Noel Gallagher: "Glastonbury is important for Britain's mental health"
26 June 2022, 14:06 | Updated: 26 June 2022, 14:26
The former Oasis man tells Radio X about the pressure of "warming up" for Paul McCartney - there isn't any!
Noel Gallagher played a triumphant set with his High Flying Birds at Glastonbury on Saturday night (25th June) and he's been telling Radio X that the return of the festival is of huge importance to the nation.
Speaking to Sunta Templeton before he took to the Pyramid Stage, the former Oasis man said: "You know what, you can't overstate this enough. This festival means a lot to this nation's mental health, I think. I've never seen so many people upset when it was cancelled. And it was rightly cancelled. I wouldn't have liked them to do it with the handbrake on.
"This festival is one of the best things about this country... if not THE best thing about this country. It's amazing that it's back. Thank God."
Noel's Glastonbury setlist last night included a selection of his best solo tunes including AKA... What A Life!, Black Star Dancing and Holy Mountain, plus a generous helping of Oasis songs such as Don't Look Back In Anger, Little By Little and Half The World Away.
Gallagher's first ever solo appearance at Glastonbury was in the slot before headliner Sir Paul McCartney took to the stage. As a huge Beatles fan, was Noel feeling any pressure "warming up" for his hero?
"No!" he replied. "I've got a pretty good back catalogue. He'd probably say he's got a better back catalogue, you know. But not really. Oasis are a very, very important band in the history of this country, so I'll play a few of those tunes.
"It's about the hits, of course. I remember coming here in '95, straight from Rockfield. We'd just finished Morning Glory and we thought it'd be a good idea if we played half of it to the crowd. It was yet to be released. I'll never forget singing Don't Look Back In Anger without a piano player, and at the end of it there was almost total indifference.
"We learned our lesson then, that's the festival rule. No-one's interested in your new album, do that to your own fans. Just play the hits. That would be my advice to young bands."
McCartney surprised and delighted the Pyramid Stage crowd by bringing on special guests Dave Grohl and Bruce Springsteen. Would Noel ever consider having a special guest at a festival slot?
"It's not really my thing," he pondered. "I don't think I could get anyone to guest with me. Maybe Johnny Marr? Johnny's played on my new record quite a bit and he's done some, let's say, very intricate guitar work that my guitarist Gem (Archer) is sweating himself over! Maybe we'll get him to come along when we do it in the coming years."
The fourth Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds album is recorded and ready to be mixed, and Noel tells us that it's due to be released "early next year, I'd say in the Spring".
"There are a few songs on it that absolutely are some of my best ever work," he says. "I'm very pleased with it and it's the one record I've made that I've listened to the most. It sounds amazing."