Noel Gallagher - The West Australian - 15th December 2005
Yet Oasis in 2005 is a very different beast to the rowdy Mancunian lad-pack who brewed the world into a storm back in Britpop’s heady days, and rare pre-gig chat with 38-year-old Noel Gallagher - scribe of the Oasis master plan - reveals a soul at ease, more than a decade after launching one of the most successful rock careers of our times.
Two hours before the show, Gallagher is ensconced with mineral water and a cheese and fruit platter in his 5-star hotel, and the whole Oasis team is buzzing around like a well-greased engine. Liam Gallagher is in the bar, ordering a latte.
It’s all a far cry from the coked-up mayhem that was their shambolic 1998 Perth visit, that saw Noel stomp through the gates at the Perth international airport brandishing his Union Jack emblazoned guitar in the air like a warrior’s club, surrounded by howling Britpop fans.
Noel cringes at mention of ‘that tour’.
“I mean at the time, you do know we were heavily into drugs?” inquires Gallagher in his well-honed satirical tone.
“I don’t know if you’ve heard the term ‘lost the plot’ but I tell you young man, you’ve got no f**king idea. I was surrounded by people who had totally lost the plot, in every way.
“No matter what it looked like, ‘98 was in the middle of some of my best times in Oasis, and that’s probably why the shows were so shite. We were taking drugs and partying, end of story.
“This time around I haven’t left me hotel room once. You’re the first person I’ve spoken to. I’m mean the football’s on TV, I’m not very well going to go sightseeing am I?”
Oasis’s latest album Don’t Believe The Truth has regained some well-needed critical press acclaim for the band, and is already being compared to Definitely Maybe era work.
Last week, Noel told a reporter Oasis was no doubt a bigger band than U2 and Coldplay. When pursuing Noel on this point, it was good to see his charming arrogance is still alive and well.
“I didn’t say we were bigger, I said we were better!” says Gallagher.
“If you ask Chris Martin or Bono who produced the better album this year, if they were being honest they’d say that Don’t Believe The Truth is far better quality. And that’s that.”
As for the future, Gallagher says Oasis has enough songs left in them for at least one more album, and admits that he’s not longer so precious about the fine details.
“I’ve distanced myself from Oasis for a few years now. It’s not 1994 anymore. Gem and Liam are writing good songs, and well I don’t speak for the band, but we conquered every f**king mountain there was to conquer years ago. We’ve got nothing to prove no more,” says Gallagher.
“Plus, you can’t go around acting like a 24 year old your whole life can you? I’ll be going on 60 years old in 20 years, and there’s no way I’m going to be acting like Mick Jagger then. I wouldn’t have the f**king energy.
“At the end of the day, this is it for me. Since 1993 when me girlfriend at the time and I rented a council flat and couldn’t pay the rent, I’ve only ever had one thing to dream about. That’s rock n’ roll. You’ve heard the songs, that’s what we’ll always be about.”
Later that night, as Live Forever pierced the skies, there was no doubt.