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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, 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 is released in cinemas worldwide from 23 September.