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Excerpt from "Oasis and Friends" article

by Ted Kessler from the NME Glastonbury Special June 2003

Glastonbury 1995 was played out under clear blue skies and balmy sunshine, yet it will always be remembered as the year the gathering storm of Britpop broke forcefully over its green and mental valley. Oasis may have been headlining Glastonbury for the first time that Friday, but Liam Gallagher and co reserved their best performance for the backstage area.

Noel, meanwhile, was characeristically relaxed about his big show. He even paid the VIP section a brief visit and stood at its entrance with a glass and greeted those entering as if welcoming them to his own private fete, It was here that he ran into his pal Evan Dando.

Dando had spent the previous couple of years on a trajectory into outer rock-star space on the back of The Lemonheads' worldwide grunge-pop hit 'It's A Shame About Ray', and was now hurtling back to earth at a startling rate. The closer he got to reentering out atmosphere, however, the more frazzled he became and this weekend he was pretty frazzled. Certainly frazzled enough to miss his slot on the main stage and be forced on before Portishead, whose enraged fans bottled him off (imagine!), but that humiliation was still hours away.

Until then, he had drinking to indulge in with Oasis, Robbie Williams and an ever-expanding entourage that included Elastica, Pulp, the Boo Radleys and just every Britpop star in the making.

After Oasis' headline set, Noel was pleased to bump once more into Evan Dando. Dando had become tight with Oasis the year before when he bonded with the band on tour. When The Lemonheads' tour ended, Dando - who loved touring nearly as much as he loved getting high - just jumped in the back of Oasis' van and became their unofficial roadie. It seemed strange behaviour for an internation rock star, but Dando was an unusual rock star - he was a cool, handsome dude who seemed intent on destroying any credibility he had. Having missed his slot on the mage stage, and having been roundly abused when he did step up to the mic ("damn stupid hippies," he mumbled at the audience. "Bit rich," said the audience), he'd spent the rest of the evening performing for free. He'd played on the top of his van for a while. He'd played through the fence to passing kids. And now, at the end of the day, he sat around a campfire and played songs with his old buddy Noel Gallagher.

For those two dozen or so in the backstage area who happened to chance upon this duo, it will remain the indelible highlight of the weekend. Two of the greatest young songwriters of their generation trying to remember the words to Bob Dylan songs... well, it worked round that particular campfire anyhow. Eventually, though, Noel was called to his berth on the bus and he bade Evan a fond farewell. The Oasis bus was heading off-site, to a destination known simply as "Supernova". Evan Dando was heading in the opposite direction.


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