10 August 2016

Oasis At Knebworth 20 Years On: ‘Noel Gallagher Popped Up To The House For A Bath’

An incredible 250,000 people flocked to see the Britpop legends at the Hertfordshire stately home over the two nights.

At the time, they were the biggest concerts held in the country.

Both shows bring back fond memories for Knebworth House’s Henry Lytton Cobbold, who has been reflecting on the 20-year anniversary of the Oasis gigs this week.

There were a reported three million ticket applications for the concerts – enough for Oasis to have sold out 24 consecutive nights at the iconic music venue.

The Gallagher brothers, Noel and Liam, were at the height of their popularity following the success of second album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? and the concerts are regarded as the defining moment of the Britpop era.

But Knebworth’s Henry Lytton Cobbold revealed: “At the end of February we didn’t even know there was going to be a concert.

“We didn’t get the enquiry until the end of February.

“That is an extremely short lead time for a concert of this size.

“I think Robbie Williams took a year-and-a-half’s worth of planning.

“They had five months to get this together.

“That’s the shortest lead time we’ve ever had.

“They apparently had three million people apply for tickets, so they could have done six more weekends on that basis.

“So it was a massive moment.”

As well as Wonderwall band Oasis, the supporting cast over the two nights included the likes of The Prodigy, Manic Street Preachers, Cast, The Charlatans, The Chemical Brothers and Ocean Colour Scene.

Henry, however, doesn’t remember too much about the actual music. There were thirsty Oasis fans to satisfy.

He said: “My excuse is not because I was backstage quaffing Champagne with the likes of Mick Hucknell and Martine McCutcheon, my excuse is that we were running the bars that year.

“And to do the bars for 125,000 people, and we need to accept Oasis’ audience is a bar-based audience, it’s not a Buxton Water audience, we were particularly busy, particularly Martha [Henry’s wife], who was managing the bars.

“So I don’t remember much of the music.

“But it was an absolutely fantastic weekend and there are some great stories to come out of it.”

One such tale is of Noel Gallagher having a bath at the house on the Sunday morning.

“Oasis decided this was a party and they were going to stay in Winnebagos backstage,” said Henry.

The following morning Noel came up to Knebworth House asking if he could have a bath.

“My dad showed him to our Queen Elizabeth bedroom bathtub, which is a four-poster bathtub.

“As it was a big weekend for them, my dad brought Noel a bottle of Champagne to have in the bath.”

Henry added: “Noel’s talked about this since, saying he was brought a bottle of Champagne by a ‘liveried servant’ when, in fact, it was his Lordship.

“They then signed the visitors’ book and Noel signed ‘Noel Gallagher – clean!’.

“Then his bodyguard wrote his name and ‘Dirty!’.

“We should have perhaps kept the soap.”

Source: www.whtimes.co.uk


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