Today's Top Stories
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Days of drinking from boots, `live midget lesbian shows' behind them
Once considered the consummate British rock yob, Noel Gallagher is looking suspiciously gentlemanly these days.
The affable Oasis bandleader strolls into an interview at an uptown hotel dressed rather nattily in a black wool jacket and crimson scarf with a distinguished shock of grey hair protruding over his forehead, projecting the air of a man who has joined the ranks of the rock 'n' roll aristocracy.
Gallagher and younger brother/sparring partner Liam, of course, have been predicting this would happen from day one, to the continual (and continuing) ire of their detractors. But Oasis's unwavering "superstar" profile in Britain, the durability of its smash early-'90s output and some 50 million in record sales have, over time, assured the band a place in history.
And if a combination of cocaine and hubris contributed to a rapid tail-off from the early peaks of 1994's Definitely Maybe and 1995's (What's The Story) Morning Glory, the last couple of records — made with the stronger-than-ever assistance of new members Gem Archer, former Ride guitarist Andy Bell and Zak "Son of Ringo" Starkey — have been decent enough to foster hope of another definitive statement at some point in the future. A few weeks ago, Britain's Q Awards still saw fit to named Oasis "the best band in the world," so it's hardly over.
"Morning Glory does cast a long shadow over everything else," shrugs Gallagher. "And even when that came out, in Britain people were saying `Well, it's not Definitely Maybe.' But I'd rather be in that position than, you know, Placebo — I don't mean to bring that band down, although they are shite — so it doesn't bother me now. I'm used to it."
Noel's trip to Toronto was officially undertaken to promote Stop The Clocks, a double-disc anthology being released by Sony/BMG despite the band's exit from the label after last year's Don't Believe The Truth.
He concedes mixed feelings about the "greatest hits" thing and has said in the past that Oasis would only release one in the event of its demise. But since Sony was going to release it with or without the band's participation, he and Liam felt "obliged" to participate.
"We were left with the dilemma of do you get involved and make sure it's done properly with the right songs, or do you not get involved and make sure it's done improperly with the wrong songs," he says. "It's not really a decision that was very difficult to make. If there's Oasis records going in the f--kin' shop I want to be behind them."
To make the promo trip more interesting, Gallagher and Archer are performing acoustic gigs in various cities around the globe — Starkey is on loan to The Who, so Oasis dates were impossible — in tandem with screenings of the new tour documentary, Lord Don't Slow Me Down, as they did Tuesday night at the Danforth Music Hall.
Directed by Baillie Walsh, who helmed the video for 2005's "Let There Be Love," Lord Don't Slow Me Down is a backstage look at Oasis's 11-month slog behind Don't Believe The Truth. Gallagher admits it's not quite as exciting as a film chronicling the band's legendary "wild years" a decade ago might have been, but he's also relieved there were no cameras present then.
"I've seen it and I think it's great but, then, I would because it's me. So I'm not really the right person to ask," he laughs. "You don't get the drinking champagne out of f--kin' prostitutes' cowboy boots at 7 o'clock in the morning, no. Unfortunately. There are no live midget lesbian shows. Although there are midgets in the film. You can't do f--k all without midgets, can you? Every home should have one."
Oasis wrote enough songs for the last album that it "could start another album tomorrow if it wanted to," but for the moment the band is completely idle. There's no rush to sign another contract, nor to record.
"I'm enjoying the time off, really. I'm sittin' on my arse doing f--k all. I watch a lot of television and cater to my girlfriend's every f--kin' whim for the seven months that I see her. And then I don't see her for two years."
Ben Rayner, Pop Critic
For Breaking News visit our flagship site Live4ever Media
Make sure to join the world's largest Oasis Community
Pretty Green - mens clothing from Liam Gallagher
Visit our extensive news archives on the left sidebar for more!