concert just 36 hours before they were due to appear.

The band’s bassist Paul McGuigan was suffering from exhaustion.

The concert was rescheduled to the October 2 date and it was a relief for Tim Fernandez, of Preston, and Andy Rigby, of Blackpool, were both massive Oasis fans.

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Tim said: “I think it’s brilliant that they are playing Blackpool.

“Before, all we have had are bands like East 17 and M People who have a different kind of audience.’’

Andy added: “There are not many rock stars around these days, and very few bands around as good as Oasis.’’

The band had sent cash tills into overdrive the day before with the release of their second album (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? which sold one copy every 30 seconds.

The Blackpool story didn’t ened there though.

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Afterwards police were called to The Pembroke Hotel after a mix-up over an unpaid hotel bill involving snooker wildman Alex Higgins and the band.

Oasis and the ‘Hurricane’ spent the night at the luxury 268 room on the seafront.

Liam and Noel Gallagher invited Higgins - one of their heroes who was featured on the sleeve of the group’s single Roll With It - to their after-show party at the hotel on North Promenade.

Higgins, 46 at the time, and earlier seen mingling with crowds at the concert sporting a pair of dark sunglasses, checked in to the Pembroke without

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any luggage. He was seen drinking with the band and their entourage. The following morning however, the band checked out and at lunchtime Higgins was seen leaving the hotel in the same clothes he had arrived in.

Staff called in the police and claimed Higgins’ room bill had not been paid for.

Higgins’ manager Doug Perry said: “I have since spoken to the Pembroke and there is no problem at all.

“Alex went back there with the boys from Oasis. The bill hasn’t been paid yet. Alex left the hotel thinking the bill had been settled. There was no intention not to pay. Either Oasis will pay it or I will.”

Never without controversy, Oasis pulled off their Blackpool concert in spectacular style...

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