Special Thanks to ThisDayinMusic.com

It was a pivotal day in the story of Oasis, England’s greatest rock and roll band of the past 25 years. Putting together a damn fine band is one thing, releasing records quite another. Fortunately for Noel and Liam Gallagher, and rock fans in general, a slightly older, more experienced Liverpool group lent a hand, allowing them to record those priceless demos that sealed their deal with Creation Records.

The Real People, or The Realies, were formed by brothers Tony and Chris Griffiths in Liverpool in 1987 and played a key role in rock and roll’s fight back against the synth-heavy music scene of the ‘80s. The Realies’ brand of Beatles influenced, heavily melodic guitar rock scored them a record deal with Columbia. Their self-titled album sold over 100,00 copies and they released three punchy singles, “Open Up your Mind,” “Window Pane” and "The Truth," all to critical acclaim.

They recorded a second album, Marshmellow Lane, but when Columbia was sold to Sony, the Real People (and plenty of other acts) were lost in the shuffle and the album never actually hit the stores. Brothers and songwriters, Chris and Tony started their own small recording studio in Liverpool. They had met Noel Gallagher on an Inspiral Carpets tour (Noel was a roadie) and he’d told them about his band. Tony told Mojo magazine: “We tried to get a guy called John Bryce, who was working for our publisher at the time, to give us some money and take them into the studio. He couldn’t, so we recorded them on an 8-track at our place on the Dock Road in Liverpool in 1993.

“We recorded about 20 tunes; out of them a few turned out as B-sides and a few turned out as the demo of the album tracks (“Rock n Roll Star,” “Strange Thing,” “Bring it on Down,” “Fade Away,” “Columbia,” “Cloudburst,” “D’You Wanna Be a Spaceman” and “Married with Children”) but we did do a load more and I think I’m the only one with the actual demos.”

Despite Oasis being from Manchester and The Real People from Liverpool, the Mancs and the Scousers had a lot in common. Two sets of brothers and two sets of Beatles and jangly guitar fans, for starters. But Oasis were new to recording and the Griffiths’ greater experience helped Liam in particular. Tony recalled to Mojo: “You’d never believe it now 'cos they’re so experienced, but Liam had never really sung with headphones on; it freaked him out! The reason that people say Liam sounds like our Chris is because what we originally did was Chris sang the vocal and then we gave Liam another track and got him to sing along to that.

“Then we took Chris’s vocals off and got Liam to double track to himself, so he got hold of all of our kid’s phrasing. The most musically talented of all of them was Bonehead. He was really good on the piano and stuff and Noel was quite good on the drums.”

Chris Griffiths has no doubt, however, that despite Liam’s inexperience, the younger Gallagher was the vital cog in the Oasis machine. “Liam was a star from the first day you saw them; without him it wouldn’t’ve been the way the way it was; Liam made the band.”

With demo tape in hand, Oasis somehow got themselves to Glasgow in May for a gig at King Tut’s. In the audience was a certain Alan McGee, head of Creation Records, who was so blown over by the band that he offered them a deal that night. The copy of the Live Demonstration cassette he took home with him after the gig only confirmed McGee’s instincts. Creation signed a six-album deal with Oasis a couple of months later.

While Oasis went on to worldwide glory, The Real People remained in the shadows, performing and recording, even seeing Cher take one of Tony’s earliest songs, “One by One,” to the top of the charts. Since the Cher recording sold in excess of 6 million copies, the Griffiths brothers were able to build their own studios in Birkenhead, Liverpool. The band has opened for Bowie, Nelly Furtado and Ocean Color Scene, and they have had songs covered by Ocean Color Scene, Rooster, Atomic Kitten, Tunde and Nylon. A new album is in the works.

As for Oasis, Tony Griffith has only best wishes. “We feel really proud to have been involved in their story. It’d be easy to feel jealous of their success but we’ve got our own fish to fry.”