It comes without doubt that Manchester has produced some of the best bands and musicians over the years, contributing to British music in such a unique way. We’ve had The Smiths, Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses and, er, Take That, but there’s one band that has epitomised and encapsulated Manchester quite unlike any other. That band is Oasis, originally formed of the famously feuding Gallagher brothers – Liam and Noel – as well as Tony McCarroll and the affectionately named Bonehead and Guigsy.
Shooting to fame in 1994 with their record-breaking debut album Definitely Maybe (the famous cover shot in Bonehead’s South Manchester living room), Oasis came to define Britpop, influencing modern music – both in the UK and worldwide – in a way that will still be evident for years to come. Up until their split in 2009, they became famous the world over for the likes of Some Might Say, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? and (of course) Wonderwall as well as for their controversial comments and unfiltered rivalry with fellow Britpoppers Blur.
Then there was the style, which arguably played as big a part in this band’s lifespan as the music. Putting a ’90s spin on mod, Oasis became the kings of parkas, polo shirts and paisley-printed shirts. They made the anorak and the bucket hat covetable, the mock turtleneck a must-have, and that zipped-all-the-way-to-the-top track top the height of style (which has now made a comeback, although never really left Manchester).
There was one photographer who was there to capture it all. In a time before smartphones and documenting every move on Instagram, Jill Furmanovsky got an inside view into Oasis and its individual band members, working with them from the very beginning, up until the very end. She’s recently launched an exhibition at Manchester Central Library, handpicking highlights from her extensive archive. Entitled ‘Oasis – DNA’, the exhibition includes iconic portraits, candid snaps and never-before-seen images, each one coming together to showcase the various sides to this band.
Oasis – DNA will be on show at Manchester Central Library until 28 February 2017 and is free to attend. Visit the library’s website for more information.