Oasis: Beyond The Gallagher's


Thursday 29th August 2019

This week marks 10 years since Oasis officially split and 25 years since the release of Definitely Maybe. To mark this ambivalent occasion, we decided to take a look back beyond the siblings at the heart and soul of Oasis and beyond their rivalry that has dominated discussions around the band for over two decades. We take a little look back at the other band members and their careers outside of Oasis.

The origins of Oasis can be traced back to the late '80s when Bonehead and Guigsy formed a band with Tony McCarroll on drums and Chris Hutton on vocals. They called themselves The Rain, after The Beatles B-side to 'Paperback Writer'. This line-up and band name were both short-lived and when Hutton left, he was replaced by Liam Gallagher. Liam suggested changing their name to Oasis and started developing his now iconic vocal style.

Around a year later, Noel Gallagher returned from touring as a guitar tech with the Inspiral Carpets and joined his brother's band. Bringing with him his arsenal of songs and incredible songwriting talent. All the pieces were now in place and rock n roll stardom awaited.

Paul 'Bonehead' Arthurs
Rhythm Guitar

Bonehead started his first band in the mid-'80s called Pleasure and Pain. Following Oasis he had a few short-lived bands like Moondog One with ex-Smiths rhythm section Andy Rouke and Mike Joyce, The Seers with members of Ladytron and Buffalo 66 and a had a brief 5-piece dance-infused rock band called The Vortex.

Bonehead was also a member of an outfit billed as the Electric Milk Band alongside members of The Happy Mondays and toured with Thai superstar Sek Loso. After featuring on a number of Vinny Peculiar releases, Bonehead teamed up with Alan Wilkes on a new project called Parlour Flames, Parlour Flames released their self-titled debut album in 2013.

The following year in 2014 Bonehead collaborated with Alex Lipinski and released a self-titled EP on Cherry Red Records called 'Phoneys & The Freaks'.

Paul 'Guigsy' McGuigan

Guigsy's only musical output outside of Oasis was playing bass on 'Lessons Learned From Rocky l To Rocky lll' by Cornershop, from their 2002 album 'Handcream For A Generation'.

Guigsy and renowned music journalist/writer Paolo Hewitt wrote a book about footballer Robin Friday called 'The Greatest Footballer You Never Saw', around the same time the two also contributed sleeve notes to the Super Furry Animals single 'The Man Don’t Give A F*ck', a tribute to Robin Friday who appeared on the front cover of the single.

Tony McCarroll

Tony was in a band called Raika for a while with his two brothers Ged and Adi. Ged's commitment to his work a session musician meant they unfortunately split but some early tracks can be found across the internet though. Here's a demo for their tune 'Any Road' that Tony uploaded to YouTube.

Alan White

Alan had ties to two future members of Oasis before any of them had joined; at 15 he auditioned to drum in Gem Archer's band Whirlpool and despite impressing them, was turned down for being too young. He also drummed on Swedish singer/songwriter Idha's album 'Troublemaker'. Idha was signed to Creation Records and was also married to Andy Bell.

Before joining Oasis Alan had been a member of the band Starclub and also drummed for The Blow Monkeys lead singer Dr Robert on his solo records.

Gem Archer
Rhythm Guitar

Gem Archer's musical career starts in the mid-'80s and a band he formed with school friend Jay Walker called The Edge. Gem and Jay moved to London and then formed a new band called The Contenders and before long, a third project was birthed with former Primal Scream drummer Gavin Skinner called Whirlpool.

Gem fronted his next band, Heavy Stereo, who were signed to Creation Records and supported Oasis at the historic Knebworth gig. Gem has also frequently collaborated with Paul Weller contributing to tracks on two of his albums as well as performing live.

After Noel quit Oasis Gem formed Beady Eye alongside his remaining Oasis bandmates Liam Gallagher, Andy Bell and Chris Sharrock. They released two albums before disbanding in 2014 and Gem is now a permanent member of Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.

Andy Bell

Andy Bell enjoyed a very successful career before joining Oasis as a founding member and guitarist in British shoegaze band Ride. Ride reformed in 2014 and have since released two albums and continue to tour and make music. After Ride split in '96 Bell found success with his new band Hurricane #1. This band was also put on hiatus when Bell was asked to join Oasis but just like Ride, also reformed in 2014 and started releasing new music.

After Noel quit Oasis Bell formed Beady Eye alongside his remaining Oasis bandmates Liam Gallagher, Gem Archer and Chris Sharrock.

Bell has also contributed on records by Weeping Willows (fronted by his good friend Magnus Carlson), the acid house duo DK7, Swedish band The Most and electronica outfit SPC ECO. Bell also released one solo song under the moniker Grapefruit in 2009 on a Japan-only compilation.

Zak Starkey

Zak share's a similar musical path to fellow Oasis drummer Chris Sharrock, Zak replaced Sharrock in The Icicle Works and The Lightning Seeds before being replaced by Sharrock in Oasis in a slight twist of fate some years later. In addition to this Zak also played and recorded with Adrian Smith of Iron Maiden for A.S.a.P, alongside his father Ringo in various incarnations of his All-Starr Band and was the drummer for Johnny Marr & The Healers.

Zak's first foray into music was with his band The Next, who evolved into Monopacific. John Entwistle saw Zak perform with Monopacific and was impressed enough that they collaborated on various ventures over the years. Outside of being a session and touring musician for high profile acts Zak also performed his band's ICE who released an album in Japan, Animal Soup who later became the Simon Townshend Band and the well-hyped rock band called Face.

Zak had to leave the Face to tour Quadrophenia with The Who, who he has worked with extensively since the mid-'90s. 

Chris Sharrock

Unlike Zak Starkey Chris Sharrock does not feature on any Oasis releases, so could be considered as merely a touring musician. However, he has had quite a prolific recording career outside of Oasis. 

Sharrock's first band was the Liverpool new wave group The Cherry Boys and drummed on their fist single 'Man To Man'. He has since drummed on numerous albums for The Icicle Works, The Wild Swans, The Lightning Seeds, World Party and Robbie Williams. As well as drumming on The La's hit single 'There She Goes'.

After Noel quit Oasis Sharrock formed Beady Eye alongside his remaining Oasis bandmates Liam Gallagher, Gem Archer and Andy Bell. Following the disbandment of Beady Eye, Sharrock is now a full-time member of Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.

Over the years Oasis had various touring band members and keyboardists but special mentions go out to Jay Darlington and Mike Rowe. Jay was a member of Kula Shaker until they split in 1999 and is now a member of the prog-rock band Magic Bus. Jay was preceded by Mike Rowe on keys and Mike now plays with Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.

Have a listen to our playlist of the artists mentioned in this feature below:

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