Q (UK) - - Backstage -

Orig­i­nally, I planned to use my own speech at this year’s Q Awards to open this is­sue. It would’ve al­lowed me to get my apol­ogy to Si­mon Neil for mer­ci­lessly kick­ing Biffy Clyro’s de­but sin­gle into print. But then, at the end of the cer­e­mony, Bono came on­stage to de­liver an award to Noel Gal­lagher and I knew we’d have to run his so­lil­o­quy in­stead. It’s a bril­liant, lyri­cal piece of writ­ing. I’ve no idea how he read it with­out stum­bling once.

Ted Kessler, Edi­tor

“A stu­dent of John and Paul, a pro­fes­sor to ev­ery­one else, town crier, maven of mod, scooter hooter with a hel­met of hair, owner of one sin­gle eye­brow, now di­vided by high-brow al­bums of high-fly­ing tunes, al­chemist, prince of punk, cre­ator of pop chaos and Neil Young­like hairy notes. This man has taken the shite that he has had to wade through and turned it into gold and plat­inum. We hope he is not the last of the al­chemists but no one will make the or­di­nary ex­tra­or­di­nary with such ease. His is the non-sweaty va­ri­ety of Irish soul yet this sage of Bur­nage, this vi­sion­ary of Longview, this avatar of Lit­tle Venice is most un­usual among ro­man­tics, es­pe­cially Irish ro­man­tics, for he is not dis­ap­pointed. He has given the uni­verse and all of us in it a gi­gan­tic les­son in how not to fuck up your life. This is the truth and if we ask our­selves prob­a­bly why we love him so much, he has taught a lot of us a lot of things, but none more im­por­tant than his mis­sus is more im­por­tant. He has, of course, all the rage of great rock’n’roll yet he’s not look­ing back in anger. Be­cause of this, a young girl in Manch­ester will hold onto his song like it’s her life, cos it is. We all hold onto his songs for dear life be­cause there’s so much dear life in them and this is the key to him, this is his key, be­cause, strangely, for a canal bank cur­mud­geon, this man and cu­nian has not turned the world to the shape of his pain but rather his plea­sure, which is ours. So let’s tonight sa­lute the mae­stro of Man City, we are City, su­per City, su­per City from Maine Road to the main man, I felt I knew him be­fore I met him and I did and you can, and he knew me, and ev­ery­one else here. How? Cos af­ter all, he’s the owner of a fuck­ing Won­der­wall, that’s how, brown cow. Never ac­qui­esce, he got the know-how, all around the world on a trash-talk­ing, pub-crawl­ing, even if the plane stalled, he didn’t, son of Peggy, brother of Liam, and Paul, a sit-down, standup comic in the ser­vice of the Su­per­sonic, we will find you gin and tonic, he will make you laugh, give you his au­to­graph, son of Mayo, prog­eny of Peggy, fa­ther of Anais, Dono­van and Sonny, cod of the North but never cod­dled, be­trothed to the beauty that is Sara MacDon­ald, don’t be clever, put your hands to­gether, for one who will live for­ever, Noel Gal­lagher.” Bono, Round­house, Lon­don, 17 Oc­to­ber, 2018.

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