About 18 years ago (no comment on how old that makes me feel!), every Saturday and Sunday morning I would get up ride around Wallington in south east London, completing my paper round. I hated getting up at 7 on a weekend but I needed them money (you just can’t get very far on 50p pocket money!) and once I was out on my round with my BMX and my Walkman Cassette player, I was happy. I was about 13 years old and I was starting to develop a love for music.
Around then Brit Pop was emerging and a load of new bands were coming on the scene. The likes of Spaced, Suede and of course, Blur. But there was a new band on the scene too. A band that modelled them on a sort of Smiths/Beatles hybrid but with a healthy dose of Mancunian. That band was, of course, Oasis.
Now, I’m not going to go over the whole Blur Vs Oasis thing because it was all a bit silly. And I’m not going to write much of an intro about Noel either as I’m sure that everyone that has even the slightest interest in music knows the history of Oasis – the highs (both musically and otherwise) and the lows.
What I will say is that both Blur and Oasis made a massive impact on me and the music industry at the time and I bought a lot of their respective records. Indeed, I have both complete box sets of Oasis’s singles in the faux cigarette cases! So, the link to all this and my paper round is my favourite Oasis music was a mix tape of ‘Definitely, Maybe’, ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?’ and some of my favourite Oasis singles. And that was my favourite cassette whilst I was dragging sacks of paper around.
Acoustic based tracks like She’s Electric, Live Forever and Champagne Supernova, for me, showed their talent… and it’s something that I’ve missed in their later work.
Of course, the Gallagher’s are no longer together, they both have their own projects and this review is about Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.
One quick fact I will share is that apparently Noel decided on calling himself Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds so that he wouldn’t freak out when he got on stage and realised he was on his own!
I’ve given this one quite a preamble but I’ve done that to frame the album. Basically, this is like Noel’s gone back to the golden age of Oasis. It’s almost as thought he’s missed it and used all of the experience of the last 18 years or so to go back and refine the good stuff. Interestingly, he doesn’t think this sounds much like Oasis but to me, it’s Oasis refined.
From the strings and the boldness of the opening track (Everybody’s On The Run) through to brilliant tracks like A.K.A… Broken Arrow, he exudes quality. And it should be noted that this is pure guitar based magic. No fancy electrics (although I suspect some of the strings might be), this is Noel and a band doing what they do best – knocking out great guitar based music.
I won’t go as far to say this is a classic. I do sincerely hope that Noel builds on this and I think there’s a classic or two left in him, but this is a damn good album and it catapults me back to an age where I wished I could play the guitar to emulate my emerging heros.
I may no longer do a paper round and cassettes are well and truly dead but I can assure you that this album has been serenading me on my way into my [grown ups] work every day for the last two weeks.
A highly recommended album. 3 G’s
Remember, my review are out of 4.
I’ve had a lot of music arrive lately and theirs more in the post. I’ll write another one as soon as I can!