Pat Carty casts an appreciative ear over Noel Gallagher’s late bid for Album of the Year.
In this age of bland talent show pop stars, and ten-a-penny indie chancers, it’s a relief to have Mayo’s favourite (grand) sons, the Gallagher brothers, back doing what they do best: taking lumps out of each other in public.
&WTKPI VJGKT TGEGPV CRRGCTCPEG QP $$%oU|.CVGT 9KVJ ,QQNU *QNNCPF PGY High Flying Bird and Gallic lentil enthusiast, Charlotte Marionneau, was at a loss for what to do when she wasn’t singing. Noel: “I said to her, ‘can you play the tambourine?’ She said, ‘I cannot play the tambourine.’ I said,
‘Oh right. Shaker?’ ‘Non. I can play the scissors.’ A French bird in a cape RNC[KPI VJG UEKUUQTU! +V FQGUPoV IGV CP[ DGVVGT VJCP VJCV q +P TGURQPUG .KCO requested someone peel spuds on stage with him, and, in Bethnal Green, a punter showed up with a potato and peeled it. You’d be a long time waiting for this kind of sport out of Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran.
After picking up pretty much where Oasis left off with 2011’s Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and 2015’s Chasing Yesterday, Noel’s latest,
9JQ $WKNV 6JG /QQP! KU CP OWUKECN QH CNOQUV $QYKG USWG RTQRQTVKQPU A goodly part of the credit for this reinvention goes to Belfast producer and XKDGOCUVGT &CXKF *QNOGU YJQ TGHNGEVU VJCV |p2GQRNG NQXG 0QGN CPF VJG[oTG desperate for a really big, bold, up-tempo beast of a record – a lot of Noel’s music is quite mid-tempo, this one is fun.” Gallagher and Holmes spent months hanging out dipping into Holmes’ vast and eclectic music collection, everything up to and including “obscure French fuckin’ jazz shit”, according to Gallagher. Once they pressed ‘record’, Holmes insisted Gallagher try harder when anything sounded like either Oasis or the High Flying Birds.
A good example of this new approach is the opening ‘Fort Knox’ Gallagher GZRTGUUGF CP CRRTGEKCVKQP HQT -C[PG 9GUV UQ *QNOGU GPEQWTCIGF JKO VQ pretend they were recording a track for the man himself. A chanting vocals, ringing alarm clock, big beat belter, it’s a distant relative of ‘Fucking In The Bushes’ by way of Primal Scream’s ‘Kill All Hippies’.
Other highlights, amongst many, include the slithery, circular guitar riff QH n$NCEM #PF 9JKVG 9QTNFo VJG pUWTGN[ VJCVoU %NGO $WTMG!q $NQPFKG UV[NG drums on ‘She Taught Me How To Fly’, and the ‘Come Together’ update of n$G %CTGHWN 9JCV ;QW 9KUJ (QTo ,QJPP[ /CTT RTQRU WR VJG DTGG\[ RQR QH n+H .QXG +U 6JG .CYo DWV OWEJ OQTG KPVGTGUVKPI CTG n+PVGTNWFGo CPF n'PF %TGFKVUo Frenchy instrumentals by way of Air or Zero 7 that are so Gainsbourgy, you half expect old Serge to turn up muttering something unsavoury about school girls.
Still not convinced? Have an éist to lead single ‘Holy Mountain’, a glam stomper that combines Bowie’s ‘Diamond Dogs’, The Glitter Band, Plastic Bertrand’s ‘Ça Plane Pour Moi’ and, yes, Ricky Martin’s ‘She Bangs’. If you’re not at least slightly intrigued then you may be reading the wrong magazine.
.KCOoU EQOOGPV p2U[EJGFGNKE OWUKE D[ C DGKIG FTKR KU NKMG C XGIGVCTKCP trying to sell you a kebab”, is amusing, but misplaced. “This is the best music Noel’s made since the days they shared a stage together, and better than a lot of that too.