Noel Gallagher is known for his incredible knack of songwriting and his pivotal role in making Oasis into the titans of Britpop they were. His place in the pantheon of British music is undeniable. However, he is probably equally well-known for loving a good moan. Gallagher has always been somebody that holds every other artist to his insanely high standards and if they don’t do it his way then they need to live in fear at the possibility of facing the wrath of his famously scything tongue.
Gallagher joined Oasis back in 1991 after he had recently returned home to Manchester from touring the world as a roadie with Inspiral Carpets. The guitarist approached his younger brother and the rest of the band about joining the group. His request was under the stipulation that he would become the band’s songwriter and de facto leader, he also outlined his intentions for chasing commercial success. “He had loads of stuff written,” Bonehead later recalled. “When he walked in, we were a band making a racket with four tunes. All of a sudden, there were loads of ideas”.
A reinvigorated Oasis would re-emerge with Noel in tow at The Boardwalk on October 19th and came out like a brand new outfit. In 1995, the elder Gallagher brother recalled his first gig with Oasis whilst in conversation with Q magazine. “There were about 20 people there and we did four songs [including] a song called ‘Take Me’ that Liam and Bonehead had wrote that I still wish to this day they would record and they won’t,” Gallagher revealed.
In 1996, Oasis would reach the pinnacle of music when they played two nights at Knebworth in front of over 250,000 people and they would stay at the mountain top at music until their split in 2009. The last decade has seen Noel show off his more experimental side with his High Flying Birds but while his music may have changed, his creative jibes at his fellow musicians hasn’t waned.
With age and esteem growing with every year, Noel has happily taken on the role of serial commentator and judge. While he’s offered some advice to some stars, usually he prefers to simply verbally eviscerate them. Let’s take a look at five of the best from Noel…
5 bands or artists that Noel Gallagher hates
Coldplay and Oasis are two of the most commercially successful bands that Britain has ever produced but that’s about as far as the comparisons go between the two. Coldplay represents everything that Oasis were not and Gallagher consistently used them as his go-to example for being the personification of the colour beige, on more than one occasion.
After Liam found himself in a spot of trouble in 2007 for attacking a photographer who papped him and his partner walking around Primrose Hill with their five-year-old son, this was a behaviour that Noel ardently approved of and told NME: “The Man has taken over the world. All the kids have to look up to now are bland, faceless fucking trainee police officers. Liam should be given a knighthood! You couldn’t imagine Chris Martin from Coldplay laying out on a photographer for taking a picture of his kid!”
However, in 2015, Gallagher seemingly wasn’t all too bothered about Coldplay’s blandness anymore when he provided a guitar solo featured on their track ‘Up & Up’ which appeared on their album A Head Full Of Dreams. Maybe he is calming with age after all?
One of Noel’s more recent tangents came in 2020 when he lamented the death of the rock star, a topic which has become a somewhat annual rant by the former Oasis man. This time it was Taylor Swift’s turn to face the wrath of Gallagher and it’s safe to say that he didn’t hold back.
Speaking on Matt Morgan’s podcast, he moaned: “Music now is style over substance. I find that these young people in the music game – they fucking look great, they’ve all got tattoos and the image and all that fucking bollocks but really they’re just shit, they’re not saying anything.
“The biggest-selling acts are s, whereas when I was growing up the biggest-selling acts were the best acts. The biggest band in the world was usually the best band in the world. Now the biggest thing in the world is fucking Taylor Swift. What?! Fuck off.”
It’s not just pop stars that Gallagher has been vocal about his disdain for, even Radiohead’s Thom Yorke has found himself at the wrong end of one of Noel’s barbs. It’s fair to say that the brand of music that Noel Gallagher has made are arm-swinging anthems and beer-spilling bouncers. It’s something which is radically different from what Thom Yorke has done over the course of his career.
He once told Gigwise: “Thom Yorke sat at a piano singing, ‘this is fucked up’, for half an hour. We all know that, Mr Yorke… Who wants to sing the news? No matter how much you sit there twiddling, going, ‘We’re all doomed,’ at the end of the day people will always want to hear you play ‘Creep’. Get over it.”
Another time Gallagher remarked: “I’m aware that Radiohead have never had a fucking bad review. I reckon if Thom Yorke fucking shit into a light bulb and started blowing it like an empty beer bottle it’d probably get 9 out of 10 in fucking Mojo. I’m aware of that. Technically, there’s better songwriters than I am. Guardian writers will tell you that. Have other people’s songs ever really touched a generation, though? Radiohead? When do people listen to them? Is it when they go out, or is it when they come in? Because I’m struggling to think.”
He then added: “Look, as soon as Thom Yorke writes a song as good as fucking Mony Mony, give us a fucking shout. Me and my missus, we were at the Coachella festival a couple of years ago and Radiohead were headlining. We were like, ‘Right, let’s give them one more chance. Let’s go and see them.’ Beautiful, sunny night. We walked out through the crowd as they came on, and they were playing this post-techno: ‘de-de de de.’ We were a bit pissed. Fucking great. And then he started singing. No. Not for us. We’re party people.”
Prior to Jay-Z’s headline performance at Glastonbury in 2008, Noel remarked to the BBC: “If you start to break it then people aren’t going to go. I’m sorry, but Jay-Z? No chance. Glastonbury has a tradition of guitar music and even when they throw the odd curve ball in on a Sunday night you go ‘Kylie Minogue?’ I don’t know about it. But I’m not having hip-hop at Glastonbury. It’s wrong.”
Jay-Z’s headline performance then famously saw him pretend to play the guitar and sing-a-long to ‘Wonderwall’ in retaliation to Noel Gallagher’s provocative comments but the former Oasis guitarist was seemingly won around by Jay’s response.
“What did I think of Jay-Z doing ‘Wonderwall’? It was pretty funny,” Gallagher later said before getting in the final word. “But I’m not sure one should be seen in public with a white Stratocaster.”
Arctic Monkeys are perhaps the heir to Oasis’ throne and this doesn’t sit right with Gallagher who said to the Irish Times in 2015: “Nobody has anything to say – have you noticed that? What we’re left with now is the Arctic Monkeys, tax-dodgers. It freaks me out. The charts used to be a great battleground, and when I first started in Oasis, I couldn’t fucking wait to get in amongst it.
“Now, I don’t even know where my first single got to in the charts, because I’m not interested anymore. Bollocks is what it is. Britpop will never happen again – too many drug addicts, maniacs and people in jeans with long hair, not washing and shit like that.”
Noel once also hilariously claimed that his cat was more rock ‘n’ roll than Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner, his Last Shadow Puppets bandmate Miles Kane and Royal Blood put together: “This new generation of rock stars, they look great: Alex Turner, Miles Kane, the guys from Royal Blood. They’ve got the fucking skinny jeans and the boots, and all that eyeliner. I’ve got a cat that’s more rock’n’roll than all of them put together. Pigeons? Rips their fucking heads off. I go back to this: fame is fucking wasted on these people.”