Noel Gallagher opens up about Oasis and his Dubai gig
Let’s get this out of the way early... Oasis aren’t reforming any time soon. And while we’re at it, Noel Gallagher’s suitably-named High Flying Birds isn’t even a band, let alone ‘the new Oasis’.
“It’s not a band, it’s never been a band. It never will be a band,” says the Mancunian as bluntly as we’ve come to expect of one of rock’s straight talkers.
“This is the name of my act. The guys who I am on stage with, most of them didn’t play on the record. “None of them play on the next record. We’re a band when we’re on stage.
“Apart from the guitarist, the other three lads I’ve known for a long time, but it’s not a band. No, no.”
It was just over three and a half years ago that chief songwriter Noel walked out on Britrock giants Oasis, claiming he couldn’t work with frontman and younger brother Liam any longer.
Even now, there’s still speculation over a reunion, despite Liam and the other former Oasis band members forming their own band ‘Beady Eye’ (inset).
Noel’s fairly clear about his thoughts on the idea of returning to the fold. He says: “I’d been in a band, which was more democratic than people make out, for 18 years. I had enough of that.
“I miss that kind of camaraderie in the dressing room afterwards, drinking until five in the morning. But the band dynamic... I don’t miss that.
“It’s like, the band thing you were in business class and this is first class now.
“I get to do what I want at my own pace and I wouldn’t go back to business class for all the money in the world, because you’ve got to go back to making compromises and I’m not sure I’d be comfortable with doing that now.
“I really miss playing all those great songs to stadiums. That’s not me saying I want to go back to doing it, it just makes me want to write more songs like that. I probably never will go back but I’ve got the memories of doing it. Some people never do it.”
“I’m glad I did it (Oasis), but I’m also glad that I’m here doing what I’m doing now because this is different.
“It’s not as big and exciting, because bands are always more exciting than solo artists. And it doesn’t generate that kind of tribal thing that Oasis had.
“It’s like Oasis was a sports car, one of those supercars Jeremy Clarkson’s always driving, and this is a Bentley.
“They’re great cars, but they’re different. I don’t live my life planning for what I’m going to be doing years from now. “That’s it. I don’t even think about it. Like I say, I wouldn’t go back to a band dynamic because it wouldn’t suit me.”
Although he is planning to play Oasis songs as well as material from his solo debut ‘Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ during the Live@Atlantis gig tomorrow night, the 45-year-old admits the break-up was tough to deal with.
He’s not keen to re-open Oasis wounds - he’s gone on record as saying he regrets walking out the day the band were due to play one of their final tour shows in Paris. And he explains: “Every time I went to public things like awards, I didn’t stop to speak to journalists because all they were going to ask was ‘what are you up to?’
“So I thought: ‘Just don’t say anything. Give Liam and Beady Eye the respect they deserve because all they’re going to try and get me to do is slag them off, so it’s best if I don’t say anything’.”
That attitude might come as a surprise to some, especially those who may have followed the Gallaghers in their younger years, when they were both quick to talk in negative terms about their rivals - especially Blur - and other bands.
“I’m not really that competitive with anybody to be honest, not any more,” says the ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ writer. “I was when I was younger, which is understandable. But once you’ve been to the top of the mountain... I’ve seen the view, I do things for me now.
“I’m quite confident in what I can do. People are always going to be interested in what I do. It’s up to me to make it interesting for them. I don’t live to work.
“Some artists, they’re forever in the studio. I do what I do once every two or three years; that’s when it suits me.
“I work to live. I do this job so I can have a great life when I have time off. I’m not really one that has to be creating all the time.”