I wasn’t particularly grabbed to check out this documentary because I’ve never been a fan of Oasis (I had always preferred their “rival” Britpop group Blur). I don’t like their music, nor the offstage personalities of Liam and Noel Gallagher so naturally I wouldn’t be the right audience for Supersonic. Nevertheless the height of their own popularity had otherwise left a great influence on many bands that had followed afterwards so I was hoping to have gotten a taste about what the Gallagher brothers themselves feel about what they had done for music from their years together before their well-known feud. If I really had much to say, I didn’t pick up anything else from this – my views about the Gallagher brothers only had ever remained the same.
Using archival footage of concerts and home videos narrated by the members of Oasis and others associated with them, Supersonic is a documentary detailing the sibling rivalry between Liam and Noel Gallagher that had kept Oasis flowing in popularity over the years – as well as the impact of their own music as a staple of British popular culture. But for those who don’t really know so much about Oasis, there’s not really anything that Supersonic presents that ever makes them feel any compelling – not even an interview or any backstage banter ever really has much to reveal about the notoriously tumultuous relationship of the Gallagher brothers themselves.
At nearly two hours in length, Supersonic doesn’t really have much to say about its own subject. The interviews don’t offer much insight into the relationships between the band members and often feel like they in foul language, they don’t tell you anything about their own creative process as a band – there’s not really much to delve into because they spend at least half the time rambling all about themselves. Nothing about watching this feels different from taking audio clips of past interviews and pasting the clip over top of footage of Oasis performing. This documentary doesn’t have much to say about Oasis rather than show off nostalgia for the time in which they were still around, which I’m sure is wonderful for fans of the 1990’s Britpop scene – but to outsiders, nothing much comes forth. It’s the most basic information about the band that fans would know, and to those unfamiliar with the scene it should be intriguing and yet it just feels like nothing more than droning through nostalgia.
This isn’t wholly bad, though, because at least the assembly of archival footage at the height of Oasis’s popularity still finds a way to connect with the voiceovers in order to give us a grasp of what their fame was like from the perspectives of the Gallagher brothers. It wasn’t just the same old concert and backstage footage that would take up many documentaries about popular bands. The commentary from the Gallagher brothers is occasionally funny to hear under their own accents, like an interview but at its most interesting you can listen to Noel talking about his passion for music as a whole and it’s the closest one can get to truly connecting with Supersonic (if I’m being honest here, I’ve always thought Noel was a decent player). I just wish that there was more of this so that I could try to find more to appreciate about the music of Oasis.
I’ve really no idea who this documentary is for because it doesn’t seem to give much insight into Oasis for dedicated fans or people unfamiliar with them. Unless you’re really into listening to the Gallaghers ramble on about how great they were, then you’re probably going to find much to enjoy from watching Supersonic. All that I ever really got from watching Supersonic was remembering that Oasis were a popular band when they were around. Every time another song of theirs started playing, I only had felt it was hammered into my head all the more because it was well-loved by many. Having that point repeated into my head certainly wasn’t enough to convert me over to become an Oasis fan if I still find Liam Gallagher’s singing voice grating.
Watch the trailer right here.
All images via A24.
Directed by Mat Whitecross
Produced by Asif Kapadia, James Gay-Rees
Featuring Liam Gallagher, Noel Gallagher, Paul Arthurs, Paul Gallagher, Peggy Gallagher, Tony McCaroll, Alan McGee
Release Year: 2016
Running Time: 122 minutes