Interview with Phil Smith, Official Oasis Tour DJ (Lovingly rebooted from 2014)
Once guitar Tech & confidant to The Stone Roses then later Oasis, Phil Smith has built a strong reputation as the official Oasis Tour DJ. Playing his part in the Oasis story all the way back to when they first started out he will be putting his vast vinyl collection to good use by rocking the celebration of Definitely Maybe, and the birth of one of Britain’s most iconic rock bands, coming up this August at London’s Scala.
Phil kindly dropped by Eventim UK to answer our questions.
How long have you worked for Oasis and how did you meet them ?
Met Noel back in the late 80s in Manchester. He was working for The Inspiral Carpets & I was working for the Stone Roses.A young Liam turned up a couple of years later. Met the rest when Oasis started up & I got a job roady-ing for them.
What are your memories of the time around Defo Maybe came out? Any good tales? Any horror stories ? Favourite gigs?
By the time Definitely Maybe was coming out the momentum was unstoppable. We were doing that many gigs at the time it’s hard to tell them apart although Nagoya in Japan stands out because they did an encore for the 1st time cos it all got a bit emotional. Didn’t have any more songs left so did Rock & Roll Star again.
It was all great around then. Don’t remember anything shit until we were in The States a few weeks later & Noel fucked off cos he was sick of us all. Had a strange few days after that!
What’s your favourite 5 Oasis tunes?
From that time always hard to say. Supersonic always comes to mind cos it appeared out of nowhere & was laughably perfect for a debut single. From over their whole career for various personal reasons I’d say Whatever, It’s Good To Be Free, All Around The World and Guess God Thinks I’m Abel.
What did you think of the recent exhibition and did you feature?
Thought it was pretty good. I had some of the stuff off the original DM sleeve. The globe & the Burt Bacharach & Rodney Marsh pictures were mine, they borrowed them for the photo-shoot so I dug them out for the mock-up they did of Bonehead’s front room. Lent them some unseen photos but they weren’t used so maybe put them on show at the night in August
When did you start DJing for the band and what venues stick out. What is life as the on-tour DJ like?
Started DJing for them on the Be Here Now tour 97-98 & did that up until the last tour. Most of the venues were identikit arenas but DJing at The Etihad & Wembley Stadium was a top buzz. Others that stand out are places like Madison Square Gardens, Hollywood Bowl & anywhere in South America, Japan, Scotland & Italy is always great. Top job!
What ten tunes will you always play before the gig?
Always brought them on to Sons Of The Stage by World Of Twist or Hawkwind’s version of Gimme Shelter. Usually threw in Sister Surround by The Soundtrack Of Our Lives. Other regulars would be Cranked Up Really High (Slaughter & The Dogs), Party Seacombe (George Harrison, from the soundtrack to the film Wonderwall), Life & Death (Chairmen Of The Board), Big (New Fads), Tell Me (Stone Roses), All Around The World (The Jam), Maybe Tomorrow (The Chords), Shit like that really.
Do you still see the Brothers and the original members?
See a lot of Noel. Still tour with him & look after the lock-up where his gear’s stored. Last saw Liam & Bone at the opening of the DM exhibition cos I was down DJing at it. Saw Gem & Andy not so long ago. Not seen any of the others for a bit now.
Will they ever reform?
Dunno. Never ask. Doesn’t look too likely in the short term cos the’re busy with their own shit anyway.
Is it true that Liam’s double denim look on supersonic was inspired by you?
Was inspired by not wanting to wear double nylon-shell.
A lot of people not connected to the band have released books, surely you must be thinking of doing one given the access you had?
Can’t be arsed, couldn’t give a shit. No money in books anyway now.
What can we look forward to at the Scala and how good are Oasis UK?
Should be loads of good music around, top atmosphere & Oasis UK are shit hot. The closest you’ll get to the real deal this year anyway.
And Finally, Is it true that you are only person allowed to use the term Official in an oasis capacity these days?
Well I was the only guy on tour with them actually DJing at their gigs for 15 years. Paulo Hewitt did a few with me on the Be Here Now tour while he was writing his book but there was certainly nobody else doing it. Probably a few frauds & fakers out there claiming things they shouldn’t but life’s full of idiots so don’t believe the truth you’re being told.