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Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs has specially fitted window frames in his Manchester home. When the former Oasis guitarist moved in, there were things he just couldn’t leave behind.
“I’ve probably got half the things off the Definitely Maybe album cover in my house.
“I’ve got the fireplace fixed in and working. When I left that original house, I took the stained-glass windows out and I’ve had each piece of stained-glass fitted into the doors, which I had specially made.”
In his studio he has the orange melted clock from the back of the Shakermaker single cover hanging on the wall.
“People say, ‘F***ing hell, that fireplace. If you were to sell that fireplace with the original surrounds [which are hung up in Bonehead’s garage], it would be worth thousands.’
“But I think, would it? Anyway, I’d never sell it – it’s memories.”
Bonehead, who started Oasis with Liam Gallagher in 1991 before they invited Noel to join, left the band in 1999 during the recording of Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants to spend more time with his young daughter, who was only two days old.
At the time, they had all the trappings of fame: big cars, an entourage to match and were renting Christian Dior’s mansion in the south of France.
It should have been fun but it wasn’t. Liam Gallagher was on a drinking ban and Bonehead wasn’t helping by breaking it.
“I’ve no regrets. It was a bit weird after I left and the band got Andy [Bell] and Gem [Archer].
“But I made a decision that no one would take lightly. I was part of the machine that was Oasis and I had to think long and hard about it.”
He’s still good friends with Liam. They were in Barcelona with Gem to see The Stone Roses comeback show earlier in the year, and Bonehead watched Gallagher make his debut with Beady Eye in Glasgow.
Life moves on. After a few years guesting at shows, recording with Scottish singer-songwriter Pete MacLeod and playing intermittently with Manchester band The Vortex, Bonehead has a new band.
Bonehead leads Parlour Flames with fellow Mancuanian Vinny Peculiar, plus Che Beresford on drums and Ollie Collins on bass, both of whom have worked with Badly Drawn Boy.
Bonehead and Peculiar have been mates for years, have jammed together and talked about doing something more serious.
After a few successful sessions at Bonehead’s studio, the idea was to make a four-track EP.
“We did four and found we worked really well together in studio. Four went to eight, to twelve... then we thought we’ve got an album, we’ll get a band together.”
There’s no music to listen to yet, though plenty has been written.
“In Vinny’s words, it’s ‘psychedelic, song-based art rock’.
“As musicians, we are at opposite ends of the scale. I’ve got my own sound and way of writing and playing.
“What drew me to Vinny were his lyrics – every song is a story, with deep, meaningful, quirky lyrics up there with Morrissey and Jarvis Cocker.”
Bonehead describes his style as loud and proud.
“Vinny drew me back on that. For a while there were no big loud clanging guitars on the album. There are a lot of elements added to album I wouldn’t have thought of adding. We’ve got a girl doing backing vocals and flute, and there are strings and brass.
“I would have chosen out-and-out guitar, bass and drums. But we’ve come together and it’s very approachable music – melodic, anthemic. A lot of the songs I could imagine playing in a large field with a lot of people.”
The tracks are currently at the mixing stage but with labels interested, Bonehead says an album will drop in the new year.
Before then, and after only two rehearsals, they are debuting as a four-piece in Brighton.
Unlike Bonehead’s visit to Glasgow to see Beady Eye’s debut, Liam is holed up recording and won’t be travelling to the South Coast.
Peculiar will be singing and the band will run through the album, including Bonehead’s favourite track, Pop Music, Football And Girls – “It’s the best thing he has come up with: light, melodic, very jangly. I’ve called it our Cigarettes And Alcohol.” – plus a few treats and maybe even a Bowie cover.
Just like the memorabilia, the Oasis references will always remain – as will the fans.
“I’d say a lot of Oasis fans will be down. Just the curiosity factor alone will bring them out. I’m looking forward to meeting them after the show.”
- Royal Pavilion Tavern (The Pav Tav), Castle Square, Brighton, Saturday, October 6. Starts 10pm, £5 from ticketweb.co.uk (including £5 of drinks tokens), or direct from the venue. Call 01273 735819
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