Noel Gallagher Steps Out of Oasis

Oasis management confirms that Noel is out, but only for shows outside the U.K.

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Oasis moved on after the departure of guitarist Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs and bassist Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan, but can it do the same without group mastermind Noel Gallagher? Just four days after Oasis cancelled their show in Barcelona, Spain, due to drummer Alan White's tendinitis, comes the news that the older Gallagher brother has left the band.

According to British press reports, Gallagher walked out on Sunday, two nights before their sold-out show in Paris, reportedly telling his compatriots that he's tired of touring and wants out. London's Mirror had a rather different version of the defection, blaming Gallagher's exit on the constant drinking binges of his brother Liam.

The band cleared up all the speculation this morning on its official Web site, explaining that the guitarist had only abandoned the current tour, not the band. In a statement posted on www.oasisnet.com, the band's management also revealed that they had a replacement in place.

"Noel Gallagher has decided to quit overseas touring with Oasis, with immediate effect, but intends to perform with the band for the scheduled U.K. dates later this summer. The tour will continue, and the band have already found a replacement guitarist, Matt Deighton, who has recently performed with Paul Weller and Mother Earth. Matt and Gem Archer will share the guitar playing in the band. Unfortunately, working in the new guitarist will mean losing some of the French shows, but we're confident we'll hit the ground running with a great live show in Milan next Tuesday night, 30th May. All of the band's European and U.K. shows from Milan will go ahead as scheduled."

In addition to canceling Tuesday's Paris show, Oasis have called off three more French dates: Rennes, on May 25; Clermont-Ferrand, on May 27; and Metz, on May 28.

There is no word from Epic Records at press time when and if Noel Gallagher will rejoin the band.

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