Noel Gallagher was never one to shy away from showing off his influences. Whether he was shoehorning random Beatles references into his lyrics or releasing a cover of David Bowie track ‘Heroes’ as the B-side to Oasis number ‘D’you Know What I Mean’; Gallagher wears his listening habits on his sleeve.
It’s a trait that has occasionally landed him in trouble, especially early on in his career when he would swipe melodies and guitar lines with a loose and somewhat obvious nature. Just check the famous lawsuit regarding ‘Shakermaker’ and its similarities to the Coca-Cola jingle ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing’, or the nearly identical opening guitar riffs between ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’ and T-Rex hit ‘Bang a Gong (Get It On)’.
There’s also the fact that Gallagher is completely unafraid to take jabs at some of the most successful and acclaimed artists in the world. From saying that Phil Collins should be “chased out of the charts” to blurting out that Jack White looks like “Zorro on doughnuts”, Gallagher has always had a unique way of showing his appreciation. Even when he’s talking about his idols, Gallagher isn’t afraid to say whatever is on his mind, like calling The Rolling Stones predictable (“everybody knows what they do”) and putting U2 in their place (“Play ‘One’, shut the fuck up about Africa”).
But Gallagher can be reverential when he wants to be. One of his heroes, somewhat unexpectedly, is American folk singer Bob Dylan. Even though Gallagher is a rock and roll purist, he’s previously taken the time to cover Dylan’s ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright’. Recently, when performing at BBC Radio 2’s Sofa Sessions, Gallagher pulled out another Dylan cover, this time taking on ‘You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere’ from Dylan’s second Greatest Hits collection.
Gallagher and his band give a spirited take on the country rocker, with the Mancunian himself putting on a strangely Dylan-esque affectation to his voice. Usually, Gallagher seems content with his nasal whine, but here he goes for that rugged Americana sensibility that Dylan perfected throughout his run with The Band. Gallagher might not be terribly kind to America, but he pulls off an American accent pretty well here.
Check out Gallagher’s cover of ‘You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere’ down below.