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Oasis Week: A Short Psychogeographical Tour of Definitely Maybe’s Manchester

To celebrate the UK release of Alex Niven’s 33 1/3 on Oasis’s Definitely Maybe, we bring you the second installment of Oasis Week…

1. INDIA HOUSE, WHITWORTH STREET

INDIA HOUSE, WHITWORTH STREETApartment block in central Manchester where Noel Gallagher wrote many of the songs on Definitely Maybe. A packing and shipping warehouse built in 1906 in the Edwardian Baroque style, the underbelly of the building was eulogised in a beautiful watercolour by the impressionist painter Adolphe Valette (1876-1942) who would later become the teacher of the artist L.S. Lowry.

“India House” by Adolphe Valette, 19122. SIFTERS RECORDSHOP, FOG LANE

Sifters, Burnage

An indie record store first opened in 1977 in Burnage/Didsbury, the owner of which makes a fleeting cameo appearance amid the kitchen-sink surrealism of “Shakermaker”:

          Mr Sifter sold me songs when I was just 16

          Now he stops at traffic lights but only when they’re green

Although Oasis split in 2009, as of 2014 Sifters is still open for business.

3. MANCHESTER BRIDGE CLUB, PALATINE ROAD

Manchester Bridge Club, 30 Palatine Road

A venue on Palatine Road in Didsbury, which in August 1991 hosted the first gig by Rain, a proto-Oasis band featuring Liam Gallagher, Bonehead, Guigsy, and Tony McCarroll. After witnessing the gig, Noel Gallagher offered to join as lead guitarist, songwriter, and ostensible leader.

In 1911, while he was a student at Victoria Manchester University, the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein lived at 154 Palatine Road, a few doors down from the current premises of Manchester Bridge Club at number 30.

The seminal label Factory Records was founded at 86 Palatine Road in 1978.

doorway to 86 Palatine Road, Factory Records HQ 1978-19904. MAINE ROAD, MOSS SIDE

Ian Bishop scoring for Manchester City against Manchester United in 1989

Home ground of Manchester City F.C., and spiritual epicentre of the Gallaghers’ early life. Noel Gallagher has cited City’s 5-1 victory over rivals Manchester United in September 1989 – a few weeks prior to the release of “Fools Gold” by the Stone Roses – as the best day of his life. Consumption of the drug Ecstasy may or may not have helped.

Maine Road was demolished in 2004.

Maine Road post-demolition

5. CHURCH OF THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS, OXFORD ROAD

Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, Manchester

The major Catholic church in Manchester, and site of the Gallaghers’ parents wedding in January 1966. Originally built in the Gothic Revival style in 1869-71 by Joseph A. Ransom and Son, a tower by Adrian Gilbert Scott was added in 1928.

The novelist Anthony Burgess had a memorable argument with the church’s Jesuit priests in 1932 (as recounted in the first volume of his autobiography Little Wilson and Big God).

The church is also alluded to in the lyrics of “Vicar in a Tutu” by The Smiths:

          I was minding my business

          Lifting some lead off the roof of The Holy Name church

Anthony Burgess– Alex Niven

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