THOSE GALLAGHERS – THEY REALLY ARE A PAIR OF LOVELY BOYS
That’s the verdict on the Gallagher brothers and Oasis from Ruth Taylor, manager of Sawmills Studios at Golant, near Fowey, where the band have been recording their new album. The Mancunian band renowned for their infamy attract a media circus wherever they go – and deepest rural Cornwall was no different. Guitarist and songwriter Noel Gallagher was splashed all over the tabloids after he was pictured strolling to Golant along a railway track from the isolated creek-side studio. The photograph has prompted British Transport Police to consider prosecuting him – he faces a £1,000 fine – and the millionaire rock star was interviewed in Golant following the incident. I visited the studio a couple of days after Oasis left to speak to Ruth about the band’s stay at Sawmills – and no I didn’t walk on the railway line but was picked up by boat from Golant; the most accessible way of reaching the studio. She said: “Noel was a bit surprised by the whole railway line thing – people are forgetting that the Sun photographer had to get on the line first in order to take the picture of Noel – is he being prosecuted?”
Oasis returned to Sawmills 10 years after they recorded their debut album, Definitely Maybe, at the world-renowned studio. “Noel said they decided to come back because they had such a good time recording that album here,” said Ruth, who has worked at Sawmills since 1990. The band briefly visited just before Christmas to check out the studio’s specifications and then returned in late January, recording the bulk of their forthcoming sixth album before leaving last week.
Ruth added: “The band are really sweet – not at all like their public image. Liam does everything he’s told and they always turn up on time. “I think they like coming here because it’s so quiet and secluded – they usually have people camped outside their homes all the time. “But they even attract mad fans and media down here – we had one bloke sat out in the creek with a camera on a freezing cold morning. “We’ve been inundated with silly phone calls and e mails, and we’re still receiving post addressed to Noel and Liam.”
One Cornish fan rang up and invited the band to a party and a young band from Surrey travelled all the way to Cornwall and knocked on the studio window one night. They wanted to speak to Noel but he wasn’t there. Suddenly Liam appeared. “We’ve come all the way from Surrey to see you,” they excitedly told him. “Bit f***in’ stupid,” came the reply. And that was the extent of their meeting.
Cult psychedelic dance act Death In Vegas – Richard Fearless and Tim Holmes – produced the album after working with Liam on the title track of their last record, Scorpio Rising. Ruth added: “They wanted to record an album that didn’t sound like the traditional Oasis – it sounds really good. But I’m not telling you more than that, you’ll have to wait until it comes out.” The band enjoyed drinking at the local, the Fisherman’s Arms, where they were a hit with staff and punters alike. One regular said: “They’ve been really nice, just ordinary customers – polite and well-behaved. “We get a lot of famous rock stars down here so no-one ever makes a fuss about them.” However, the usual Oasis furore occurred when the band went to a pub in Fowey and a fight broke out around them.
Among the other acts who have recorded at Sawmills – which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year – are Supergrass, Muse, Stone Roses, The Verve, Idlewild, Ocean Colour Scene and Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant, who on venturing to the pub was mistaken for a builder from Par.