Noel Gallagher: Music Legend

I missed the chance to see Oasis in the early 2000s in London. (The show was sold out, but had I schlepped to the venue I probably could have procured a random ticket. I didn’t even try.) I have always had some regret about that decision.

In the early 2000s the Gallagher Brothers had fallen from their height of fame. This was a lull in Noel Gallagher’s career.

He’s still a hot-head and goes around calling fans “wankers”, but about 10 years ago I went from being a fan to realizing Noel Gallagher is a music legend.

A friend recently commented: “Well, he’s a legend in his own mind”.

I’m going to disagree. I finally got to see Noel Gallagher (with his High Flying Birds) earlier this week where Austin City Limits is recorded. Seeing him live confirmed what I already knew:

I honestly believe he will be regarded as one of the musical greats of the late 90s into the 2000s. I’m talking legend-status. Decades from now I’m going to humble brag about seeing him perform.

Granted, I’m partial to Britpop, British music in general, and Noel Gallagher’s sound. Nonetheless, I stand by my assertion. If everyone doesn’t see it that way today, I predict that is how musical history will look upon him eventually.

Pardon my poor photography skills — Noel Gallagher at Moody Theater in Austin

In any case, as I listened to him, I couldn’t help but hear The Stone Roses. In my mind it’s The Stone Roses that truly bridge the gap between the musical influences from the late 60s/early 70s (specifically the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and some of the other bands from that time who were exploring rock ‘n roll and psychedelia) with the alternative scene from the very late 70s into the 80s (The Smiths, Echo and the Bunnymen, Bauhaus/Love & Rockets — just to name a few).

From The Stone Roses and the bands that rounded out that era/sound (including the Wild Swans, House of Love, the Las, and Ride) it’s simply a jump to the Britpop explosion by the mid-90s.

It’s a joy to toss out a handful of Noel Gallagher picks (with his High Flying Birds) to celebrate my long-overdue experience of seeing the man himself perform!

If Love is the Law” explores more jubilant musical territory than Noel typically embraces. I think it’s delightful!

I’m all about the swoony, dreamy musical choices that dip into the early 60s rather than his typical late 60s/early 70s. I’m feeling a lighter Beach Boys vibe rather than the darker energy of the later 60s. Then add in those jangly guitars and bursts of harmonica.

The equation feels like a magnificent mixture of melodic, sunny early 60s with a different strain of late 80s/early 90s alternative (think REM and the Sundays). It puts a smile on my face!

Reminiscent of the harder edge of 2008’s Waiting for the Rapture, “In the Heat of the Moment” works as a compliment to that era. It feels like a slightly more rockin’ Britpop anthem: soaring chorus with heavier drumming and guitarwork underneath.

The Dying of the Light” is lovely lyrically and musically. It shimmers and swirls harkening to that delicious late 80s/early 90s re-exploration of psychedelia. Noel’s self-expression always feels fresh even as earlier influences are present.

Be Careful What You Wish For” has that sexy drag that I dig. I’m hearing “Come Together”, the Doors, and more Waiting for the Rapture influence. Which is a very successful melding! Noel’s vocal delivery shifts nicely to round out the slower, sultrier vibe.

I’m SO glad this got captured! This was from the Austin gig I attended! You can see Noel in all his snarky glory: “HULL! How can you afford to be in America from Hull?!!” Geez, he’s hilariously cruel, enormously entertaining, and bitingly amusing.

It turns out all I needed was to hear Noel Gallagher sing the iconic “All You Need is Love”. It was a joyous, raucous affair filled with surprising earnestness AND rockstar confidence! Plus the addition of the fun brass section!

Could ANYONE ELSE do this song justice in 2018? I don’t think so: Noel’s sincerity, talent, and swagger create the perfect combination to make sure this avoids schmaltz or karaoke territory.

This last song seems like the perfect musical dedication to one of my oldest pals, Brian! Fellow lover of 80s alternative, Britpop, and most of the other musical genres I adore. Wishing you a music and smile-filled day, old friend!

I can promise there will be at least one more story featuring Noel Gallagher since I didn’t even dip into his Oasis-era territory. But it was a dream to see him live and witness his unique swagger in person!

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Bonnie Barton

Bonnie Barton

Queen of mixtapes. Lover of music, travel, and fashion. Authentic sharer of life lessons and dating foibles.