July 25, 2011
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, 'The Death Of You And Me'
Better than Beady Eye?
Whichever side of the great Noel / Liam schism you’re on (presuming, of course, you feel compelled to take sides), it’s pretty universally agreed the pair have always done things differently. In one corner, the “shitbag”-tweeting headline generator, who’s dissed his brother and former band from every conceivable angle and in the other, a more, shall we say, reserved sibling who said everything he needed to say in a short press conference and NME interview.
While Liam’s posturing is better documented than the downfall of Murdoch, Noel’s opted for a quieter, humbler, more down-to-earth approach, seeing himself as that guy playing guitar stage left, insisting there’ll be no new music until he’s finished changing nappies - that sort of thing.
So while Beady Eye blazed out of nowhere all bluster and ‘Bring The Light’, Chatty Man chinwags and Man City tie-ins, Noel announces his return through Absolute Radio early on a Monday morning, with a much slower and less in-your-face offering.
A trademark acoustic strum and soft flute flourishes herald in Noel’s falsetto and he’s in fine form, delivering Noel-esque couplets that bounce off each other with rhyming glee but turn somewhat dark as they progress: ”High time, summer in the city / Kids are looking pretty / But itsn’t a pity that the sunshiiine / Is full of black thunder / With thoughts of going under / And is it any wonder why the sea is calling out to me / I seem to spend my whole life / Running from people who will be / The death of you and me / Cos I can feel the storm clouds / Sucking up my soul”.
Gloomy. And it’s at this point we’re mugged by some properly demented strings - a short but psychedelic interlude complemented by several retro brass breakouts later on that gift the whole thing with a captivating sheen. If we were forced to tie it to his previous, ‘The Importance Of Being Idle’ springs to mind.
In the accompanying video we meet Noel at the Last Chance saloon, a subtle allusion to his fears this might not work perhaps, sitting near a gibbering weirdo. However this isn’t New Cross, rather somewhere in the Californian desert, and before long he’s pushing his waitress in the pool, some guy from Red Dead Redemption’s turned up with a marching band to take the waitress away and we’re left with the words “To Be Continued...”.
Noel, no need to worry, we’re hooked. Still think you should be called Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Angry Birds though. As for Liam’s reaction? We’ll have to wait and see.
To read all our reviews first - days before they appear online - check out NME magazine, on sale every Wednesday