Next month, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds headline Calling Festival at London’s Clapham Common. The show, the biggest headline gig he’s played in the UK as a solo artist, takes place on 4 July with a supporting line up which features the likes of Ryan Adams, The Hives and Wolf Alice. It comes off the back of the success of ‘Chasing Yesterday’, his second solo album released earlier this year. NME briefly caught up with Noel to hear about his preparations for the show, his year so far and his plans for new music….
NME: Calling Festival on July 4 will be the biggest UK headline date you’ve played with High Flying Birds to date. What have you got planned?
Noel: “I haven’t actually given it much thought… Not sure I see the point in over-thinking these things. Just get up there and give it 75%. (One always has to save some for the aftershow.)”
How do you approach writing a set list? How far ahead of a show do you decide what to play?
“A gig is a gig is a gig. It will slightly change from, say, Japan or Korea, but not so much that anyone (least of all you) will notice.”
You’ve been performing tracks from ‘Chasing Yesterday’ since the beginning of the year. Now they’ve become setlist regulars, which are your favourites to perform live? Have you dropped any out of the set yet?
“It’s all gone down pretty well I must say. The only shame being I couldn’t get it together to play ‘Girl With X-Ray Eyes’ and ‘While The Song Remains The Same’. We ran out of time in rehearsals to properly do them justice and once you’re on the road, there’s all manner of other pointless shit to attend to.”
It’s going to be a big headline festival set – which of the Oasis songs you’ve been featuring in your set will you play?
“Fucking hell… D’you want me to tell you what colour of brown or navy blue bomber jacket I’ll be wearing an’ all?”
Ryan Adams is on the bill – he’s famously a massive fan of your work, in particular ‘Be Here Now’. Are you looking forward to hanging out?
“Yes indeed. I haven’t seen him for a while. The lad has impeccable taste in socks, if I remember correctly.”
The ‘Chasing Yesterday’ tour has taken you all over the world; to the US, Japan, South Korea and Mexico. What’s the difference between the types of fans you’ve encountered? Do songs go down differently in different places?
“I think it’s been pretty consistent all over the world really, except in Mexico where, somewhat predictably, ‘The Mexican’ did go down rather well.”
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‘Chasing Yesterday’ was a UK number one album this year and it’s certified Gold now. You’ve had a few – how do achievements like that make you feel now?
“It’s 11 to be exact. That’s ELEVEN. It’s great. Truly. I’m not sure why or how it’s happened but I’m glad it has, and if this tour is anything to go by then there seems to be yet another generation coming through who are discovering whatever it is I do, two decades after the fact. God bless them.”
Are you already thinking about the next High Flying Birds record? How’s it coming along?
“I’m already a bit of the way into my next record. As for what it will eventually say on the cover though remains to be seen.”
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds headline Calling Festival on Saturday 4 July. Tickets are available here.
Watch a video of Noel talking about the show below.