Over the years we’ve found the most unlikely of things in the dirge of YouTube and, today, we have found a cover of The Smiths which is actually very good. Performed by former Oasis man Noel Gallagher in 2007, the guitarist takes on ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’ as part of a live set for a charity concert.
Noel is a known fan of The Smiths, it’d be hard to find a lad who grew up in the ’80s in Manchester to not like them, and has even gone as far as to say it would be the only band he would ever join. Sorry Oasis fans.
Gallagher and Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr have also been longtime friends with Marr, once even giving Gallagher not one, but two of his iconic guitars. So it seems fitting that the High Flying Birds man would cover one of the great Mancunian’s biggest hits, the Queen Is Dead masterpiece, ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’.
Gallagher was invited to perform at the Teenage Cancer Trust show in 2007 as a double-header headliner, taking on the first two nights of the event. About the charity, Noel said that they “do a brilliant job, and I’ve always been more than pleased to lend my support over the years. It’s also now a charity that is very close to the hearts and minds of dozens of acts in the world of music.”
The two nights of music that Gallagher contributed was undoubtedly Noel at his solo peak. The singer, a few years out of Oasis and forming his own identity as a lonesome songwriter, Gallagher had begun to set himself out as the Paul Weller of his generation—a British rocker slowly honing his craft with every release. Yet, without wishing to dip too heavily into his Oasis catalogue on the night, Gallagher had a few slots to fill on the setlist.
That would lead him to pick up The Smiths’ iconic song but quite honestly, the best thing about this cover is that Gallagher doesn’t really pay homage to the song’s inception. He doesn’t try to mimic Morrissey’s vocals or really play with the same lighter than air touch that Marr graces the track with, instead Gallagher does a Noel Gallagher version of this great song. It’s all the better for it.
The 2007 cover remains one of the very few Smiths covers worth their salt and for that, we doff our caps to Mr Noel Gallagher.
Listen below to audio of Noel Gallagher covering The Smiths’ ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’