Courtesy photoPost-Oasis music: Former Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher’s new band

Noel Gallagher, ex-Oasis, has nothing to prove

Rock stars often avoid their hometown mass transit like the plague. But not ex-Oasis mastermind Noel Gallagher, who happily has been riding the London tubes to rehearsals for his new combo Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, who appear in The City on Saturday.

“Nobody notices me at all, nobody gives a s—,” says the beetle-browed guitarist, who slightly resembles his scrappier kid brother (and former Oasis frontman) Liam. “But I’ll have the odd person come up to me and say, ‘Excuse me, are you … are you Liam Gallagher?’ And I’ll say ‘No, I’m positive I’m not.’ And they’ll say ‘oh well, you sure look like him — nice to meet you anyway!’”

So fame is how you view it, says Gallagher, who permanently left Oasis in 2009 after a backstage dust-up with his sibling. (Liam and the remaining members soldiered on as Beady Eye.)

“I guess a person in my position could perceive themselves to be quite famous, but I don’t,” he says. “A few weeks ago, I was in the supermarket queue with a big bag of groceries, and some guy goes, ‘Whoa, what are you doing here?’ And I looked at him and thought, ‘Are you some kind of f—— smartass? I’m not waiting for a taxi, am I? I’m doing my shopping!’ I cannot express just how much of a normal life I lead.”

Gallagher’s just-released debut, “Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds,” the first of two post-Oasis albums he has completed, is equally unpretentious.

It opens with a sweeping strings-choir anthem “Everybody’s on the Run,” segues into vaudevillian toe-tappers like “Dream On” and “The Death of You and Me,” a tribal-stomping “AKA…What A Life,” and closes with a 10-year-old Oasis-era ballad, “Stop the Clocks.”

All are sung in Gallagher’s warm, neighborly style; the recording is easily his strongest, most humalong-memorable work in years.

Lyrically, the record feels pugnacious, defiant.

“But it’s not really about one person against the world,” says Gallagher, 44, who just married his longtime girlfriend Sara MacDonald.

“If anything, it’s me and the person I love against the world, definitely an album about a partnership.”

But he and Liam won’t be teaming up anytime soon. “I have a failing as a human being — I don’t like to forgive people,” he says. “And when Liam finally gets ’round to getting on his knees and apologizing? Then he can go and f— himself, after that.”

Is that what set these brothers apart — one loved the spotlight, the other loathed it? Could be, Noel says. “But the other difference is, Liam still thinks he’s got something to prove,” he says. “Whereas I don’t.”

IF YOU GO

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

Where: Orpheum Theatre, 1192 Market St., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Tickets: $39.50 to $75
Contact: (888) 929-7849, www.AXS.com

artsentertainmentmusicPop Music & Jazz

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Candidates vie for four seats on SF school board

Pandemic adds to pressing issues already facing SFUSD leaders

Police launch hate crime investigations after shots fired near Armenian school

Incident follows anti-Armenian graffiti and suspected arson at church

Court prevents Trump administration from blocking WeChat pending hearing

Late Saturday night, a federal judge in San Francisco issued a preliminary… Continue reading

San Francisco Symphony, Opera musicians settle contracts

Performers’ salaries modified due to inability to play live

Most Read