Words by Jordan Scott.
Noel Gallagher’s an artist who’s achieved nearly everything a musician could hope for in his career spanning 20 years. From writing two of the most important British albums of all time, to selling out stadiums across the world and starting a successful solo career, he’s certainly proved that he’s as great as he thinks he is. Self-doubt isn’t something that’s really troubled him in his career, as Paul Weller once said “He really does believe he’s the dogs bollocks” but one thing Noels never covered in glory is his performances with Oasis at Glastonbury down the years.
In a recent interview with BBC Radio 6, Noel got a few people talking when he dropped a possible hint that he could be headlining at Worthy Farm this summer, suggesting he will finish his third High Flying Birds album in time for when he goes to Glastonbury. Although it’s a longshot, Noel’s never dismissed the idea of headlining the infamous festival with the High Flying Birds, as he’s often hinted to organiser Michael Eavis that he’s always available at the end of June. Whether it be this year or a couple down the line, I’ve looked at why Noel Gallagher would make for a perfect Glastonbury headliner.
Noel’s no a stranger to the festival. Oasis played back in 1994 when their debut album Definitely Maybe exploded, and the slot was one of the biggest stepping stones in their era-defining rise back in the 90’s. Oasis then headlined in 2004 alongside Paul McCartney and Muse, but he felt the band didn’t live up to the occasion second time around. He also explained that the festivals backstage area had become “So f*cking horrible just full of every w*nker from London that you f*cking try and avoid on a night out”. Noel has said in retrospect he “Never quite nailed it” with Oasis, so he still has unfinished business with the festival.
Noel’s unquestionably one of the best British songwriters of the past 20 years. Songs such as Don’t Look Back in Anger and Live Forever are just a couple of the massive anthems that comprise Noel’s back catalogue, and he could easily leave it to the crowd to sing back every word.
Other Oasis classics like Some Might Say, Slide Away, Little by Little & Champagne Supernova seem to be tailored perfectly to a festival setting. However, Noel wouldn’t have to rely on the nostalgia of Oasis to blow Glastonbury away, as his High Flying Birds albums have produced songs such as If I Had a Gun, What A Life and Lock All the Doors that would bring sense of freshness to his set.
Since he parted ways with Oasis and began his solo career in 2011, Noel Gallagher’s played festivals all over the world, headlining some of the biggest along the way. He’s performed at V Festival, T in the Park, Isle of Wight & Lollapalooza to name a few. During his festival runs Noel’s produced some different versions of some of his classic material, such as a reworked Wonderwall, an acoustic Supersonic and a totally (As Liam would say) biblical version of champagne Supernova with a choir. All this proves Noel wouldn’t be turning up just to roll through his hits and get off, he’d be bringing a new experience to those who may just be expecting him to go through the motions of performing a well-known set of songs.
It seems like every other week there’s a rumour started by tabloids that Oasis will reunite for some ridiculous sum of money and headline Glastonbury, and it’s starting to get old, so I can only imagine how irritating it is for Noel. This could drive him to prove that he can finally conquer the biggest festival in the world on his own, as he won’t have had the feeling of being the underdog since he was playing to five people in Manchester’s boardwalk all those years ago. Noel has everything it takes to pull off an incredible night at Glastonbury, as long as they keep the backstage area free of “w*nkers from London”.
Written by Jordan Scott, you can follow Jordan on twitter here.