‘Definitely Maybe’ is 25.


In 1994 ‘Definitely Maybe‘ by Oasis was released. It was an immediate critical and commercial success and became the fastest-selling UK debut in history at the time. It included the tracks ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Star‘, ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol‘, ‘Shakermaker‘, ‘Live Forever‘ and ‘Slide Away‘. We [Red Alert Promotions] were there from the start.

I worked with Noel Gallagher before he was in Oasis. We toured together with the Inspiral Carpets; I was merch, and Noel was a roadie. It was an amazing time looking back; it was the height of Madchester.

I’d got to know Noel – and later Liam – when I worked at the music venue The Boardwalk,Oasis shared a rehearsal room in the basement with Sister Lovers. Other bands that rehearsed there were Inspiral Carpets, Happy Mondays, James, ACR, The Fall, Simply Red, and Nico! Generally, after these bands finished rehearsing they come upstairs for a drink and watch the bands that were playing at the venue. I witnessed early shows from Primal ScreamHoleSonic Youth, Manic Street PreachersVerveBob Mould, Rage Against The Machine, Big Black, The Charlatans, The Wedding Presentand many more.

Following the demise of ‘Madchester’, I started working with Alison and Sue at Red Alert Promotions, a record plugging company with a cool roster that included The Charlatans, KLF, Depeche Mode, Pulp, Suede, The Sugarcubes and Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds... It was around this time our friend (and neighbour) Noel decided to join his brother’s band Rain which subsequently became Oasis.

Alison and I saw Oasis play many times in Manchester, including regular support slots at The Boardwalk and Tony Wilson‘s In The City music convention in September 1992 and 93. In ’92 they played The Venue to a handful of people including Gary Davies a DJ on BBC Radio 1 in ’93 they played Canal Bar (both venues are no longer there).

Earlier in May 1993, they played King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut thanks to Debbie from Sister Lovers. She knew Alan McGee and she invited them to play, the rest is history. Soon after Noel announced that Oasis were going to sign to Creation Records. Months later their record contract came through on the Red Alert fax machine. I remember the never-ending fax paper spewing out and folding it up. I put it into an A4 envelope for Noel to collect.

Naturally, Oasis were added to the Red Alert roster and we began promoting the now-classic singles from Definitely Maybe. As part of the campaign, we took Noel and Liam on a promo tour around UK radio stations for interviews. One of the early interviews was with Chris Moyles. He was working at a regional radio station, Signal Stoke. Chris recounts this and still has his CD with a Red Alert promo sticker. The band’s first radio session was for Craig Cash (The Royale Family); he presented a show on KFM in Stockport. Both went on to do very well.

Below is an early TV performance on Yorkshire TV. ‘Something For The Weekend’ was filmed at Leeds Warehouse. Oasis were introduced by Madame Jo Jo –  now Jo Jo on Capital Yorkshire. It looks great! Oasis played ‘Shakermaker’, ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Star’ and ‘Supersonic’ in front of an audience of around 200.

The next tv footage is from America in 2017. CBS News correspondent Anthony Mason visits Noel’s native Manchester. It’s the first time Noel has been back to the city-centre flat where it all started. In the early 90s India House was inhabited by people who predominately worked in music and the arts including record pluggers, roadies, techies, managers, journalists, photographers, graphic designers, fashion designers, filmmakers, artists, writers and Hacienda staff. You’d sometimes bump into members of The Stone Roses, The Smiths, New Order and the Pet Shop Boys after the Hacienda going to parties.

India House – like Manchester – has so much to answer for. It’s where Noel wrote the first two albums. Lyrics such as “As I live my life in the city, there’s no easy way out.” (Rock n Roll Star), “Your music’s shite it keeps me up all night, up all night.” (Married with Children) and “The sink is full of fishes, she’s got dirty dishes on the brain.” (Some Might Say) were written in that building between 1989 and 1994.

Photo: Michael Spencer Jones 1994

Daystar – Slip and Dive

Release Date: 28th February 2011 (Stone Soup)

daystarband.wordpress.com

daystarband.com

facebook.com/daystarmanchester


Produced by Mansun engineer Ronnie Stone, ‘Slip And Dive’ owes much of its style to a Sixties mod influence ( – as do the band themselves, based on evidence of the YouTube video for the single below), wrapped up in a Nineties package, and delivered with present day panache and vibe.  “We like to think of it as our equivalent to The Who’s Can’t Explain, or You Really Got Me by The Kinks. We see it as powerful yet interesting, raw but with a certain quirky quality and a promise of bigger things to come.” explain Daystar. With their first album already in the bag, these hardworking young men bring with them the same ethos I saw all those years ago, with another, now mega-famous, Manchester band (Oasis). Daystar are rapidly garnering massive support, and may well prove to be the forerunners of the next wave to put the Manchester music scene back on the map.

Check out the video for “Slip and Dive” here:

ASK ME PR work the Mercury again!

Manchester-based music pluggers Ask Me PR scoop the regional radio and TV account for the Barclaycard Mercury Prize for the 16th year running.


North west music fans may be disappointed at the absence of regional bands in this year’s Mercury music prize list of nominees, but there is one Manchester-based member of the UK music industry that’s been quietly winning with annual award since 1994. And that’s Ask Me PR!


From M-People’s 1994 win with Elegant Slumming, Badly Drawn Boy in 2000 through to local heroes and last year’s winners Elbow, Ask Me PR have been charged with making sure all shortlisted albums and the competition itself are featured on regional radio. No mean feat considering that from Cornwall to Orkney, and Norwich to Aberystwyth there’s around 400 radio stations to service!


Ask Me PR’s managing director, Liam Walsh: “We’re extremely proud of our long association with this prestigious competition.


There have been many highlights over the years. Apart from all the great Manchester bands that have won, seeing Antony and the Johnsons claim the prize was a very special moment.


Though it’s not all been fun, glitz and glamour. When the phenomenal PJ Harvey won and accepted her prize from NYC it was the day of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre. We’d heard what had happened on the way down to London and it was naturally a sombre rather than celebratory evening.”


Ask Me PR’s skill in gaining national and regional broadcast exposure for emerging pop talent is no secret among major record labels and independent music managers trying to break new acts into a highly competitive and crowded market place. The likes of The Killers, Oasis, Bjork, Moby, Doves, Prince and Badly Drawn Boy are amongst the long list of artists to have all used Ask Me’s services on their way to the big time.


Of the current crop of Ask Me artists, Liam says: “We expect great things of newcomers The Cordels, Cosmo Jarvis and Neil McSweeney.


It was a fabulous experience to have an unknown Badly Drawn Boy win his Mercury while on our rosta and of course we’d love to see history repeated with one of our new acts!”