Today, marks the 10th anniversary of the release of the Oasis album, ‘Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants’. It’s never an album that gets included in ‘Greatest Ever …….’ lists, but it’s an easily forgotten classic which remains special to me.
I remember the day it was released. I know that Monday’s get a bit of a bad name in the media, but they always have one redeeming feature, namely that the latest CDs and DVDs are always released on a Monday.
It was always something to look forward to on a Monday, to get to Woolies/Our Price/HMV/Virgin (3 of which now sadly gone) as soon as possible to purchase the latest releases.
Oasis, however, are far more special to me than any other band, and when they release something, I just have to buy it as soon as I wake up.
Even to this day, it’s just something I uphold. When ‘Dig Out Your Soul’ was released in 2008, I spent half a morning in work wanting to have it, and then after purchasing it in Tesco during my lunchbreak, I then spent half a day waiting to go home in order to listen to it.
The emergence of the internet has meant that albums can be listened to well in advance of it’s release date. For Oasis albums, I just can’t do it. It just feels like opening you Christmas presents well in advance of December 25th.
That day, I skived off class to purchase it. To my surprise, I saw two other people in my class outside Woolworths in Bangor Town Centre in ready anticipation of the 9am opening time.
At break-time, we held an inpromptu listening session of our new purchase.
If you could sum up the music scene in 2000 in one word, that word, would be …………. shite.
At that time, I was working in a soul-destroying part-time job at The Bot lifting glasses for a pittance, and being forced to listen to the same playlist every night, at the same time.
As if listening to a Backstreet Boys medly was bad, it was just compunded by the fact that you knew a Lou Bega medley would follow, then a Vengaboys medley.
For some reason, all the bands that I loved in 1997 that were massive such as Embrace and Ocean Colour Scene found themselves being ignored and derided by the music press, and Oasis were no different as it suddenly became cool to bash them.
There once was a prehistoric age in the music industry before when advertising was done through Myspace/Twitter/Etc when record companies put up posters in cities and sent out promotional postcards to people.
In order to receive them, you used to fill out wee cards that came with a CD you bought, and sent it off, postage provided free of charge. For most of them, the address was always 3 Alveston Place.
I don’t know why, but it always seemed like some magical workshop, even though it is probably some warehouse in an industrial estate in the middle of nowhere.
It was great coming home from school and seeing some postcard (usually of the CD cover art) waiting for me, and through time, I built up a collection.
I have a confession to make, I actually half-inched some cards from CDs that I never bought. It’s a guilt I live with, but one day, i’ll learn to live with it.
Such was my love of CD art, I would sometimes (every two to three months) pop into the Grammaphone Shop and try to haggle a shop attendant into letting me have any surplus and out of date promotional posters they may have.
On a Friday, I had to go to class at Ards Tec, and going through Dundonald on the bus journey, I couldn’t help but notice that during January/February 2000, Dundonald was plastered with promotional posters flyposted onto any available wallspace for the lead single ‘Go Let It Out’ and the album of ‘Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants’
It got me thinking that perhaps Oasis viewed Dundonald as a key market that needed to be taught the gospel of Noel.
Is it me, or has flyposters for albums totally disappeared in Belfast?
After all, any flyposters you see are for clubnights or concerts, but never actual CDs.
I remember when I worked in The Globe, I would often walk in before starting my shift, or returning from my break and see guys flyposting on what was a building site where Esperanto now is, and just thinking about how they are unsung heroes of the music industry.
Ever since I got into Oasis, it was always my ambition to see them live. It’s an ambition i’ve realised on five occasions, in three different countries.
The first time I saw Oasis was in July 2000 at Lansdowne Road in Dublin. Even though I had tickets for the stand, it didn’t bother me, I was getting to see Oasis, and that was the important thing.
Best of all, the concert was on a Saturday night, which meant I got the break the usual Lou Bega-Backstreet Boys-Vengaboys-Ann Lee-Etc (Although, credit where credit’s due, the DJ did always play ‘Electric Dreams’ by Phil Oakey, which would become the one ray of light to look forward to in a tunnel of shitness) cycle.
I had photos of the concert, but they just sat for almost 7 years. I don’t know why. I think it was simply because I didn’t think the photos were any good, and it wasn’t until I rediscovered my love of photography that I decided to get them developed.
So, as I head out for my Sunday stroll, guess what i’ll be listening to on my MP3 player?