A GUEST SERIES
39. Whatever – Oasis (1994 Creation Records)
Released as a single in December 1994 (Reached Number 3)
There used be this ‘indie club’ at University, (it wasn’t called Indie Club, it was called ‘No Wave’ which was sort of clever, but I called it Indie Club after the Fast Show sketch) basically a bunch of like-minded kids (usually boys to be fair) who thought they were cool because they liked guitar music and not Robbie Williams. We used to meet on a Thursday and plan discos and try to get live bands to come and play in our student union.
Mainly though, we were just trying to impress cute indie girls who wore skinny jeans and Converse trainers. Sadly for us, we all looked like the drummer from Shed Seven, even if we thought we looked like Jude Law.
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned Frank or not before. Frank was strange. He was obsessed with being the most indie, or having the most records (to the point where he used to steal records and CDs off of DJs when they were not looking), or telling us that he heard a band first. Frank, is one of those people, will claim to have seen a band when they were just beginning.
He for instance, claims to have definitely have been in the audience at Oasis’ Water Rats show in London (27th January 1994), a legendary show that took place weeks before they became superstars. Roughly 73,000 people claim to have been at that show, when the capacity of the Water Rats was about 200.
Towards the end of the winter semester at University, indie club had its Christmas party. About halfway through one of the guys who was DJing decided to play the new Oasis single – which was the six minute string laden epic ‘Whatever’. Frank nodded along to it and then said “Oh they’ve finally released this, of course they debuted it at the Water Rats Show,”, then shifted in his seat and said “the applause at the end, is taken from that show…”
Ok Frank. Whatever.
For the record, and I’ve just looked this up, I didn’t know this at the time – Oasis played six songs that night staring with ‘Shakermaker’ and ending with ‘Supersonic’ – they definitely did not play ‘Whatever’ as far as I know, it didn’t even exist at the end of January 1994.
‘Whatever’ was released in December 1994 a week before Christmas and the band were convinced it was going to be the Christmas Number one. You can hear this at the end of the track as it descends into applause and members of the bands roaring “Number One!” and “OASIS!!” in the background, in the studio, not, you know live at a sweaty flea pit in London.
It’s a bit laddish to be fair, but before all that nonsense you get this string laden affair (the band hired a proper orchestra for those bits in a pique of musical maturity) which compliments Liam’s vocals and the band’s music. What’s great about ‘Whatever’ is the arrangement. The way that is starts with that string section and the band join in gradually is great.
Then as the songs goes on the exact reverse happens, first Liam songs singing, then the guitars stopped, then the drums stopped before all that is left is the same strings that you heard at the start. It’s a masterpiece.
One of the B-Sides ain’t half bad either