Two years after a bitter blow-up with his brother Liam drew the curtain on Britpop sensation Oasis, Noel Gallagher makes the jump from ‘sideman’ to frontman as his solo debut album hits shelves on Monday. “I was a sideman for 20 years and I loved it,” said the 44-year-old, who always cut the quieter figure as guitarist and main songwriter for Oasis, while the wilder Liam supplied the rock n’ roll antics front of stage.
“I don’t like being at the centre of attention,” said Noel. “But once you’ve been in a band like Oasis, what’s the point of being in another band? There’s only one option and that’s doing it yourself.” Sibling tensions between the Manchester duo exploded ahead of a Paris show in August 2009 and now both are vying for attention once more with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds released on Monday by Sour Mash Records/Pias, eight months after his little brother’s debut with his new band, Beady Eye. Noel admits he was ‘upset’ by the acrimonious split-up, and that it took more than a little prodding to get him back in the recording studio.
“To be honest after Oasis I got back to London and sat in my house and then it was my wife who said to me: ‘When are you going back to work?’” After some prodding, the singer gathered all his material together and set to work. “As soon as I was in the studio it was great,” Gallagher enthused. “It was a completely different experience. The process of the work was far more enjoyable for me. I would spend two weeks in the studio and then take three weeks off. But in those two weeks I would work 12 hours a day nonstop, whereas in Oasis, I would do my bit and then sit down for six hours and wait for someone else to do their thing.”
The 10-track Flying Birds album was recorded in London and Los Angeles over an 18-month stretch, along with a second album — an as yet untitled collaboration with psychedelic outfit Amorphous Androgynous that is set for release in 2012.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2011.