Noel Gallagher - The Korea Times - 21st February 2006
For Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher, it's either one way or the other.
It can be ``fabulous'' _ what he describes himself and his playing. Or it can be like ``very, very uncool,'' how he described Metallica's drummer.
For the straight-talking rocker, his first impressions of Seoul were positive.
``Last night out _ it was nice,'' said the Brit, who told the local press yesterday hours before Oasis's first-ever show here, he had arrived not expecting much.
``It's great. It's really great to be in a country you've never been before,
British rock group Oasis is paying local fans a long overdue visit, their stop over in the peninsula made to stage the Seoul leg of their world tour.
Oasis played a set of 18 songs including ``Layla,'' ``Let There Be Love'' and more off the group's most recent album ``Don't Believe the Truth'' before a sell-out crowd at the Olympic Hall yesterday evening.
How anxious were Koreans fans to see them?
With the best seats in the house gone within a week of the opening of box offices and left over sold out clean by early February leaving concert promoters no choice but to put up an additional 100 seats for sale on Feb. 15.
Gallagher said he doesn't like to get involved in anything other than writing songs, which is why it took so long for his band to come to South Korea.
Oasis was formed in 1992 when Noel joined a group started by brother Liam with his fellow schoolmates Paul Arthurs, Paul McGuigan and Tony McCaroll on the condition he be the leader and sole song writer.
Their first album, 1994's ``Definitely Maybe,'' shot straight up to number one on the U.K. chart upon entering. It also went down in British pop history as the fastest-selling debut ever.
The success of the band's next album ``What's the Story, Morning Glory'' in the American pop scene propelled the band into the international spotlight.
However, their own reputation is not all that has come out of their success. Oasis is credited for kicking off the 1990s British Invasion, having paved the way for other U.K. rock acts like Radiohead and Blur into the international music scene.
When asked of his take on newer groups from the U.K. like Coldplay, he flat out denied feeling threatened in any way.
``Oasis is not Coldplay as is Coldplay not Oasis. The music we make are completely different,'' said Gallagher but at the same time, added that Coldplay is one of the most successful bands to come out of the U.K.
``Chris (of Coldplay) is actually a good friend,'' he said.
While the popularity and public's demand for the group rose, so did tension between group members. The current line-up _ Noel, Liam, Andy Bell and Gem Archer _ is different from its original, with the exception of the two Gallaghers even though that the brothers are known to have frequent run-ins with each other.
And this may explain why Noel sat alone yesterday at the press conference while Liam met with local cable networks.
Oasis made a strong come back in 2005 with ``Don't Believe the Truth,'' an album that sold over 40 million copies worldwide.
The album also featured numbers written by all the members.
While Noel wasn't the one to decide to let them (write songs) but now thinks of it as a ``real relief'' as he doesn't have to put out as many alone.
I hope that it will continue. I really like it,'' he said.
Oasis leaves today to make two more stops in Asia, Singapore and Hong Kong, before going on to the Americas to wrap up their world tour in Mexico City on March 31.