Fly­ing solo, but a lit­tle re­luc­tantly, Noel takes cen­tre stage

Noel Gal­lagher’s new ma­te­rial might be go­ing down a storm but, as Andy Welch dis­cov­ers, the Oa­sis star never wanted to go it alone.

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - MUSIC -

IT’S vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble to pre­pare for an in­ter­view with Noel Gal­lagher.

The former Oa­sis song­writer’s tack-sharp mind can veer be­tween seem­ingly dis­con­nected top­ics in a sec­ond. It’s best to sit there and do your best to keep up.

Dur­ing an hour with the man known to those who work with him as ‘The Chief’, he dis­cusses his new al­bum, his friend David Wal­liams, his re­cent Ra­dio 2 show, his plans for a new gameshow, The Bea­tles, Manch­ester City and last, but def­i­nitely not least, his beloved brew.

“If I’d known you didn’t drink York­shire Tea, I’d never have agreed to this in­ter­view,” he says with mock hor­ror. “As any tea-maker knows, it’s the only bag.”

Gal­lagher’s de­but solo al­bum, Noel Gal­lagher’s High Fly­ing Birds, was re­leased ear­lier this week. The story be­hind the ti­tle? “So I wouldn’t freak out when I saw it writ­ten down. The High Fly­ing Birds don’t ex­ist, but I couldn’t just be ‘Noel Gal­lagher’,” he ex­plains, adding he took the name from a song by Six­ties psy­che­delic rock­ers Jef­fer­son Air­plane.

A tour be­gins this week, but the 44-year-old isn’t re­ally look­ing for­ward to it.

“I wouldn’t say I was ex­cited. I’m not ex­cited about any­thing, re­ally, ex­cept the Manch­ester derby, which is the same day as the tour starts,” he says, re­fer­ring to Manch­ester City’s forth­com­ing clash with red ri­vals United. “I’m ready for what’s about to hap­pen, which is a level down from ex­cited. If ex­cited is green, then I’m def­i­nitely am­ber, Gal­lagher Snr walked out and it sig­nalled the end of a band that had sold more than 70 mil­lion records. What­ever the state of his re­la­tion­ship with Liam, Noel says some sweet things about his mouthy sib­ling to­day.

“I need him more than he needs me,” he ad­mits at one point, later re­fer­ring to him as the best rock ‘n’ roll singer the UK has ever seen. “I never wanted to be a solo artist. I loved be­ing in Oa­sis, and if the band had stayed to­gether, I would’ve been the hap­pi­est pig in the nicest pigpen.”

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