Gallagher brothers look back in anger as Noel storms out of Oasis
Some might say it's been on the cards for a long time, but with a few choice words on the band's website last night Noel Gallagher announced he was quitting Oasis and bringing to an end one of the most famous partnerships in British rock history.
In typical style he did not mince his words about the cause of the split: his notoriously combustible relationship with his brother.
"It's with some sadness and great relief to tell you that I quit Oasis tonight," he said. "People will write and say what they like but I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer. Apologies to all the people who bought tickets to the shows in Paris, Konstanz and Milan."
The news came swiftly after the band stunned fans by cancelling their second big festival show in a week.
They were due to play last night at the Rock en Seine festival in Paris. But according to reports, the Gallagher brothers were involved in a fight backstage minutes before they were scheduled to go on stage.
The bust-up, which is said to have involved broken guitars, followed more mayhem last weekend when Oasis pulled out of the V Festival with Liam reportedly suffering from viral laryngitis.
Noel's announcement followed months of speculation that the band might be splitting and years of squabbling between the brothers.
In an NME interview last week, Liam said the pair weren't currently speaking. "It takes more than blood to be my brother," he said.
There followed a stream of abusive comments on social networking websites, the pair goading each other with insults.
Liam's postings also revealed that the pair were now travelling separately on tour and only saw each other on stage.
Following last night's announcement the band's fans took to micro-blogging site Twitter to express their sadness.
"Noel Gallagher leaves Oasis? Gutted, no more Oasis then I guess, they were one of my favourite bands," posted PsychedelicAdam. Wolvolass said: "I feel sick, sooo many good memories and gigs seeing Oasis over the years." MattGriffin added: "This is the worst day ever."
As news of the split spread, the band's website crashed as fans desperately logged on to verify the announcement.
Scottish singer Amy Macdonald, who was playing in the French festival last night, wrote on her Twitter page shortly after 9pm: "Oasis cancelled again with one minute to stage time! Liam smashed Noel's guitar, huuuge fight!"
She later updated the page saying "Noel's quit".
At Rock en Seine the crowd were told by Bloc Party, who were due to perform before Oasis, the Manchester band would not be taking the stage. Many of the crowd thought it was a joke, until the big screens at either side of the main stage showed the message "as a result of an altercation within the band, the Oasis gig has been cancelled".
Ben Clover, 28, who travelled from south London for the festival said: "I was hoping to see the band on the top of their game – now I am not sure we will ever see them perform live again.
"There are a lot of British Oasis fans who have come over for this gig and they are very disappointed." The brothers have enjoyed a publicly rocky relationship since the band formed. In 1995, Liam famously refused to join the band on a crucial American tour, leaving Noel to take on lead vocal duties.
But despite a series of fall-outs, neither brother have ever officially left the band before. After the band's formation in 1991, they released their debut album Definitely Maybe in 1994, followed by What's the Story (Morning Glory) the following year.
The acclaimed records and live performances quickly established the band as the biggest rock act in Britain. But never far from the critical acclaim were reports of a tempestuous relationship between the brothers and tales of late night brawls marring the recording sessions.
Despite their recent troubles, Liam has sought to reassure fans that Oasis would not be splitting up. At an outdoor gig on 11 July at Wembley Stadium, Liam addressed the crowd and said: "There's been rumours that we're going to be splitting up. Let me tell you now, we're not splitting up, we've only just fucking started."
Oasis have enjoyed phenomenal success. By June this year they had sold more than 50m records worldwide. They have had eight UK number one singles.
They have also won five Brit awards, nine Q Awards and four MTV Europe Music Awardshttp://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/aug/29/noel-gallagher-walks-out-of-oasis
Pretty sure Noel will be back in a few weeks time.