It’s 1991 and Noel Gallagher is working as a roadie for Inspiral Carpets, eager to break into the music business himself.
What happened next proved to be the decision which changed his life. He joined younger brother Liam’s new band, propelling him to rock stardom.
I wasn’t ready for the positive reaction from those gigs, I was amazed that it reached arena level so quickly.
After 18 years together and 13 albums, Noel quit the band following a backstage argument with Liam.
Not one to rest on his laurels, he then ventured into a solo project eponymously named Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. The band have gone from strength to strength since their incarnation in 2011, with second album ‘Chasing Yesterday’ released in February this year to critical acclaim, and a Q Award for Best Album for the trophy cabinet.
They are heading out on tour next spring with shows at Glasgow Hydro (April 21) and Aberdeen GE AECC (April 24).
Noel reckons that when people come to see him in concert it’s a treat for the ears, but not necessarily the eyes.
He said: “I often say when people tell me they’re coming to see me, that there’s nothing to look at. There’s plenty to listen to, just nothing much to see.”
The new tour comes on the back of the huge success of the last one, which saw the band rock Edinburgh Castle in 2012.
“I wasn’t ready for the positive reaction from those gigs,” he said. “At first I thought I’d just about tolerate being a centre-stage singer every night, but I really enjoyed it, probably because neither I nor the audience had any expectations. I was amazed that it reached arena level so quickly.
“When the Oasis tours finished it was always great to get away from the chaos and take a year off, but I got bored extremely quickly.
“I had no idea what I was doing from one day to the next. I watched telly, went to the shops, and gave thought to getting back into the studio.”
The new material has a more mature sound and a few saxophone solos thrown in for good measure.
“I was listening to ‘Pinball’ by Brian Protheroe (sax-laden one-hit wonder from 1974, in case you were wondering) and thought, shall I actually get a saxophone player? And what if I get him to play no one, but two solos?” Noel said “I know I’m going to be accused of sax crimes – I’m guilty of saxual harassment!
“But this is not Oasis, there’s nobody to tell me not to. And when you listen to that saxophone, please don’t think about that guy from Spandau Ballet. Think instead about a dude from New Orleans who is just so incredibly cool.”
‘The Ballad Of The Mighty I’, the album’s emotional closer, gets its disco guitar sound courtesy of Johnny Marr, Noel’s guitar hero.
“I tried to get him to play on the last album but it never happened,” he said. “So when I put this track together and knew he would be perfect for it, I called him and asked if I could send him the rough mix.
“He said: ‘No, I don’t want to hear it. I’m just going to react to it on the day.’
“He didn’t even want any pointers. Well, that was brave of him! He just arrived with two guitars and a bag of effects pedals slung over his shoulder.
“He’s unbelievable – on another level to the rest of us.”
The record is a different sound to Noel’s former band. For every Oasis-styled track, there’s a free-flowing masterpiece. More importantly, it’s the sound of Noel Gallagher finding his freedom and spreading his wings.
Visit www.noelgallagher.com for tickets.
New single ‘The Dying Of The Light’ taken from the album ‘Chasing Yesterday’ is released on December 11. It includes B side ‘The Girl With X-Ray Eyes (Demo)’ and will be available digitally and on 7” – with a limited edition coloured vinyl exclusively available from www.noelgallagher.com