The guitarist and singer, who has just turned 56, looks back on his years before glory with Oasis (first album in 1994, implosion in 2009) in "Council skies", title track of the album full of charm that appears Friday.

"The train that never arrives, in the song, is the metaphor of missed opportunities. I only succeeded at 27, Morrison died at that age, "unfolds the one who performs on stage accompanied by his colleagues of the High Flying Birds.

Before Oasis, in Manchester, his hometown, apart from him and his brother Liam, no one believes in them. Except Johnny Marr (ex-The Smiths), to whom Noel had been able to listen to a "demo" (first draft of songs).

They have been friends since that time, the dawn of the 1990s. And Marr now places his guitar chords on three tracks of "Council skies", including "Pretty boy".

"I can call Johnny and tell him +what are you doing next week?+. And he comes to the studio, plays something, he's amazing. He has the Holy Spirit in him," Gallagher said.

"I would be Neil Young"

Another fairy of British music, Robert Smith, looked at "Pretty boy". The singer of The Cure made a remix of the title. "I just managed to get his email, I've never met him, I don't know him, I just sent him the song. And I was convinced he would throw it away immediately." "He happens to love it. It's like +wow+", relishes Noel, met in Paris.

The guitarist is always surprised to hear artists he worships praise Oasis: "Bob Dylan talked about it in an interview, fuck, it's ultimate, he's heard about this band and said he loves".

Going around the heroes of his pantheon, the eldest Gallagher also blurts out: "If I could be someone else, I would be Neil Young, a true legend." And to remember that evening in 2001 when Oasis and the "Loner" had shared a stage in Paris.

British guitarist and singer Noel Gallagher, February 27, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee © Jason Kempin / Getty / AFP / Archives

When asked about his memorable concerts in France, he obviously quotes, but with a smile, this "catastrophic night when Oasis broke up". It was in 2009 at the Rock en Seine festival. It's one storm too many between Liam and Noel in the dressing rooms, with a broken guitar at the key. The crowd waiting for the concert of the stars of brit-pop then learns, amazed, their separation by a message from the festival.

"A guitar"

Found and repaired, the famous guitar was sold at auction in May 2022 in the French capital (for 385,500 euros, including fees). "This guitar, I bought it in Paris, somewhere in Pigalle. And I've never composed anything good with it. I hated that fucking guitar," Noel begins.

"If a guitar had to be sacrificed that night, it was this one," he laughs. "A guy bought it from me, it was in pieces. Of course, I never believed he would fix it and he did. So good luck to whoever got it. It's a guitar (laughs)."

Since that electric night in 2009, Liam and Noel no longer speak to each other. Much to the chagrin of Oasis fans who dream of a reunion. Especially since 2024 will be the year of the 30th anniversary of "Definitely maybe", original album carried by the hit "Supersonic".

Noel does not say the name Liam once during the interview. And the latter spits his venom on his brother on social networks... Meanwhile, it's Blur, another jewel of 1990s brit-pop that is reforming for a tour and a record this summer.

© 2023 AFP