The PR gods smiled on Madison last night -- or at least on the handful of Oasis fans who live in Madison. Those lucky souls were treated at Hawk's Bar to a preview of the Brit-pop superstars' film Lord Don't Slow Me Down at an event that doubled as a release party for the band's new greatest hits package Stop the Clocks.
It's the kind of special showcase that's normally the exclusive purview of much bigger cities, and you could tell that the few dozen fans who showed up liked the idea of being able to sidle up to the bar for a pint or two and get their dose of Oasis' irascible lynchpins, brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher, at the same time.
Lord Don't Slow Me Down includes some concert footage from the band's recent world tour, but it isn't really a concert film. Mostly, a wandering camera follows band members as they travel to gigs and interviews and try to accommodate (or ignore, depending on their mood) the media types, backstage scene-makers and hardcore Oasis follower that are nearly always swirling around them. When the film did focus on more than a few bars of a live performance, the fans at Hawk's sang along heartily to their heroes' familiar anthems. Which was no surprise, since hearty sing-alongs that radiate the we're-all- in-this-together energy of English football chants are a big part of the band's concerts.
After the film, fans had a chance to win Oasis albums and memorabilia. Most folks in attendance got something (I won a CD/DVD package of an old album), and even those who didn't win anything in the official giveaway managed to strip posters advertising the event from Hawk's walls. A free film, free swag and a free shot of that inimitable Oasis vibe: now that's what I call a special event.