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Noel Gallagher: Solo Artist – What the world’s been waiting for?

He probably wouldn’t thank you for the comparison, but Noel Gallagher has been the Ryan Giggs of music for years now: although he played for someone you couldn’t stand, you always thought he seemed a good bloke personally. If you want to torture this one out further, you could say both of them started brilliantly, dipped severely in form but then came back to reach vaunted elder statesman level late in the day.

But the news today that Gallagher’s first shows as a solo artist – as opposed to solo shows, which he’s been doing for years now – will be held next month in London for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Always a musical classicist (or conservative, depending on your viewpoint) is it too late to expect much more than the status quo?

His growing frustration towards the end of his time in the group he created was fairly evident. Previously seen universally as the creative hub of the band, his songwriting contribution dropped each album, to the point where he only contributed half of the band’s largely boring 2008 swansong Dig Out Your Soul. He seemed bored by everything to do with his band. In interviews, he was his usual charming and funny self until the conversation turned to his band and, specifically, his brother. But then again, the increasingly sad antics of the simian perma-teen Gallagher brother bored the arse of everyone else by this point too. When he announced that Oasis were done and dusted, you really couldn’t blame him.

So, here he is, richer than he could ever have imagined and a genuine, bona fide British national treasure. What does the future hold? He’s still capable of writing a corking tune when his muse grabs him – listen to ‘The Shock of the Lightning’ for proof – but it’s seemed to be motivation which has been his main problem in the last few years. Quite frankly, a hungry Noel Gallagher does not allow ‘Little James’ to appear on an Oasis album. Sometimes it is easy to forget how hard they lived in the 90s, and how much it seemed to take out of the elder brother. The constant, wearying pressure of having to cope with his brother as he grew up and Liam didn’t seemed too much for him.

Musically, it’s all there for him to go and do what he likes. It’s probably unlikely to stray far from Beatles/Bowie/ELO land, but he’s good at what he does and people like him. It’s probably too much to hope for a five star classic, but a Welleresque re-appraisal is not out of the question. He remains incredibly popular, as tiocket sales for Oasis shows proved. It would be fantastic to be sitting here in a year with a must-have Noel album. We wish him well.


One Response

  1. I would bet good money that hsi albums will be better than the Liam led Oasis-lite effort. Despite Oasis being tedious for years now he is a good songwriter and knows his classic rock. Liam G on the other hand…

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