“In hindsight, perhaps I should have packed it in when the record company called me up as I was getting ready to record our second album and said, ‘Just write another twelve songs like “Bang Bang You’re Dead” and you’ll be fine.’ Then again, perhaps it should have been when Didz and I stumbled on to the set of Soccer AM clutching our pints of milk, weaving towards an alarmed looking Helen Chamberlain and Tim Lovejoy. We’d play Wolverhampton the night before, and I was quite ill – it seems as if I’m always ill – so we’d got some extra gear in to compensate, to keep me going. I remember going into makeup early that bright morning and rolling about a bit and the people in there exchanging startled galances. We hadn’t slept and all we wanted was a drink; both of these things might have been obvious to anyone turning in to the show as they munched their cornflakes and sipped their coffee or Alka-Seltzer. We were pursuing a rather more radical path of hangover abatement, that of pushing on through and drinking into the middle of the following week, but unsurprisingly; if disappointingly, the green room at the Sky studios in west London didn’t have a wet bar, or if it did then it wasn’t stocked at nine in the morning. Which was why we opted for milk: it came in pints and the heft of it felt good in the hand. I think when Didz spat milk all over Tim Lovejoy’s shirt that Tim was less enamoured of our idea. He wasn’t that keen on us in general, I suspect, but, to his credit, he didn’t force the bottle up Didz’s nose, only made an aside about how bad it would smell later and soldiered on. If I could have focused on him, I would almost certainly have been impressed. For respite, they cut to a montage of the season’s best goals so far, and Didz leant over to the equally impassive Helen Chamberlain as she was reading the voiceover accompanying the goals being neatly slotted in on the monitor. ‘When,’ asked Didz, ‘does this go out on TV?’ His question was audible to everyone in the studio at the home. Didz has one of the most advanced senses of humour I’ve ever come across and, for better or worse, his sarcasms sometimes cancel each other out, so that it can seem like there wasn’t a joke to begin with. Helen gave him a look like he’d just kicked her grandmother.
After we came from the commercial break they’d wisely moved us down the sofa, where I found myself next to a grinning Noel Gallagher, who was politeness and charm personified as I attempted to chew my own face off. I watched our performance on Youtube the other night, and I look almost innocent in my admiration of the older Gallagher; innocent if you don’t count the half-pound of chang stuck up my nose. You can watch it yourself: the presenters ask me a question that bounces off like a child’s rubber-tipped arrows, and I turn to Noel, possibly a little bit in love, forgetting about the cameras, the dumbfounded studio guests and production crew. I haven’t slept for a few days and our gig in Wolverhampton the night before is a distant memory, but it is a new dawn, I feel alive and I have something important to say. It is vital stuff, I am sure. ‘That song,’ I stutter, and launch into a good three minutes of garbled, nonsensical drivel. There is an Oasis song I really, really love and it is crucial that Noel and the viewing audience know its life-shattering, life-affirming significance, but try as I might I can’t remember what it is called. I go around and around like a man adrift in a dinghy with only one paddle searching for the lever in my memory that would set its title free. Noel lays a reassuring hand on my arm. I am rapt. ‘Live Forever,’ he says, to which I react as if he’d dropped a bottle of Scotch in my lap. I am delighted.
Soccer AM told us we couldn’t come back after that. We had two producers and a floor manager shouting at us: they made it pretty clear that we weren’t welcome. So we departed, out of the doors into the bright sun and as quickly as we could to the nearest off-license, to get back on the horse, so to speak. We were going a BBC Radio One gig that night and I’m certain we didn’t sleep before that either: we got a day room in a hotel and just kept going, cresting waves of totally lucidity before falling apart once again. Strangely, word of mouth spread about our appearance and the viewing figures for our segment shot through the roof; so I think they did call us up again. The next time we slept beforehand…. at least I think we did.” - Carl Barât, Threepenny Memoirs