Noel Gallagher performs ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ with The Who live at Royal Albert Hall
The Who are one of Noel Gallagher’s biggest influences so it was nothing short of a dream come true for Oasis’ mastermind when he got to share the stage with his heroes at the Royal Albert Hall for a blistering performance of ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’.
The iconic British group’s performance at the famed London venue would go down in the history books for a number of reasons. Most notably, however, was the rare ability to witness The Who in an extremely intimate venue. The show would also see the band bring out some of the most loved names in music including Paul Weller and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder—but it would be Noel Gallagher’s cameo that was the show-stealing moment.
Gallagher received a heroes welcome from the London audience who were marvelled by the fact that the guitarist from the biggest current band in Britain was joining The Who on stage. Although Noel rarely expressed his emotion on stage, on this occasion he couldn’t help but break that facade.
The near ten-minute track is euphoric from the very first note and Gallagher can’t stop himself from assisting Roger Daltrey with his offering of some backing vocals. It was a real pinch yourself moment for the former Oasis man who was now accepted by his heroes as being a contemporary.
“I got asked to do this thing at the Albert Hall with The Who and friends,” Gallagher later recalled in an interview about the collaboration. “They insist that I turn up to rehearse ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ and I was busy at the time, I don’t know what I was doing — probably buying shoes or something. I said, I don’t need to rehearse because I know the song inside out, I was on the phone to somebody and they said ‘No they definitely want you to rehearse’, I was like ‘fucking hell, alright then’.
“I turn up and I was quite annoyed I had to do this, I’m like ‘fucking rehearse, I don’t even rehearse my own gigs let alone somebody else’s,” Gallagher continued.
Once Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey then turn up to rehearsals 45 minutes late, Townshend then tells Gallagher that he is going to play the lead on the track — which elicited this iconic reply from Gallagher: “Get to fuck, I play lead guitar in Oasis but that’s because everyone else is shite. It’s not because I’m any good.”
Townshend refused to budge stating that he was bored of playing it, leaving Noel no choice but to step up to deliver the lead guitar on the track. “I remember walking out on the stage on the Albert Hall thinking ‘what on earth have I agreed to do here?’ He is bona fide one of the greatest guitarists of all time and I got to play the solo — even if I’m bigging myself up, it was average,” Gallagher said in his honest assessment on his performance.
Even if Gallagher wasn’t best pleased with his own showing, the collaboration acted as a passing of the torch moment for British music with The Who recognising Noel’s prowess to carry on from what they helped to start all those decades before.