Noel Gallagher in-conversation at Salford​ Lads’ Club

Photo Credit Sharon Latham

Noel Gallagher was back in Manchester on Friday (25 Oct 19) to take part in an ‘in conversation’ charity event at the iconic Salford Lads’ Club. Dr Kirsty Fairclough asked the questions and Noel didn’t disappoint with his answers, he had the audience in the palm of his hand with his funny responses. My iPhone footage is at the point when Noel talks at length about one of his musical heroes David Bowie: 

I’m a huge fan, and I’m always suspicious of anyone who is not a huge fan…he was a genius! One of my biggest regrets is that I met him once, and I was a bit too stupid to appreciate him. I went to see him at Wembley Arena and someone came up to me and said “David would like to see you and I was like, ‘course he f**ing would!’ But when I went to his dressing room, he was putting on make-up and I was a little bit too young and stupid to appreciate that I was there. I just said, ‘Have you got any beers in?’ if I could only meet him now and tell him what he means to me… but back then I was just shrugging my shoulders.

Kirsty went on to ask Noel about what he thought of Bowie’s final album, Blackstar. Noel replied,

I didn’t like it at much as The Next Day…I thought that was a masterpiece. When he won an award at The Brits, I presented it to Kate Moss because he wasn’t there. I’d been out all night and the next night I was sat on the couch and hungover to f**k and there was an email on my iPad. It just said ‘Thanks for the shout out. Keep writing. DB’ and I was like ‘who the f**k is DB’ but it dawned on me. I emailed back something like ‘Great f***ing night (I’m such a knobhead) and he emailed me back immediately. Then I shit it, thinking ‘I’m having a conversation with David Bowie!’ He is one of the all-time greats!

Dr Fairclough also read out selected questions from members of the audience, including ‘What’s the greatest party you’ve ever been to?’

My 50th was f*cking amazing. Madonna turned up, and she wasn’t even invited. Like a true Mancunian, I said: “who the f*ck invited you?

 ‘What’s your favourite thing about Manchester?’

 “Manchester City.

 ‘What’s your favourite B-side?

Half the world away. John Lewis made me a fortune for it, ironically I’ve spent a fortune in John Lewis.

The event was a huge success, raising £8.5K for Salford Lads’ Club. 

‘Definitely Maybe’ is 25.

In 1994 ‘Definitely Maybe‘ by Oasis was released. It was an immediate critical and commercial success and became the fastest-selling UK debut in history at the time. It included the tracks ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Star‘, ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol‘, ‘Shakermaker‘, ‘Live Forever‘ and ‘Slide Away‘. We [Red Alert Promotions] were there from the start.

I worked with Noel Gallagher before he was in Oasis. We toured together with the Inspiral Carpets; I was merch, and Noel was a roadie. It was an amazing time looking back; it was the height of Madchester.

I’d got to know Noel – and later Liam – when I worked at the music venue The Boardwalk,Oasis shared a rehearsal room in the basement with Sister Lovers. Other bands that rehearsed there were Inspiral Carpets, Happy Mondays, James, ACR, The Fall, Simply Red, and Nico! Generally, after these bands finished rehearsing they come upstairs for a drink and watch the bands that were playing at the venue. I witnessed early shows from Primal ScreamHoleSonic Youth, Manic Street PreachersVerveBob Mould, Rage Against The Machine, Big Black, The Charlatans, The Wedding Presentand many more.

Following the demise of ‘Madchester’, I started working with Alison and Sue at Red Alert Promotions, a record plugging company with a cool roster that included The Charlatans, KLF, Depeche Mode, Pulp, Suede, The Sugarcubes and Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds... It was around this time our friend (and neighbour) Noel decided to join his brother’s band Rain which subsequently became Oasis.

Alison and I saw Oasis play many times in Manchester, including regular support slots at The Boardwalk and Tony Wilson‘s In The City music convention in September 1992 and 93. In ’92 they played The Venue to a handful of people including Gary Davies a DJ on BBC Radio 1 in ’93 they played Canal Bar (both venues are no longer there).

Earlier in May 1993, they played King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut thanks to Debbie from Sister Lovers. She knew Alan McGee and she invited them to play, the rest is history. Soon after Noel announced that Oasis were going to sign to Creation Records. Months later their record contract came through on the Red Alert fax machine. I remember the never-ending fax paper spewing out and folding it up. I put it into an A4 envelope for Noel to collect.

Naturally, Oasis were added to the Red Alert roster and we began promoting the now-classic singles from Definitely Maybe. As part of the campaign, we took Noel and Liam on a promo tour around UK radio stations for interviews. One of the early interviews was with Chris Moyles. He was working at a regional radio station, Signal Stoke. Chris recounts this and still has his CD with a Red Alert promo sticker. The band’s first radio session was for Craig Cash (The Royale Family); he presented a show on KFM in Stockport. Both went on to do very well.

Below is an early TV performance on Yorkshire TV. ‘Something For The Weekend’ was filmed at Leeds Warehouse. Oasis were introduced by Madame Jo Jo –  now Jo Jo on Capital Yorkshire. It looks great! Oasis played ‘Shakermaker’, ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Star’ and ‘Supersonic’ in front of an audience of around 200.

The next tv footage is from America in 2017. CBS News correspondent Anthony Mason visits Noel’s native Manchester. It’s the first time Noel has been back to the city-centre flat where it all started. In the early 90s India House was inhabited by people who predominately worked in music and the arts including record pluggers, roadies, techies, managers, journalists, photographers, graphic designers, fashion designers, filmmakers, artists, writers and Hacienda staff. You’d sometimes bump into members of The Stone Roses, The Smiths, New Order and the Pet Shop Boys after the Hacienda going to parties.

India House – like Manchester – has so much to answer for. It’s where Noel wrote the first two albums. Lyrics such as “As I live my life in the city, there’s no easy way out.” (Rock n Roll Star), “Your music’s shite it keeps me up all night, up all night.” (Married with Children) and “The sink is full of fishes, she’s got dirty dishes on the brain.” (Some Might Say) were written in that building between 1989 and 1994.

Photo: Michael Spencer Jones 1994