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Review: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - ' If I had A Gun'
Two years ago this week Noel Gallagher pulled the plug on what can only be described as a British institution. Walking out on Oasis after reaching the final straw with Liam put an end to a band that soundtracked the Nineties and touched the lives of millions.
Many relished the prospect of a Noel Gallagher solo album and saw it as a healthy change of circumstance that was well overdue. Liam and the remaining members of Oasis hadn’t even finished their first pint after the breakup before deciding to carry on making music. Beady Eye were a breath of fresh air and on the whole have surpassed expectations, but not quite blown us away just yet.
Noel on the other hand took a step out of the public eye and let the dust settle. It hasn’t really settled at all and it probably never will, but he couldn’t spend the rest of his life queuing up in Waitrose, and the announcement of his long awaited return was met with both delirium and relief.
Liam Gallagher Plans Two Great Albums Then Get Out of Peoples Faces
Beady Eye are planning an even beadier 2012, promising a second album next summer. Just six months after their debut LP, Liam Gallagher says the group are already plotting a follow-up, promising to release "two great albums then get out of people's faces".
"We were thinking of the second album before we were thinking about the first," Gallagher told BBC Newsbeat this week. "That's the way we do it around our way." Although Beady Eye will spend the rest of the year touring Europe, Japan and South America, Gallagher hopes to return to the studio in the new year. "The way I see it is you hit 'em with two great albums then get out of people's faces as much for yourself [as for] the public," he said. "Have a bit of a break, come back with the third album and then the fourth. Two albums out, two albums out. In an ideal world that would be great."
Beady Eye released Different Gear, Still Speeding in February. It debuted at No 3 – a healthy result for any new group. But Beady Eye aren't just any new group: formed in the ashes of Oasis, the band have struggled to live up to expectations. While Gallagher wants them "to be bigger than the Beatles", Different Gear, Still Speeding has sold fewer copies than any Oasis LP. "The first [Beady Eye] album was making sure we got back out there, back in the ring," Gallagher said. "We put everything into that album, but without a doubt the second will be better."
Liam also claimed he is continuing legal proceedings against Noel Gallagher, over his brother's claim that Oasis cancelled a 2009 gig due to Liam's hangover. "It's not nice suing your family," Liam said. "But [Noel] was telling porkies for the sake of his mates and journalists to get a wisecrack on me. I ain't having that. I ain't a fraud and this band ain't a fraud."
Last week, Noel admitted that Liam did indeed have laryngitis on the night Oasis were scheduled to perform at V festival. "If he gets offended by my opinions on such things then, you know, I apologise," Noel said. "But it's all getting very silly and a little bit out of hand and it's not very cool." Last week, it was reported that the Gallaghers' mother had waded into the fray.
"If [Noel] listens to his lawyers and does the right thing then it'll be well and truly over," Liam said. "I didn't want this to happen.
Liam Gallagher: '...I Don't Take Lightly To Be Called a Fraud"
Liam Gallagher says he is sad about suing his brother Noel over his claims he was too hung over to perform at the V Festival in 2009 but he had no choice:
" Listen, that had to happen, I don't take lightly to be called a fraud."
" I feel sad but I feel a lot sadder that there are people walking around thinking that I wouldn't get out of bed cos I had a few beers" he told 6 Music.
Noel has since apologised for saying Liam wasn't ill and the legal case has been dropped:
"I've called the dogs off a little bit but there still a few things that need to be cleared up, I didn't like doing it and it hurts a lot of people around it but it had to be done" the Beady Eye singer explained.
As for Beady Eye, they have just announced a number of UK tour dates in November.
Liam says they will take Christmas off and dive straight into the next record:
"February or the end of January we will be in (the studio) doing our album.
"We've got enough material for another record and that is what we shall do, whether people like it or not."
Beady Eye haven't included any Oasis songs in their sets so far because they want to establish the band in it's own right but that doesn't mean they won't in the future:
"Maybe down the line, in the third album we might throw some in there just for the crack."
As for his brother Noel's solo album, which consists of a lot of old material written when Oasis were still together, what does Liam make of it?
"I have sung on half of them, it was a lot better when I was singing on them but I am sure people will like the soft approach."
Beady Eye are pleased to announce they will round up a hugely successful year with a string of UK shows for November 2011.
The band released their debut album ‘Different Gear, Still Speeding’ in February which went gold on release and embarked on a sold out UK tour soon after. Since then they have gigged all over the world and played countless festivals including a headline appearance on the NME/Radio 1 tent at last weekend’s Reading & Leeds Festival.
Next week the band (Liam Gallagher, Gem Archer, Andy Bell and Chris Sharrock) will travel to play shows in South Korea, Japan and Taiwan and then onto Abu Dhabi, Europe and South America before returning for these UK dates. A second run of appearances in North America will then take them up to Christmas.
The confirmed dates for the UK tour are below:
11 November - BLACKPOOL, Empress Ballroom
12 November - SHEFFIELD, O2 Academy
14 November - BIRMINGHAM, O2 Academy
15 November - SWINDON, Oasis Leisure Centre
17 November - LONDON, O2 Academy Brixton
Liam Gallagher has reiterated his threat to sue his brother Noel over remarks the guitarist made about Oasis' 2009 split.
A report in The Sun last week (August 24) suggested that the legal wrangle was now done and dusted, with a 'source' claiming that the upset caused to siblings' mum Peggy led Liam to have a "moment of realisation".
However, speaking about the lawsuit to BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat, Liam declared: "It's not over yet."
There are a few things which need to be sorted out. I didn't want this to happen. It's not nice suing your family but like I said, he was telling porkies for the sake of his mates and journalists to get a wise crack on me.
If he listens to his lawyers and does the right thing then it'll be well and truly over. I never wanted it to happen but it has to happen.
The singer announced plans to sue Noel ten days ago over his "lies" about the reasons Oasis cancelled a planned headline slot at V Festival's Chelmsford site in 2009.
During a press conference to launch his new solo project Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds the guitarist claimed Liam had a hangover, while the frontman has always maintained laryngitis was the reason why he pulled out of the show.
Noel subsequently apologised for his part in the spat during an online webchat with fans last week, which you can view by scrolling down and clicking below. He admitted that Liam had a doctor's note to prove his laryngitis claims, but added that the feud was getting "very silly and a little bit out of hand".
Meanwhile, Beady Eye made their debut at the Reading And Leeds Festivals over the weekend (26 and 27). Liam couldn't resist having a pop at Noel during the band's slot on the Berkshire leg of the event, quipping that his brother was playing a "fucking acoustic guitar" elsewhere on the site.
Liam Gallagher Won't Reform Oasis to Sing for Haters
Liam Gallagher is adamant he will never reform Oasis because his new band Beady Eye is the ''best thing'' he's ever done.
Liam Gallagher won't reform Oasis for people who hate him.
The singer insists he has no intention of getting the group back together following his brother Noel's departure in August 2009 for music fans who he thinks don't like him.
Liam would rather continue with his new band Beady Eye - who he formed with the other members of Oasis, Gem Archer, Andy Bell and Chris Sharrock, in the aftermath of the split.
He told Q magazine: "There are some nights when you think this is s**t. But then you had those days in Oasis. Some people are taking time to catch on. The Scottish got it, Ireland was a bit slow. People say about getting Oasis back together, but why should I sing those songs to the 70 per cent of people who think I'm a ****? To me, this is the best thing I've ever done."
Although Liam isn't prepared to get back together with Noel he did this week drop his legal action against him.
The 38-year-old rocker had served papers against his 44-year-old sibling accusing him of releasing false statements about the end of the band, including a comment Liam didn't play the second night of their headlining slot at the V Festival in Chelmsford, England, in August 2009 because he was ill from drinking.
The 'Bring The Light' singer withdrew his legal action after guitarist Noel admitted his brother did have laryngitis before the scheduled concert.
Noel said: "For the record, it is a fact that he was diagnosed with laryngitis and it is a fact that he had a doctor's note to prove it. I'd just like to say that if he gets offended by my opinions on such things then I apologise. It's all getting a little silly and out of hand and it's not very cool."
Guitarworld Gets First Impression of Noel Gallagher's Solo Album
Last night (August 25), GuitarWorld.com's Josh Hart and I attended a listening session for Noel Gallagher's upcoming post-Oasis solo album, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, which comes out November 8 on Sour Mash Records.
Gallagher showed up, by the way.
Allow me to set the scene:
The event took place on the roof (and in an adjoining penthouse suite) of the Mondrian Hotel Soho on Crosby Street in New York City. This meant that, along with the new Gallagher tunes, we also were treated to one of the best-possible views of Lower Manhattan at sunset, not to mention free mixed drinks, which were named after songs from the new album. I made several trips to the bar for a drink called the "Record Machine" -- plus an obligatory beer or two (and a pocketful of spring rolls).
Listeners got to hear six songs from the album, including "The Death Of You And Me," which can be downloaded at Gallagher's website. The five other titles were "Everybody's On The Run," "Dream On," "If I Had A Gun...," "(I Wanna Live In A Dream With My) Record Machine" and "AKA... What A Life!"
I don't know if all those Record Machines, beers and spring rolls had any influence on my judgement, but I must admit: The six Gallagher tunes were easily among the best music I've heard in 2011. This is saying something, because I usually hate everything after one listen.
First of all, it's obvious that Liam Gallagher, Gem Archer and the other Beady Eye blokes took one element of late-period Oasis' sound with them -- the heavy guitars and "rock 'n' roll band" feel -- leaving Noel with the great, soaring melodies -- also leaving him, in a sense, with pure composition without the constraints of the preconceived way a particular band or artist is supposed to sound.
Some of the tunes reminded me of top-notch Oasis B-sides, which, as any Oasis fan knows, is a very good thing. The instrumentation varied from track to track, sometimes acoustic, sometimes atmospheric and dreamy; I thought I heard a Mellotron during "Record Machine," which had a Beatles-inspired feel and beat, much like George Harrison's "When We Was Fab."
Some tunes were slow, moody kings of the minor key; others were upbeat and catchy, surpassing "The Death Of You And Me" in hook-ery and riff-ery. By the way, "The Death Of You And Me," with its New Orleans-influenced brass solo break, is a prime example of the new freedom Gallagher is displaying with High Flying Birds.
"There are no guitars on the album," said Gallagher, upon hearing we were from Guitar World.
"No, I heard a guitar solo in 'Record Machine,' " I said.
"Yeah, there are two solos on the whole album," he said.
Anyway, just so it's out there, the six songs I heard were brilliant. I can't wait to hear the rest of the album.
Stay tuned for a full interview with Gallagher on GuitarWorld.com in the very near future.
Liam Gallagher took the opportunity to have a dig at brother Noel during Beady Eye's Reading Festival debut on Friday, but Twitter was far from impressed.
The former Oasis stars have been embroiled in a bitter war of words since the band’s acrimonious split in 2009, with Liam even launching a lawsuit against his brother after Noel accused him of pulling out of V Festival because he was too hungover to play.
Liam has since dropped the lawsuit but their rivalry continues, with Liam telling the audience during Beady Eye’s set that Noel was probably ‘somewhere over there playing a f**king acoustic guitar’.
Noel probably won’t be too concerned by the dig, as Beady Eye were subject to a barrage of criticism by Twitter users last night as the BBC aired highlights from their set.
One fan was pleased to see the band’s name trending, writing: ‘Beady Eye are trending! Not as good as Oasis, but still a bloody good british rock band!’
But most tweets were from users slating their appearance, with @petelemania writing: ‘Imagine being at a festival and choosing to watch Beady Eye over... anything else.’
@faamehookerr summed up the thoughts of many by simply saying: ‘Beady Eye are really bad.’
Mike Joyce, former drummer for The Smiths, added: ‘Just watched My Chemical Romance & Beady Eye ont' telly at Reading. I'm so glad I was in The Smiths.’
The band will be hoping for a better reception tonight when they perform at Reading’s sister site in Leeds.
Noel Gallagher's Album Previewed - Epic, Majestic Songs
Is Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds the album fans have been waiting for? After a preview listen to most of the cuts, we'd say so - definitely not maybe!
Noel Gallagher strolled out onto the rooftop of New York's swanky Mondrian Soho Hotel last evening (25 August), exuding the sangfroid cool of a guy without a care in the world.
The singer-songwriter and guitarist, casual chic in jeans and a fitted plaid shirt, his hair closely cropped, was in the Big Apple to say hello to an intimate gathering of label execs and journalists who had just heard a six-song preview of his upcoming solo album, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.
'Much-anticipated' solo album, that is. In a pre-playback speech, Mercury Records President David Massey, who during his time at Epic Records signed Oasis to the US, alluded to the fact that a Noel Gallagher disc was something that fans had clamored for since the band's debut in the early '90s. "But Noel was quite clear that there would would never be a solo album from him as long as there was Oasis," Massey said.
A few minutes later, with glasses clinked and good cheers exchanged all around, we were treated to a generous helping of the ten tracks that make up Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. What follows are MusicRadar's general impressions of the songs - and it should be stressed that what we heard was in a group setting, with several chatty Cathy's nearby.
1. Everybody's On The Run
A rousing opener. Epic in nature, recalling the grandeur of George Harrison's All Things Must Pass, with soaring background vocals and heart-tugging strings that blend for a massive dramatic sweep. Throughout, Noel sings like a desperate, impassioned soul, weaving melodies that swirl around one's head but stick like glue. The bridge has a classic rock feel, a symphonic build-up. Acoustic guitars overwhelm and lead into the last resounding chorus. Gradually, the music drifts away, leaving Noel, alone on a hilltop, singing the title hook. That's one smashing song!
2. Dream On
No, not a cover of the Aerosmith classic, but on first listen it's a big-time sing-along. A jaunty, pounding beat joined by briskly strummed acoustics, it's something of a more aggressive She's Electric, but Noel, in a more throaty vocal, brings a new kind of charm to the proceedings. Brass dominates the middle section, with a trumpet solo that transports one to New Orleans. "Dream on/ shout it out to me," Noel pleads in the final chorus as drums and brass build, only to be overtaken by electric guitars that conclude the song with a rocking flourish.
3. If I Had A Gun
Ever since leaked soundcheck demos of this song appeared on the internet, much interest has attended its studio rendering, and the results don't disappoint. After a bare bones, acoustic-and-vocal, quasi-Wonderwall opening, the song blossoms into just what might become a modern-day rock standard. Gallagher's vocals are emotional but never mawkish. The bridge and solo sections are stirring, with acoustic guitars and strings piling up. But it's Noel's double or triple-tracked harmonies, haunting and vulnerable, that really hit the target. Hands-down winner on this one.
4. The Death Of You And Me
Being that it's the first single from High Flying Birds, the capoed acoustic intro that ushers in Noel's gentle falsetto is already familiar to millions. The overall mood is laid-back, '70s era Kinks, with a melancholy Gallagher singing, "High time, summer in the city/ kids are looking pretty/ but isn't it a pity in the sunshine." And, of course, he draws out that last word, making it almost a sneer - "sunshiiiiine." While the track bears an unmistakable resemblance to The Importance Of Being Idle, it gradually takes on its own form, looming larger, with another taste of New Orleans-style brass creeping in.
5. (I Wanna Live In A Dream In My) Record Machine
An endearing, wondrous cut. Over an acoustic guitar and a Phil Spectorish jingle stick, Noel begins singing what might be his own teenage symphony to God. Bass and electrics climb aboard, with Noel's double-tracked voice becoming mega. And then there's strings as he sings the title big and bold in a chorus that is bound to stick - we're talking cell-phones in the air. Whether it's an homage to the Wall Of Sound or not, the sonics increase, and before long Noel is at the top of his lungs, open-hearted and open-throated - it's a delirious feeling. After a brief, gentle break, the song breaks away into a grand gallop. Here's one pony that can't be tamed.
6. AKA... What A Life!
A four-on-the-floor tom beat drives this incessant rocker. Noel, cynical and evil, sings with a world-weariness, and as he hammers home the chorus he again draws out the last word, making it "liiiiiiife." Piercing guitars link the verse and chorus sections, but it is with this song that an honest-to-goodness six-string solo finally breaks out - and it's ripping, barking and snarling. A final elongated verse ends the song on an ominous note, but it's one that leaves the listener breathlessly waiting for more.
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds will be released on 17 October 2011 (8 November in the US).
Noel Gallagher Announces Supporting Acts for UK Tour
Noel Gallagher has announced the support acts for his forthcoming UK tour, set to take place later this year.
The singer and his band will play a total of six shows across the UK, kicking off in Dublin on October 23 and concluding at London's Roundhouse on October 31.
Three extra dates were added to the tour after tickets for the previous shows sold-out in under six minutes.
Lead single 'The Death Of You And Me' was released last month, which also includes b-side 'The Good Rebel'.
The single is the first to be taken from Gallagher's much anticipated debut solo album 'Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds', set for release on October 17.
Tickets are on sale now. For more details and to buy Noel Gallagher tickets, check out Gigwise Gig Tickets.
Noel Gallagher's UK tour dates:
Dublin, Olympia Theatre - October 23 support TBC
O2 Apollo Manchester – 26 w/Electric Soft Parade
Edinburgh, Usher Hall – 27 w/Electric Soft Parade
HMV Hammersmith Apollo, London - w/Electric Soft Parade
HMV Forum, London – 30 w/Murray James
London, Roundhouse - 31 w/Folks
Just as the peacekeeping envoy from the UN was being briefed by the Home Office, peace has suddenly broken out in Burnage, Manchester.
Well, Henley and Maida Vale to be precise - the homes of the warring Gallagher brothers.
Liam has dropped his High Court writ against brother Noel after the older sibling offered an olive branch during a webchat for the launch of his new single The Death Of You And Me.
Beady Eye frontman Liam heard Noel admit his brother's doctor's note for Oasis's cancelled V Festival gig at Chelmsford in 2009 DID exist - and Liam decided it was time to move on.
Speaking on a recorded fan chat with pal Matt Morgan, Noel said: "For the record, it is a fact that he was diagnosed with laryngitis and it is a fact that he had a doctor's note to prove it. I'd just like to say that if he gets offended by my opinions on such things then I apologise.
"It's all getting a little silly and out of hand and it's not very cool."
That was enough for Liam and the word was sent to his legal firm to get in touch with Noel's lawyers to put an end to the whole ugly mess.
And about time too.
A source added: "Liam had spoken to his mum Peggy and she was upset by the whole episode.
"That was playing on his mind then he had a moment of realisation that Noel wasn't being vindictive - he was just being cheeky. It was an anger that had built up over two years because he was so angry Oasis was over.
"In the cold light of day he realised his brother was actually being quite calm about it all, and decided a legal battle was a bad idea. Hopefully that will draw a line under it all and everyone can move on."
Noel also paid Liam a compliment on radio veteran Steve Lamacq's show on BBC 6 Music on Monday night.
Talking about going on tour as a solo artist, Noel said: "I couldn't do Supersonic or Cigarettes and Alcohol or Lyla, that is a shame.
"I wouldn't attempt to do the more rock Oasis songs as Liam has such a great rock voice.
"That is a shame, that those songs will not be heard for the foreseeable future anyway. I think it's sad as they're great stadium anthems.
"We've all got to move on. I might do a jazz fusion version of them further down the line."
The ex-Oasis star held a Livestream announcement at seven o’clock today to speak to his fans through Facebook. After answering questions asked by users on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, the singer-songwriter revealed he had scheduled a further three dates on top of the initial trio he had lined-up.
As well as gigs at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre, Edinburgh’s Usher Hall and the Hammersmith Apollo in London, you can catch Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds at the London HMV Forum and the London Roundhouse, as well as in Manchester’s O2 Apollo. New dates can be seen below.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds tour dates are as follows:
October 23rd - Dublin, Olympia Theatre
October 26th - Manchester, O2 Apollo (NEW DATE)
October 27th - Edinburgh, Usher Hall
October 29th - London, HMV Hammersmith Apollo
October 30th - London, HMV Forum (NEW DATE)
October 31st - London, Roundhouse (NEW DATE)
Tickets for Noel's additional shows are on sale this Thursday, August 25th at 9am.
Noel Gallagher Webchat - UK and US Broadcast Times
Noel Gallagher will be doing a live global webchat later today giving fans the opportunity to question him about Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, his forthcoming album and live dates, or anything else they've always wanted to ask.
The global webchat, compered by friend Matt Morgan, is scheduled to broadcast later today (22nd August) from 19:00 (UK time).
Fans can watch the chat live through Noel's official Facebook page HERE!
Questions can be submitted live during the broadcast through Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #AskNoel.
The webchat will also be recorded so fans unable to view the broadcast live can catch it again on Noel's Facebook page from 21:00 EST (Eastern Standard Time USA) then on Noel's YouTube channel shortly afterwards.
There is no better medicine than a can of the black stuff when symptoms of a stinking sore throat start to tickle the back of your tongue.
And here's Liam Gallagher at 3am, in a cold Staffordshire field, doing a bit of self-medicating - swigging from a tin of Guinness with fans. This snap was taken only hours before he disappointed thousands of Oasis fans by pulling out of V Festival in Chelmsford back in 2009.
He must have been really poorly.
One of the fans, who asked not to be named, told Bizarre: "After the gig in Staffordshire, Noel headed down to London. But Liam, other band members and his close friends stayed and had a party in his trailer.
"Liam had quite a few beers. He left at 3am to carry on elsewhere.
"He didn't seem to have anything wrong with his voice."
The Beady Eye singer yesterday launched a High Court writ against his big brother for suggesting in his press conference last month that Liam pulled out of the gig because of a hangover. Liam insisted it was down to laryngitis - and he had a doctor's note to prove it.
And as Liam fires off legal letters accusing Noel of going beyond "rock-and-roll banter" - he has dished out more insults for his older brother in the next issue of Q Magazine.
He said: "He blew it. He could have said, I was a dick, he was a dick, that's life, it's 2011, here's my f***ing record'.
"Listen, our Kid's a mouthy **** too. He said we had a year to come up with a band name and came up with Beady Eye.
"He had three and came up with the High Flying Turds.
"I don't know who dressed him but he looks like something out of Westlife."
To handle all this nonsense, Liam has appointed the PR firm Heather Mills used in her divorce from Sir Paul McCartney. And I thought he was The Beatles' biggest fan.
Noel Gallagher is worrying about his first solo tour.
"One of two things is going to happen," he says.
"Around the 12th gig, I'll be sat in the dressing room, dripping with sweat and thinking, 'I'm easily as good as Elvis. Hey, I'm up there with The King!'
"Or, I will be sat in the same dressing room, going, 'This is sh*t and I don't even know why I left Oasis. Why did I leave that band? We were f**king great'."
It has been two years since Noel quit Oasis following a huge bust-up in France involving Noel and younger brother Liam, a thrown plum, a smashed guitar and lots of expletives.
While Gem Archer, Andy Bell and Chris Sharrock went on to form Beady Eye with Liam, Noel has spent the last year working on his debut under the moniker Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. He's also been working with psychedelic DJ duo The Amorphous Androgynous, who had remixed the final Oasis single Falling Down.
And as far as his "divorce" from the band goes, Noel, 44, says it all started off pretty harmoniously.
He reveals: "After I quit, we had to fold because we were all partners in various businesses - not businesses like selling oranges off the back of a truck, but a touring company and the record label had to close, which took a while and all the money needed to be split. So there was all that f**king nonsense, but as break-ups go, to be honest it was quite amicable.
"Then Liam started doing interviews and then it was like... hmmm.
"But I still speak to Gem and Sharrock and I've got nothing against anybody else. I like to think they're still my mates. There was a period I thought I could just sit at home. But I'm a songwriter. So I thought I'd make an album, which is going to be no big deal. Then it turns out, this sounds pretty good."
SFTW have joined a bright and breezy Noel at a London studio where he's ready for a day of interviews and photographs.
Looking trim and healthy, in a fitted cream shirt, he jokes with Japanese journalists and poses for pictures with a young fan.
Then taking a seat for the next hour, he gives us his full attention on the story of Noel Gallagher post-Oasis.
"I just never wanted to be a solo artist," he admits, stirring sugar into his cappuccino. "I f**king loved being in Oasis."
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds is the Mancunian singer-songwriter's first solo album even though one was rumoured to be on the cards for years.
He explains: "I kept being asked by record labels about doing a solo album but I was happy in the band.
"Yes, I'd been writing songs because I am a songwriter but I didn't think they'd get heard. I thought about doing a solo project, y'know, bash out a few songs in the studio, do a few gigs but I wouldn't have done it at the expense of the group.
"Then at the end of the Dig Out Your Soul tour, I thought 'I'm going to do this solo thing' then go back to Oasis.
"2015 marks 20 years since (What's The Story) Morning Glory? and I thought it'd be cool to play the album in full live and make a new Oasis record. It would be a proper celebration of everything we did. But, it was not meant to be."
And so as Noel hid away from the public glare to mourn "the band that was his life", he started working on one of two records which are to be released over the next year, beginning with Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, which hits the shops in October. "Coming up with the name High Flying Birds might just be the coolest thought I've ever had," he laughs.
"I was driving past Shepherd's Bush Empire and I thought 'I can't see Noel Gallagher up there'. It's not very Ziggy Stardust. So I was listening to Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac then put on Jefferson Airplane's (1974) album Early Flight and there it was, High Flying Bird. Now that's cool isn't it?
"But it's not a band, it's my mates helping me out. I guess in a romantic vision of the future, I will gather together a solid line-up then drop the 'Noel Gallagher' to just be the High Flying Birds. But I might be 65 by then and I'll be more like a low-flying owl!"
Noel wrote the album and played every instrument himself "except the drums and half the keyboards", calling on help from former Oasis keyboardist Mike Rowe, The Lemon Trees drummer Jeremy Stacey, American percussionist Lenny Castro and the Crouch End Festival Chorus and The Wired Strings. He believes this way of working has given him a bit of freedom he'd lost on the last Oasis albums.
"Being in a band is a compromise. Oasis was always, me writing songs and Liam singing them. It's what made us. But circumstances changed.
"If the singer's not allowed to put songs on an album it's grim so, for band harmony, I didn't hog it all. So Liam wrote more, I sang more and Andy and Gem started writing and Oasis became something else.
"I guess this record is more in the spirit of what Oasis was in the beginning, on the first two albums, except it's me singing all the songs.
"Plus it's easier on your own. You get an idea, something happens, you book a studio, within a day you're in there. You don't have to gather everyone. 'Where's Liam? Oh he's in rehab? Where's Gem, Oh he's fell-walking. You can just get in there and think, 'F**k I've made a dance tune.'" SFTW are treated to some of Noel's songs - Everybody's On The Run, new single The Death Of You And Me and AKA... What A Life! - a pounding dance track reminiscent of his collaborations with The Chemical Brothers.
"I asked Fatboy Slim to remix the song because I f**king love him," reveals Noel. "But he said he couldn't do anything with it as it's great.
"I was thinking of the piano from (classic dance track) Rhythim Is Rhythim's Strings Of Life. It was very acid house to begin with and so I was thinking of giving it to someone. I thought about Madonna then (Noel's wife) Sara said, "Don't be daft, Madonna won't sing it. When are you likely to see Madonna?" So that spoiled it.
"It took me back to the Hacienda where, for three years from 1988 to 1990, I practically lived. I loved it and I wanted something to remind me of it.
"But I still wasn't sure so I played it to our office and all the girls loved it. Once girls like it, you're on to a winner. The song's easily up there with the best things I've ever done." In Oasis, some of Noel's greatest songs were inspired by being young and going out, being on the dole then being a rock 'n' roll star.
He says: "It was amazing. I went from working with the Inspiral Carpets to Madchester then to Camden and Britpop. Then I'm at 10 Downing Street, thinking where the f**k is this going to end? Am I going to get a knighthood? Am I going to end up being the Pope? It was a relief when it all stopped.
"But fans grew up with us and inspirations changed. I was writing about being skint. I couldn't start writing about being wealthy or people would tell you to f**k off."
On the new album, Noel says his inspirations include love, hope and "finding your feet".
Noel says: "Oasis were a very macho rock band and you couldn't really sing songs about love. But I never shied away from writing those songs - they were just piling up. For If I Had a Gun, I'd like the listener to think about the person they love the most. It could be your mum, girlfriend or wife.
"The only conscious decision I made to be different on this record was to release The Death Of You And Me first. People always expect you to come back with a bang and I wanted to come back with a whisper. I'm going to draw people in and go, 'Shhhh, yes, they really are trumpets.
"This album has a more human sound, whereas Oasis was about the primal energy. It was in-your-face, like a football match set to music. But this, I would really like people to stop and listen. That's why I'm playing all-seated venues because the lad swilling beer element has got to go." Proud of his solo effort, Noel says having a definitive narrative and feel all the way through adds to the flow of songs.
He says: "In a band with different writers and styles, the album will always be disjointed and never as coherent as Morning Glory where you can tell the same person has written all the songs.
And the story on this album?
"Well, it starts off with Everybody's On The Run where two people are saying 'Come on we've got to get out of here'.
"Then it goes through all the twists and turns to the middle and says, 'What a life, we are having such a great time'.
"But then you've been on this journey and you're thinking this is not where I want to be. (Stranded On) The Wrong Beach is saying the grass isn't always greener on the other side and maybe what you're running from isn't all that bad.
"That's where Stop The Clocks comes in. I'm saying 'Let's go back to the beginning'."
But Noel is very much looking forward. His album with Amorphous Androgynous duo Garry Cobain and Brian Dougans is due next year.
Noel says: "It's exciting working with these psychedelic wizards. I would send demos and in the studio they'd say, 'Yeah, forget it and play along to this drum loop for ten minutes and let's see what happens.'
"It's coming out next summer. It will be out for the festivals next year. That's if I get this tour right.
"I'm not a frontman. I've got nothing to say and I haven't got any moves. And I never will be as good as Liam. My whole life was Sideshow Bob and I was happy."
And if his mum manages to bang his and Liam's heads together, does he ever see a one-off Oasis reunion in the future?
Noel says: "Well I think it's a f**king shame we won't get to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Morning Glory.
"But Liam is on record as saying the thought of it makes him want to vomit and I don't want to add anything more to that."
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds' first single The Death of You And Me is out on Monday followed by the album on October 17.
Singer Liam Gallagher yesterday launched an explosive High Court lawsuit against brother Noel - branding him a liar.
Firebrand Liam, 38, issued a libel writ over 44-year-old Noel's claim an Oasis festival gig was axed because the singer was hungover.
Liam said it was a slur on his professionalism.
He demanded an official apology in a letter sent to Noel through his lawyers Carter-Ruck.
But when none was forthcoming, he decided to take action through the High Court in London.
The explosive move escalated the bitter battle between the brothers.
They have been at each other's throats since Oasis, whose mega hits include Roll With It and Wonderwall, split in 2009.
Liam's lawsuit was triggered by a press conference last month when songwriter and guitarist Noel claimed the chart-topping band pulled a performance at the 2009 V Festival in Chelmsford, Essex, because Liam had a hangover.
The official reason given at the time was Liam had laryngitis.
Speaking for the first time about why he quit Oasis, Noel also claimed he rowed with Liam because the singer wanted to promote his clothing label Pretty Green in the programme for the group's last tour.
But in a statement issued yesterday Liam, said of the hangover story: "That is a lie and I want Oasis fans to know the truth.
"I was gutted when I couldn't play the gig because I didn't want to let the fans down. The truth is I had laryngitis, diagnosed by a doctor, preventing me performing that night."
He added: "There are many reasons why Oasis split. But it had nothing to do with my clothing range."
Noel, now a solo artist, will have to make an official response to the writ to the High Court. And if the pair remain at loggerheads they will have to argue it out before a judge.
A source close to Liam - now fronting his own band Beady Eye - said Noel maintained a "deafening silence" after receiving the legal letter.
The source added: "Liam felt he had no choice but the courts. He feels a mix of anger at how he has been treated by his own elder brother and sadness it has come to this.
"Liam is an old-school rock star. I'm sure there have been times when he has taken to the stage after a big one the night before. But that night he had laryngitis.
"He lived for being the frontman of Oasis and singing in front of millions of fans."
The brothers' spats - sometimes erupting into brawls - have become legendary over the years.
In the final months of Oasis, Noel claimed he only ever spoke to Liam on stage. And Liam did not attend Noel's wedding to partner Sarah MacDonald earlier this year.
Liam Gallagher's statement
I HAVE taken legal action against Noel Gallagher for statements he made claiming Oasis pulled out of the 2009 V Festival Chelmsford gig because I had a hangover.
That is a lie and I want Oasis fans and others who were at V to know the truth.
I was gutted when I couldn't play the gig because I didn't want to let the fans down.
But the truth is I had laryngitis, which Noel was made fully aware of that morning, diagnosed by a doctor.
Noel also falsely stated the demise of Oasis followed a massive row in which he claimed I demanded to advertise my clothing range Pretty Green in the Oasis tour programme.
The truth is there was no such discussion or row between us.
I am used to being called all sorts of things by Noel and I have in the past said things about him. But what Noel has alleged this time went way beyond rock-and-roll banter and questioned my professionalism.
I tried to resolve this amicably but have been left with no choice but legal action. All I want is an apology.
As mentioned at the launch of the website Noel will be doing a live global webchat giving fans the opportunity to question him about Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, his forthcoming album and live dates, or anything else they've always wanted to ask.
The global webchat, compered by friend Matt Morgan, is scheduled to broadcast this Monday 22nd August from 19:00 (UK time).
Fans can watch the chat live through Noel's official Facebook page HERE!
Questions can be submitted live during the broadcast through Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #AskNoel.
The webchat will also be recorded so fans unable to view the broadcast live can catch it again on Noel's Facebook page from 21:00 EST (Eastern Standard Time USA) then on Noel's YouTube channel shortly afterwards.
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds' UK debut single 'The Death Of You And Me' is released through Noel's own Sour Mash Records label this Sunday on digital and Monday on CD and 7". All formats come with the exclusive track 'The Good Rebel' on the b-side.
The digital bundle also includes the video for 'The Death Of You And Me'.
Pre-order your copy now through Noel's official store HERE!
Beady Eye are pleased to announce they have added a date in Vienna to their forthcoming European tour. The band are confirmed to play Vienna's Gasometer on 13th October. The gig will mark the band's debut in Copenhagen.
The ticket details are:
Vienna, Gasometer - Thursday 13th October:
Tickets on sale from 9am (local time) on Monday 22nd August through www.musicticket.at and 0043 1 96 0 96
Noel Gallagher has been limbering up for his solo career with some verbal sparring.
The former Oasis star, 44, who releases debut solo single The Death Of You And Me next week, yesterday faced a volley of questions from Sun readers.
He is going to be a full-time frontman for the first time in his life with new band High Flying Birds - and he's not afraid to admit it's a big step.
Noel says that if he could have written any album other than his own, it would have been Sex Pistols classic Never Mind The Bollocks.
And the married dad of three, who refused to confirm or deny if he was a member of a secret society, thanked God that Manchester City had sold their soul. He even joked about his brother Liam's shop being emptied in the Manchester riots.
Noel's days of sprinkling drugs on his Cornflakes are long gone. But his sharp-tongued mischief remains as potent as ever - as these answers prove.
Q How do you go about telling Simon Cowell you don't want all the money in the world to do X Factor?
JON AITKEN, Scotlandwell, Scotland
A Money was never mentioned. I told him he didn't REALLY want me on there. He insisted he did. I insisted HARDER that he didn't and he gave up asking. My 11-year-old daughter has never forgiven me.
Q Are you planning an autobiography in the future? What would you call it?
THOMAS DOUZIS, Greece
A It's very much in the pipeline. It's gonna be called Sad But True... The Rise And Fall Of Noel Gallagher.
Q Has the way you write songs changed since you became a dad?
A Nothing has changed really except maybe I get less time than usual to write. "A good thing too," some Guardian readers might comment.
Q Aside from The Beatles, what band do you wish you could have been in and why?
A Men Without Hats! (Canadian Eighties synth band who had minor success.)
Q You said a few years ago that you were a fan of Meerkat Manor. What's on more in your house - Sky Sports News or CBeebies?
A It's 50/50 I'd say.
Q Which decade was better for you professionally and personally - the Nineties or the Noughties?
PAUL WRIGHT, London
A What? Is that a serious question? Professionally The Nineties, of course. Personally, the Noughties. I hate that term.
Q What is the best football song/chant you have heard?
A Dunno about the chant but you would be hard pushed to beat the Poznan.
Q Would you ever get more involved at Manchester City - like joining the board of directors?
LEIGH MACFARLANE, Newcastle
A Nah. They're doing a magnificent job up there. I wouldn't mind being a mascot for the day though.
Q If there was one album written by someone else that you could claim as your own, what would it be?
A Never Mind The Bollocks.
Q Will you do more radio shows with Russell Brand in the future?
HENRY GOLD, London
A I'd love to. There have been rumblings between Russ, Matt Morgan and myself. It's pretty much up to Brandy boy, though. We'll see.
Q You were at the Arthur premiere to support your pal Russell. Did you walk out? If not, why not?
AMY JONES, Nuneaton, Warwickshire
A I couldn't possibly comment.
Q What was your reaction when you heard that the Pretty Green store had been ransacked in Manchester during the riots?
MARK CROSSLEY, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset
A Every cloud and all that, eh?
Q What did Robbie Williams' email say the other week?
SARAH ROBERTSON, Sunderland
A Can't remember. Words to the effect of: "I'm sorry for being such a knob."
Q What would it take you to go on I'm A Celeb? And what's your dream line-up?
ALISTAIR ROSS, Wapping, East London
A Could Shaun Ryder's appearance ever be beaten? What would it take? £5million and all the Star Bars I could eat.
Q Who is the first person, other than "the missus", who you play new music to?
GARETH MCDONALD, Leeds
A No one in particular.
Q Are you member of a secret society?
A No comment.
Q Have you been invited to stay with the King Of Tonga yet?
JAY ROBERTS, Kinnesswood, Scotland
A Nope, never actually met him. I could only feel his presence.
Q If your lads started a band when they are teenagers, would you encourage them or tell them to get a proper job?
TONY FLINT, Surrey
A I'd say go for it. Music is a wonderful thing.
Q Was there ever a moment in Oasis when the band were making demos or recording and you said to yourself "I'll have that song for my solo album"?
Q Would you ever consider collaborations on your future solo albums? What about Damon Albarn appearing with High Flying Birds? Or Noel Gallagher on a Gorillaz record?
A I'm open to offers.
Q What A Life is a dance track - what will that be like on stage without a guitar for protection?
A It'll be like that scene from The Office. Not the bit where David Brent does his dance. The bit before that where his new boss cuts some serious rug. I've got moves that are gonna destroy.
Q Have you learned to drive yet?
GARY BROWN, Birmingham
A Nope but I'm thinking of having a right good crack at it. I quite fancy a little bubble car.
Q How are you getting on with your iPad? We hear you are beginning to embrace technology beyond just text messages.
A If I'm being honest, I wish I'd never bothered. There's a lot of unnecessary nonsense that comes with computers that I could have done without knowing - like the language. None of it makes any sense.
Q Do you own any hip-hop records? Do you rate artists like Tinie Tempah and Plan B?
HARRY WRIGHTON, Bristol
A Old school hip-hop pre-Nineties is more my kind of gear. My kids love Tinie.
Q Are you looking forward to getting out on tour?
A I am and I'm not. I am because my record is great and I think people will like it. And I have an obligation to play the songs live. I'm not because I have to learn how to be a front man.
Q Have you given up wild nights out for peach fizz and the healthy lifestyle?
JONATHAN MOWATT, Wythenshawe, Manchester
A Put it this way, laughing boy. On any given night I'll be having it more than you.
Q Is it true you have a personal trainer?
MIKE JONNS, Chingford, Essex
A Yes. His name is Tuff Levi. He invented the "reggae, reggae work-out". The world will witness the fitness on the tour come October 23.
Q Is Sergio Aguero the best ever to wear a Man City strip? Mario Balotelli would make a decent drummer. He's bananas. Which players' names have your kids got on their shirts?
JAMES BARRON, Watford
A Best player was the mighty Jo. I love Super Mario. Total force of nature and style icon. My kids don't wear football kits. When they ask, they can have one. Not before.
Q Have Manchester City sold their soul?
STEVE ANDERSON, Inverness
A Yes - thank God.
Q Would you go for drinks at No10 if David Cameron invited you?
GARETH SHAW, Brixton, South London
A Oh yes - no question. Those Bullingdon boys look like a bloody good laugh.
Q Someone described you as the Manchester Eliza Doolittle (from My Fair Lady, not the ditsy singer). How do you react?
TERRY CARLISLE, Edlesborough, Bucks
A I've never seen My Fair Lady. So I'm not sure what that means. Who said that anyway - Gordon Smart?
Q Will you send your sons Donovan and Sonny to private school?
Q It's 15 years since Knebworth. Sum up your life since then.
Noel Gallagher hopes Oasis can reform in 2015 to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of '(What's the Story) Morning Glory?', despite the problems between him and his brother Liam.
The guitarist admits he regrets quitting the group in August 2009 following a huge backstage fight with his brother Liam as he had big plans to celebrate the release of the band's seminal album - which has sold over 14 million copies worldwide and contained the classic tracks 'Wonderwall', 'Don't Look Back In Anger' and 'Champagne Supernova' - but he hasn't completely given up on his idea.
Speaking about the night of the breakup in Paris - which culminated in Liam attacking him with a guitar - he said: "Well I regret when I was sat in the car and I kind of made a snap decision, really, if I had my time again I'd have thought about it a bit more and gone back, done the gig, done the next, there was only two gigs left on the tour.
"It was a hasty decision I've got to say, and we could maybe have all gone off and done other things for a few years, in my own head the 2015, 20-year anniversary of 'Morning Glory' is looming and we could have maybe come back, made a new album and played that album in its entirety and gone and been the greatest thing ever, but there you go."
Noel is currently gearing up for the release of his debut solo album 'Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds' and a small solo UK tour but he admits he is nervous about hitting the road without his former Oasis bandmates - Liam, Gem Archer and Andy Bell who have since gone on to form new group Beady Eye.
In an interview on the Christian O'Connell Breakfast Show on Absolute Radio, he said: "I like the physical act of touring, it's amazing, it's one of the great perks of the job is to travel around on aeroplanes and visit different places and all that. I mean, I've been in a band for the last 20 years, I've never done a gig without Liam for 20 years, more or less, and with Gem and Andy for like 10 years, that's going to be the most difficult aspect of it. I'd have thought one of two things is going to happen, it'll be around the 12th gig, I'll be sat in the dressing room and after the gig I'll be thinking, `Do you know what, I think I'm up there with Elvis, as a performer I think I'm as good as it gets these days. I mean, who's better than me? Nobody, right?' Or I'm going to be sitting there thinking, `Right, how do I break a thumb and get out of this tour, because I don't like it, I don't like it, I want to go home.' "
The continuing saga of the death of Oasis: whodunnit (and who cares)?
Oasis couldn’t stop fighting when they were together, and apparently they can’t stop even when they’re apart. Andy Bell, formerly of Oasis and now guitarist in Beady Eye, has weighed in to the spat between the Gallagher Brothers, claiming Noel Gallagher “lied about a lot of things.” Bell was apparently annoyed by Noel’s comments about the backstage fight that brought an end to Oasis, in which Noel disparaged Bell for not intervening, or, as he put it, “sitting counting his shoes.” Bell depicted Gallagher senior’s description of events as (not to put too fine a point on it) “Bollocks.”
Liam Gallagher, of course, has already let it be known how he feels about Noel’s opinions. “I just know he lies. Noel wasn’t bullied out of the band. I have (my bad days) but Noel Gallagher can be a little bastard when he wants to be.”
Noel’s not holding back either. “Well, Liam talks a lot, doesn’t he?” he told the NME. “Unfortunately for Liam, he’s a born liar.”
So who is telling the truth, and whose pants are on fire?
Will it ever be possible to work out what really happened in the room the day Oasis broke up?
And does anyone actually really care?
Truth is subjective, particularly when it comes to memory and perception. This is becoming like a rock and roll version of Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon, in which every witness to a crime recollects events in contradictory ways. Only in this case, there wasn’t even a crime, just a broken guitar and some bruised egos. Short of instigating a public enquiry, or sending for Hercule Poirot, I think we may have to just draw a veil over proceedings and move on.
Oasis broke up because there were two brothers in the band, who had been at loggerheads since before they were even in a band together, and tied together by fame and fortune they were forced to act out their particular variation on the Cane and Abel psychodrama in the public eye. For a while this provided much public amusement, since their tiffs were conducted in a ludicrous and quite comedic language, yet the pair were so obviously bound together by ties both familial and musical. They were, in a way, an illustration of the real power of family, because the animosity they directed towards each other was counter-balanced by the unity with which they faced the outside world, performing to mass audiences anthems of loyalty and togetherness, like crowd favourite Acquiesce, where the brothers traded lines and the chorus declared “Because we need each other, we believe in one another.” But now that the group has actually split up, the continued trading of insults is becoming an increasingly embarrassing and even tawdry spectacle, with each tit for tat remark further tarnishing any idealised notions their fans may cling on to. It’s like hearing the Beatles snipe at each other after the band broke up. No one wants to know. They are grown men, with kids of their own, and it would surely behove them to rise above the pettiness, if only to keep down the potential for fisticuffs at the next family wedding, christening or funeral. Of course, that might not attract so many headlines, or sell so many records, and with two separate careers to support, the Gallagher brothers will probably have to keep fighting for the rest of their days in the public eye.
Noel’s debut solo single comes out next week, The Death Of You And Me (which, he insists, is not about Liam, and since it’s a love song, we’ll have to take his word for it). And guess what, it sounds a lot like Oasis, albeit without the big power chords (and with a horn section where Oasis would have stuck a lead solo). It even includes the words “soul” and “sunshine” in the lyrics, which have been something of a feature of Oasis songs. Indeed, I may not be able to shed any light on what really happened in the dressing room the night Oasis broke up, but (courtesy of the Live Forever fan site) I can definitely answer another burning question: How many times has Noel Gallagher used at least one of the words sun, shine, shining, sunshine and soul in a song? The answer is 46, almost half the hundred or so songs he has published in a 17-year recording career (for a complete list, see below). And it doesn’t appear that he is about to change his vocabulary for his forthcoming solo album, which features the titles Dream On (“dream” being another big Oasis word), (I Wanna Live in a Dream in my) Record Machine and Stop The Clocks (which was also the title of an Oasis compilation).
Oh, it’s just like Oasis never broke up, isn’t it?
Are you calling me a liar?
Use of the words sun, shine, shinging, sunshine and soul in Oasis songs, 1994-2008
“Bring It on Down” Definitely Maybe 1994 “Cigarettes & Alcohol” Definitely Maybe 1994 “Cloudburst” “Live Forever”[E] 1994 “Half the World Away” “Whatever”[A] 1994 “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” Definitely Maybe 1994 “Sad Song” Definitely Maybe[J] 1994 “Slide Away” Definitely Maybe 1994 “Take Me Away” “Supersonic” 1994 “Up in the Sky” Definitely Maybe 1994 “Acquiesce” “Some Might Say”[A] 1995 “Bonehead’s Bank Holiday” Morning Glory[B] 1995 “Cast No Shadow” (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? 1995 “Don’t Look Back in Anger” Morning Glory 1995 “Hello” (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? 1995 “Hey Now!” (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? 1995 “Morning Glory” (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? 1995 “Round Are Way” “Wonderwall” 1995 “Some Might Say” (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? 1995 “Step Out” “Don’t Look Back in Anger” 1996 “All Around the World” Be Here Now 1997 “Be Here Now” Be Here Now 1997 “D’You Know What I Mean?” Be Here Now 1997 “Fade In-Out” Be Here Now 1997 “Magic Pie” Be Here Now 1997 “My Sister Lover” “Stand by Me” 1997 “Stay Young” “D’You Know What I Mean?”[A] 1997 “The Girl in the Dirty Shirt” Be Here Now 1997 “Flashbax” “All Around the World” 1998 “Gas Panic!” Standing on the Shoulder of Giants 2000 “I Can See a Liar” Standing on the Shoulder of Giants 2000 “One Way Road” “Who Feels Love?” 2000 “Roll It Over” Standing on the Shoulder of Giants 2000 “Who Feels Love?” Standing on the Shoulder of Giants 2000 “Force of Nature” Heathen Chemistry 2002 “She Is Love” Heathen Chemistry 2002 “Shout It Out Loud” “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” 2002 “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” Heathen Chemistry 2002 “The Hindu Times” Heathen Chemistry 2002 “Lyla” Don’t Believe the Truth 2005 “Part of the Queue” Don’t Believe the Truth 2005 “The Importance of Being Idle” Don’t Believe the Truth 2005 “Bag It Up” Dig Out Your Soul 2008 “Falling Down” Dig Out Your Soul 2008 “The Turning” Dig Out Your Soul 2008 “(Get Off Your) High Horse Lady” Dig Out Your Soul 2008
And, of course, there’s Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds: “The Death of You and Me” 2011
Andy Bell may be in Stockholm but his thoughts remain focused on Japan. The guitarist's new band, Beady Eye, consists of the former members of Oasis who were left standing following Noel Gallagher's acrimonious departure two years ago. The quartet were in the process of launching their fledgling outfit when the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred.
"We'd been watching the news on tour while the earthquake and tsunami were happening," Bell recalls to The Japan Times, "and we knew we had a Japanese tour and we probably wouldn't be able to go. Japan is such a great place, we love playing there. Oasis went there a lot, about 10 times, and it wouldn't have felt right if we'd just canceled and given a refund on the tickets and forgotten about it."
Beady Eye's response, led by inimitable frontman Liam Gallagher, was to help in any manner possible. After performing at the Japan Disaster Benefit show at London Brixton O2 Academy on April 3, they released a download-only cover of The Beatles' "Across the Universe," donating the proceeds to the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal.
"We wanted to make the gig as special as we could — it was all part of the same thing. It was a tune we'd talked about covering and it just seemed to fit the moment. It was all done around one hectic week. Our band loves the Japanese. We've really built up a love for the place. We love the people. We understand them and they understand us. We felt the earthquake ... it wasn't just something that was happening somewhere else in the world."
The goodwill is mutual. Beady Eye makes their Japanese debut this weekend at Summer Sonic with as much public interest as any overseas act performing, save the returning Red Hot Chili Peppers. "Different Gear, Still Speeding" is a factor, an album that, while in obvious thrall to the giants of rock history (The Rolling Stones, The Who and, predictably, The Beatles) contains fine, vibrant moments that would fit aptly into Oasis' back catalog.
If only attention was restricted to music. Inevitably, the fascination with the Gallagher brothers' relationship and its very public disintegration casts a shadow: Bell calls the brothers "an institution," and their hold on people's imagination remains.
After years of well-documented tantrums and bustups, Oasis finally imploded in August 2009. The split came just three days after the cancellation of a scheduled headline performance at England's V Festival due to Liam's laryngitis — a dressing room fight in Paris proved one sibling-spat too much. Noel quickly released a caustic statement bemoaning a "lack of support and understanding from my bandmates" regarding Liam's "verbal and violent intimidation," leaving Bell "angry, because we then knew exactly what he thought of us." The bad blood has lingered.
"There have been surprising aspects, yeah," Bell replies when asked how the baggage of Oasis affected starting anew. "The main shock for me has been people expected us to be so rubbish," he says, snorting out a laugh that barely contains his scorn. It's a perceptive call: the news that a Noel-less Oasis would soldier on without the man who wrote the songs that made them Britain's biggest band raised eyebrows in some quarters, outright derision in others. Why so, I ask. "Well, we know why," he says. Nudged to elaborate, he becomes slightly irate. "So, just because Noel leaves Oasis, everything the others do is bound to be absolute sh-t?! That was a real surprise. Y'know, it's Liam Gallagher, it's me, it's Gem Archer, it's Chris Sharrock — why would it be anything other than great? We were the band as well — Liam was the voice!"
Pushed further, Bell presents a hypothesis: Noel's manipulative skills with the press.
"Noel did all the press and it was always from his point of view," Bell claims, calmness returning to his tone. "He'd make personal opinions about the band members that were not good for the whole band; it was just what he thought. We never got a say. People had 10 years of Noel's opinions as if they were Oasis'. And that's where it's got us, where it's as if the only one to expect something decent from is Noel. Liam has got valid views. And now he gets to air them."
With impeccable timing, our conversation takes place just two days after Noel has announced his forthcoming solo plans at a well attended if faintly self-congratulatory London press conference, during which he accused Liam of feigning laryngitis and making unreasonable demands on Oasis in relation to his clothing range Pretty Green, claiming it was the catalyst for the fatal argument. Did Bell see the conference?
"Yeah, I did."
What did you think of it?
"Bollocks," he replies in a heartbeat. "He lied about a lot of things. The argument about Pretty Green was lies, what he said about V Festival and the fake laryngitis was lies ..." He suddenly holds back. "I don't know, maybe he's convinced that's the truth. I don't know what goes on in his head. I know him, so I'm not disappointed. That's what he's like. I know how he spins the press. He's used the press for years. Interviews and press are secondary for us, that's his life."
There were sections of the press conference where Noel was hardly complimentary towards Bell."That's just Noel being Noel," he says with an I'd-expect-nothing-less air. "All that sh-t ... there were three of us in that room, and I'm telling you it was nothing to do with Pretty Green. I'm not going to add more fuel to the fire. But I've ended up in a band with Liam, Gem, Chris, with the same management, road crew..." Bell trails off, but then perks up. "But at the same time, I wish him all the best. I want him to be happy."
It was in the immediate aftermath of the Paris split that Beady Eye was conceived in all but name. Having joined Oasis in 1999, replacing founding members Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs and Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan, Bell (formerly of shoegaze pioneers Ride) and Archer were Oasis stalwarts and the kinship with Liam meant continuing as a creative unit was never in doubt. "We drove back to the hotel, had a few beers, sat together and said there's nothing to keep us from playing together. We agreed it wouldn't be the end just because Noel left." Could Oasis have survived, in any guise? "That's not for me to think about. I'm not into looking back," Bell says.
Unable "to stand still," they began to demo tracks within a week of their return to England. With songs blossoming, it was announced in March 2010 that Steve Lillywhite would produce the newly named Beady Eye, the dawning realization of their undertaking the only obstacle.
"After the album was done, we did have a moment to catch our breath and say, 'We're in at the deep end here. Are people gonna like it?' We were in at that point. As soon as we walked on stage at our first gig in Glasgow, I just felt huge relief and excitement and I knew it was gonna be alright. No-one turned up in Oasis T-shirts, no-one shouted for Oasis tunes, there were people singing along to Beady Eye tunes because they liked them."
The shows, at theater venues a fraction of the size Oasis long became accustomed to ("we knew that it was absolutely not going to be on that level") have been resounding triumphs: primitive, direct and ear-splittingly loud — "the natural result when us lot get on stage" — it showcased a band comfortable with their circumstances.
Liam particularly, I suggest, seems more engaged with these songs than in some time.
"Liam connects completely in these songs. From day one, it was all about Liam's voice. We put the voice down, but not over a wall of sound, he was the wall of sound. We built it around him. He was the blueprint. He's so plugged in."
It also appears with tumultuous highs and recriminating lows a thing of the past, without big brother watching over, Liam — and Beady Eye as a collective — couldn't be more contented.
"He seems happy, we're all happy," Bell says. "I mean, we were happy in Oasis mostly. I had 10 great years. But we're playing great and we're getting on better than ever. Beady Eye is a band enjoying being together and playing rock 'n' roll."
Beady Eye plays the Marine Stage at the Chiba leg of Summer Sonic on Aug. 13, and the Ocean Stage at the Osaka leg of the festival on Aug. 14. For details, visit www.summersonic.com. Beady Eye plays Zepp Tokyo on Sept. 5, 11 and 12 ( 3444-6751); Zepp Nagoya on Sept. 6 ( 936-6041); and Zepp Osaka on Sept. 8 ( 6535-5569). For more information, visit www.zepp.co.jp or www.beadyeyemusic.com.