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Noel Gallagher admits he doesn’t know why Oasis did not play Rock 'n' Roll Star at Knebworth

Oasis in August 1996
(Image credit: Mick Hutson / Getty)

Noel Gallagher has said he is still unsure why Oasis left Rock 'n’ Roll Star off their setlist at their era-defining Knebworth shows.

The gigantic gigs saw the band play to more than 250,000 fans over two nights in August 1996, and are now the subject of a new  documentary, Oasis Knebworth 1996.

Speaking on The Chris Evans Virgin Radio Breakfast show (opens in new tab), Gallagher told the host: “When I was looking at the setlist I was like, ‘We didn’t do Rock ‘n’ Roll Star?’ And the guy was going to me, ‘Whose choice would that have been?’ And I was like, ‘Oh, that would have been my choice…’”

The opening track of debut album Definitely Maybe, Rock ’n’ Roll Star is the band’s mission statement – the ultimate self-fulfilling prophecy, in swaggering song form. As such, including it at an event like Knebworth, now perceived as the crowning moment of Oasis’ career, would seem to have been a no-brainer. 

“I mean, I wouldn’t do an Oasis gig now without Rock ‘n’ Roll Star,” said Gallagher. “It would be the first thing you do. I don’t know. I can’t work out what the thought process would have been behind it… And then I can’t work out why we did two songs off Be Here Now, which wasn’t going to be out for another year. I don’t know. I’m really angry with myself!”

That all said, Gallagher admitted elsewhere in the interview that the band were not exactly famed for their down-to-earth decision-making at that point in time. 

"We had to try and manfully keep a lid on it," he said. “They wouldn’t let us off site, because they knew that if we went back to London, there’s a good chance that either one of us might not make it back!” 

Outside of doing the press rounds for the Knebworth documentary, Gallagher has been busying himself some gear-based geekery in recent months: announcing the much-anticipated Gibson Noel Gallagher signature J-150 acoustic and, last month, discussing his love of virtual instruments with software makers Arturia.

Oasis Knebworth 1996 (opens in new tab) is released in cinemas worldwide from 23 September. 

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.