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Noel’s prolific songwriting urge is still going strong

By Margaret Chrystall

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WHEN Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds take to the stage at the Bught Park on Saturday, it is likely to be a ‘pinch me’ moment for fans hooked since Oasis single Supersonic was released in 1994.

Oasis may be no more – though there are always hopes Noel and brother Liam will reunite one day – but the songwriting urge has not left Noel Gallagher.

Once said to have written 50 songs in two weeks the year the band was signed to record label Creation, Noel’s prolific songwriting urge is still going strong.

Just seven days ago he released latest single Rattling Rose from the Black Star Dancing EP which will be out on June 14.

And his current tour of festivals and bigger dates follows a set of live intimate shows last month.

In the 1996 biography of Oasis written by early trusted witness to their story, now Highland-based music journalist Paul Mathur, the songwriter talked about the future.

“I’ll keep on doing this as long as I still get enjoyment from it and I can’t see that stopping for a long time yet.

“Some other band are bound to come along one day and be bigger than us or write better songs than us, but right now I don’t see them anywhere.

“Sometimes I think, well, if anything is going to follow us, then maybe I’ll have to invent it.”

Noel Gallagher. Picture: Mitch Ikeda
Noel Gallagher. Picture: Mitch Ikeda

Though for some, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds might never match the soaring fire and ambition of early Oasis, the High Flying Birds’ triple number one albums so far shows a songwriting talent unwilling to stop taking the challenge to better the past and stare down a future resting on the laurels of 20-odd years ago.

Noel might have mopped up his fair share of awards – among them the 2018 Q Awards for outstanding contribution to music and the Ivor Novello Award for outstanding song collection in 2013.

But he still tests himself against a musician’s daily life, taking his songs out to live audiences. And he shares both those legendary Oasis anthems that have woven themselves into people’s lives, their wedding and funeral songs – and alongside them, the tracks that have come next.

The current setlist shows plenty to keep the Oasis fans happy – yes, you will probably get the chance to sing Wonderwall along with Noel.

But there will also be a spread of High Flying Birds’ songs to keep the story up to date too.

A few years ago, the musician’s Desert Island Discs tracks included classics from The Sex Pistols, David Bowie, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Smiths, The Ronettes, U2 and A Guy Called Gerald – few surprises there.

But no surprise at all that Noel’s luxury item was a guitar and plectrum…

Support on the day in Inverness comes from RAZORLIGHT, Johnny Borrell’s line-up which played Belladrum in 2014, after headlining Rock Ness in 2008. Formed in 2002, their single America went to number one in 2006, as did their second self-titled album. Big songs include Stumble And Fall, Golden Touch, Somewhere Else and In The Morning – originally written to soundtrack Dior’s autumn 2005 collection from designer Hedi Slimane. Their last album Olympus Sleeping came out last October.

Neon Waltz, Scotland's northernmost band, travel down for Noel event.
Neon Waltz, Scotland's northernmost band, travel down for Noel event.

Also joining the line-up is Inverness band LIONAL who just released latest single Daylight Hours and are working on an album. Joshua Mackenzie said in a recent interview: “When I was three years old I would stand on my mum’s coffee table wearing her sheepskin coat (this was 1996) with my miniature electric guitar and would mime to the VHS of Oasis live at Maine Road.

Lional - open the day and set the tone for Bught Park gig.
Lional - open the day and set the tone for Bught Park gig.

“I was actually always drawn to Noel more than Liam. My brother explained how Noel would write all the songs, so I found him a more inspiring figure.”

Also supporting will be Caithness band NEON WALTZ, see interview, here:

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds play the Bught Park, Inverness, on Saturday.

Watch the band's quirky Black Star video:

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