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Noel Gallagher: "It means something to headline Calling Festival under my own name"

Noel Gallagher: "It means something to headline Calling Festival under my own name"
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Noel Gallagher has spoken to Q about headlining the 2015 Calling Festival at London’s Clapham Common on 4 July. Sharing the bill with Ryan Adams, Echo And The Bunnymen and The Hives, the show is the former Oasis man’s first announced solo UK festival headline spot, and he admits despite Oasis’ bill topping days it “means something” to do it under his own steam. Tickets are on sale now, via Aloud.com, plus get the latest issue of Q for our full cover story interview with Noel.

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You’re headlining in Clapham Common, when was the last time you went down there?

Funnily enough I remember coming down to London when I was a young chap, about 21 years-old, and went to that big, massive rave at White Waltham Airfield. It was the Sunrise rave, the first one that made it on to the pages of the national newspapers. Well I was at that one and afterwards I went back to a soundsystem on Clapham Common, so that’s the only time I’ve been to Clapham Common. But funnily enough I recorded all of my album in Clapham, at a studio called Strangeways on North Street, so it is an area I know well.

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So is this the first UK festival you’re headlining in your own name?

I do believe it is, yeah. The only one’s I’ve headlined have been in Japan and in South Korea, so this is the first one in England.

Obviously you’ve headlined festivals in your old job, but does it mean anything to see your name at the top of a bill?

[pause] Does it mean anything? Yeah! Of course it’s nice to have your name on the top of the bill. It’s not bad to be second either, depending on who’s on top, you know what I mean? It’s good being under Paul McCartney, but it’s no so good being under Bloc Party or some shit like that. But yeah I guess it is good.

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Did you have much of a say on the bill?

Look, they ran it by me but if I was to sit and pick a bill of people I like and who I’m into, it would be a very short afternoon! I do like Ryan, I know him he’s great. I know McCulloch and the Bunnymen, one of my favourites. I think I met The Hives once when they were something to do with Alan McGee, but I do like them. It’s all good.

Have you thought about what from the new album we make it into your live set yet?

I’m still kicking it around a little bit. There will be more people onstage and I’ll probably bust out the choir and this, that and the other. I’ve not really thought about it. I’ll see what works in the arenas. I don’t really get a handle on how the setlist is until four or five gigs in. It’s weird I’m doing a gig in Belfast to 8000 people the day the album comes out and at least half the people in the arena won’t have heard it yet, so it will be a couple of weeks before I find out what’s working or not. Clapham’s not until July, so plenty of things might have happened! It will be interesting for sure.

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More people onstage, will you be touring with a saxophonist?

Yes, of course! One of the things I’m most looking forward to on the tour is we can’t bring our own one all the way around the world. It’s more cost efficient to pick up a saxophone player in each town. I cannot fucking wait to me the guy who turns up in South Korea! That’s probably what’s going to keep me going for the long hard slog of a world tour. [laughs]

Your soundchecks will be very interesting…

I might actually start a tour video blog just interviewing these guys. It’s fucking funny.

You’ve brought the sax back! PJ Harvey is using them on her new album, just look at the photos for her Recording In Progress sessions at Somserset House.

Oh right, Ok, cool! I’m influencing modern culture, who’d a thought? [laughs]

Paul Stokes @Stokesie

For more information head to Facebook.com/CallingFestival and Noelgallagher.com.


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