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Monday Music: Out-Oasising Oasis

15 Mar 10 | Re: Triumphant adaptation and survival

Listening to a Charlatans best of yesterday, I was struck by how in around 1995 their melodies suddenly got a lot more Gallagher-esque. That’s no surprise really, since Oasis had turned up the year before and shown everyone how it was supposed to be done - having been shown, why not do it for yourself?

I’m talking about Just Looking, Crashing In and particularly this week’s Monday Music track North Country Boy, which you can listen to on We7 right here. In this last case, the Charlatans aren’t just being influenced by Oasis. They’re taking everything the Gallaghers were ever good at - the swagger, the infectious triumphalism, the raw power, the uplifting solos - and doing it better than Oasis managed to about 95% of the time. Plus, they have their secret weapon, the patented Charlatans all conquering hammond organ, which enables them to comprehensively out-Oasis Oasis.

I can’t think of any other bands that hurriedly adapted to Oasis’ arrival. In fact it’s hard to think of any other groups from the Charlatans’ era that were still around in 1994 - the Mondays had fallen apart, New Order had become irrelevant, Inspiral Carpets had gone off somewhere, the Stone Roses had lost the magic, and so it goes on. James were still around, and did go a bit Britpop, but made the mistake of copying Shed Seven instead of Oasis.

Which leaves the Charlatans, who have survived so long that they must get fed up of being called survivors. That term tends to make them sound like also-rans in every scene they were a part of, but the truth is that at the exact moment North Country Boy came out, there was just about nobody doing it better.

Posted by MR BENTLEY at 13:26

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