- music - rock music - UK
AFP - Lead guitarist Noel Gallagher said Friday he was quitting British rock group Oasis because he can no longer work with his brother Liam, plunging the future of the group into doubt.
In a brief statement on the band's website, Noel said he was announcing "with some sadness and great relief" that "I quit Oasis tonight."
He added: "People will write and say what they like, but I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer."
He made the announcement after the group suddenly cancelled a concert at a music festival near Paris on Friday, with organisers saying the brothers had had a fight backstage shortly before they were to play.
A spokesman for the organisers of the Rock en Seine festival announced to the 30,000 crowd: "The group no longer exists. They will not play tonight and they are cancelling the rest of their European tour."
The director of the festival, Francois Missonnier, told journalists: "For reasons which are unclear a fight broke out between the brothers. Noel left the festival and no one could make him come back."
British singer Amy Macdonald, who was playing at the festival, wrote on her Twitter page: "Oasis cancelled again with one minute to stage time! Liam smashed Noel's guitar, huuuge fight!"
Lead singer Liam and Noel, his older brother and the main songwriter, have had a notoriously stormy relationship since Oasis were formed in 1991, but rumours grew in recent days that their differences had become insurmountable.
Last weekend the band pulled out of a concert at the V Festival in Chelmsford, southern England, with organisers saying Liam had lost his voice due to viral laryngitis.
But the following day, Liam used his Twitter page on to deny that the band were about to split up.
After Paris, Oasis had been scheduled to play at the Rock am See festival in Germany and in Milan. In his statement, Noel apologised to fans who had bought tickets for the concerts.
Liam revealed this month that his relationship with his brother was so bad that they no longer speak, travel separately on tour and only see each other on stage.
The group's fans took to Twitter to express their sadness at Noel's departure.
PsychedelicAdam posted: "Noel Gallagher leaves Oasis? Gutted, no more Oasis then I guess, they were one of my favourite bands."
Another fan, MattGriffin, said: "This is the worst day ever."
Oasis are one of the most commercially popular British rock groups of recent years, with reports putting their worldwide record sales at more then 50 million.
Their guitar-driven songs, with a nod to the Beatles, were at the forefront of the mid-1990s wave of British bands whose music was dubbed "Britpop" by critics.
Liam was part of the original lineup, with Noel joining soon after.
Originally known as The Rain, the band had changed their name by the time they made their debut album "Definitely Maybe" in 1994.
The following year, they released the critically acclaimed album "(What's the Story) Morning Glory?" and had a public feud with London-based Britpop band Blur.
"Be Here Now", released in 1997, became the fastest-selling album in British chart history, but reports of the brothers' huge rows and rock star excesses were filling newspapers.
The band's popularity waned and subsequent albums received a lukewarm reception, but they have found fresh success with their most recent albums, "Don't Believe the Truth" and "Dig Out Your Soul".