7 June 2013

Is There Life After Oasis?

Is there life after Oasis? Well, the Gallagher brothers are both treading fairly successful, if lower-profile, paths since the demise in 2009 of the erstwhile mega-group. Liam and the rest of the band continue as Beady Eye, while Noel ventured into a solo project called Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.

But what of founding member Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs, rhythm guitar player in young pre-Gallaghers Manchester outfit The Rain, and stalwartly on stage in the Oasis glory years from 1991-1999?

Well, he might not have been in the mainstream spotlight, but he's been beavering away quietly in the small basement studio he built after he quit the band to enjoy family life with his wife and their son and daughter, now aged 18 and 16.

"Oasis was an incredibly tense band to be part of," recalls Paul. "The sheer volume of gigs we did was crazy and we never had a day off. The fun went out of it for me and you can't carry on unless you are 100 per cent committed. I think overall the highs outweighed the lows, though."

There have been some wanderings into the live arena with other musical collaborators in The Vortex, some DJ sets and radio show hosting around Manchester. But now comes Parlour Flames – the project Paul, now 47, feels he has been waiting for.

"The kids are growing up now, so it's time to get out there again."

This time it's a collaboration with Manchester musician and poet Vinny Peculiar (aka Alan Wilkes); their eponymous self-produced album was released last month on Cherry Red Records and now they are in the middle of a UK-wide tour that brings them to Falmouth's Princess Pavilion this month. The album is an intriguing quasi-psychedelic pop creation that's rich in lyrical reminiscence and features some delicious brass arrangements.

His first record release since Oasis, Paul is absolutely delighted with it.

"It almost feels like it did in 1994 – you really enjoy something and it is really what you want to do," he declares. "Vinny is a proper storyteller – he talks about love and life and death. His lyrics are like a good book. "After Oasis I got together with Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke from The Smiths and they became Vinny's drummer and bass player, so I got to know him through them.

"We became good friends and kept saying we should do something together; as soon as we did, it just gelled. Two songs turned into four, then six, then an album."

Paul admits he surprised himself with some of the intricate guitar work using an e-bow.
"I'm known for hammering those big Bonehead chords and there's some quite delicate stuff on the record," he says. "We really tried to better ourselves on it and that was easier because we had no outside pressures or time constraints."

One of the hardest challenges was deciding on a name; Vinny finally came up with Parlour Flames.

"I think it conjures up a lovely old fashioned imagery that is romantic and comforting," says Paul, who hasn't been back to Cornwall since Oasis "attempted to re-record" Definitely, Maybe at Sawmills Studio by the river Fowey in 1994.

Convincing people to listen is the next hurdle, but there is still a heartening core support from Oasis fans.

"We aren't two teenage boys aiming for world domination, but we have both made something we are really pleased with and we can't wait to play it to people," he ads.
Parlour Flames play at Princess Pavilion, Falmouth on Friday, June 21. Call the venue for tickets.

Source: www.thisissomerset.co.uk


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