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Oasis Played Their Massive Gig At Knebworth 20 Years Ago Today

Mick Hucknall and Martine McCutcheon were there on a date.

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Around 125,000 people attended each of the two gigs, making them the biggest shows ever played at Knebworth.

Stefan Rousseau / EMPICS Sports Photo Agency

The total number of tickets sold – 250,000 – was also a record, but was topped seven years later when Robbie Williams attracted 375,000 people over three days. Shows at the venue since, such as sets by Anthrax and Red Hot Chili Peppers, have only seen crowds of between 55,000 and 80,000.

Before Oasis's gigs, the largest at Knebworth were by Cliff Richard and Queen, who each played audiences of around 120,000.

Their 1995 album (What's the Story?) Morning Glory was the biggest-selling of 1995 and 1996.

Stefan Rousseau / EMPICS Sports Photo Agency

(What's the Story?) Morning Glory was the band's second album, and sold 346,000 copies in the UK in its first week. It's reported to have sold around 30 million copies to date.

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Because the band's ascent had been so quick, guitarist Noel Gallagher later said, "at Knebworth nobody really knew what we were doing".

"Normally when people play Knebworth it's the pinnacle of their achievement and they put on these awe-inspiring shows. We were just on the piss really," Gallagher told The Guardian in 2008.

"Knebworth was bigger than anything I'd ever seen – a mini-festival really – and was a marker for the sheer influence Britpop was having on the country at that time," Manchester Evening News "What's On" editor Simon Binns has said.

"I remember Liam [Gallagher] and Patsy [Kensit] running over my foot on a golf buggy as they tore around the open field briefly before being mobbed and retreating," Binns said.

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"They were riding the crest of a wave – they were at their peak and it became the defining moment for Oasis and Britpop," Henry Lytton-Cobbold, who owns Knebworth House, told the Hertfordshire Gazette.

Suzan Moore / EMPICS Entertainment Archive

"We had Noel coming to the house on Sunday for a bath," Lytton-Cobbold said.

McCutcheon later claimed to have drunkenly vomited in Hucknall's dreadlocks, resulting in the singer having to cut them off – a story the Simply Red singer said was not true.

Oasis split in 2009 amid bitter feuding between Noel and Liam Gallagher, and nowadays the brothers hardly speak.

The most contact the Gallaghers seem to have is in the form of Liam regularly calling Noel a "potato" on Twitter.

Laura Silver is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Laura Silver at laura.silver@buzzfeed.com.

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