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After Oasis ended in a flurry of kung-fu kicks and punches, Noel Gallagher went away and quietly made a solo record, which could just be his finest collection of songs yet. In a revealing interview with Stuart Clark, he talks about new beginnings, making babies, Amy Winehouse, Morrissey, John Lydon, the Queen and that violent night in Paris with Liam.
Stuart Clark, 28 Oct 2011
The Tower Bridge Business Complex in Bermondsey, London SE16 seems an unlikely place for a scurvy rock hack and his faithful snapper companion to be heading, but tucked in among all the industrial units is Backline, the famous rehearsal space where Noel Gallagher is preparing for his first tour at the helm of new outfit The High
Walking into reception myself and the boy Keogh are greeted by a sign bearing a bastardisation of the old Hunter S. Thompson quotation, to whit: “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs. But there is a negative side.”
Ah, the good doctor always did have a way with words. Walking down the corridor to the outside terrace where Mr. Gallagher is holding court, we see evidence of the warren-like building having previously been occupied by Joan Jett, Corine Bailey Rae, Jimmy Page, Robbie Williams, the Manics, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Massive Attack, The Raconteurs, Coldplay, Duffy, Kylie, Amy Winehouse, Rod Stewart, Muse, Paul McCartney and – cue swelling of national pride – Boyzone.
I’ve met Noel on eight or nine previous occasions and, while greeted with a firm handshake and smiley “hello”, he’s not his usual super-ebullient self today.
Maybe the ten-hour stints in the studio are getting to him or he’s worried about what sort of reception his first post-Oasis album, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, is going to get.
It’s only after we’ve made good our escape from Bermondsey that we hear the breaking news – Liam Gallagher has filed a High Court action over Noel’s claims that he pulled out of a 2009 festival appearance because of a hangover. He’d been severely pissed off about it in February when the K-monster and myself met him and the rest of Beady Eye in a rather more salubrious part of London.
“I’ve never cancelled a gig out of stubbornness, only if I can’t speak,” Liam growled. “Singers do get sore throats but some people haven’t copped on. If you can’t speak, you can’t fucking sing.”