Noel Gallagher: Everything you need to know about the Oasis legend

From Oasis to Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - we have all the answers

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds take flight
Author: Julian MarszalekPublished 2nd Feb 2021
Last updated 3rd Feb 2021

The legendary Noel Gallagher may have parted ways from Oasis over a decade ago now, but the megastar sure hasn't stopped providing us with huge tunes over the years! From the Oasis days, to his on-going 'feud' with his brother Liam Gallagher, to Noel Gallagher's high flying birds, there's a lot to know about this talented 53-year-old!

Although Noel has flatly denied Liam Gallagher’s claim that he refused £100m to reform Oasis, he discovered a previously-unreleased song 'Don't Stop' during lockdown that was thought to be lost - and has released it to the world.

He also donated an autographed Manchester City Football Club scarf for the Celebrity Loosen Up Auction 2020, held by charity Cahonas Scotland to support Testicular Cancer education and awareness. Let’s have a timely reminder of the man they call “The Chief” and why he’s happy with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds...

WATCH: Noel Gallagher - New Music, Wayne Rooney and Bono

Where is Noel Gallagher from?

Noel Gallagher was born in Longsight on 29th May 1967 and was raised in Burnage, Manchester.

Learning to play the guitar at 13-years-old, Noel’s first real venture into the world of rock’n’roll was when, following a failed audition to become the singer of Madchester baggies Inspiral Carpets, he became their roadie instead.

Which bands has Noel Gallagher played in?

Returning home from a US tour with Inspiral Carpets, Noel Gallagher was intrigued to learn that his younger brother, Liam, had formed a band called Rain with his mates, guitarist Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs, bassist Paul McGuigan and drummer Tony McCarroll.

He wasn’t impressed when he caught them live, but he must have spotted some kind of spark because he joined the band on the proviso that he assumed all creative control of the band, with him as the sole songwriter.

So it was that he was nicknamed “The Chief” and Oasis where born.

The rise of Oasis was swift and rapid and it came to define an era. Oasis’ first album, ‘Definitely Maybe’ (1994), became, at the time, the fastest-selling debut album in British chart history.

Its follow-up, 1996’ ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory’ rocketed to be top of the charts all over the world, while their third album, ‘Be Here Now’ (1997), became the fastest-selling album in UK history, with many fans queuing overnight to get a copy.

Their next two albums, ‘Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants’ (2000) and ‘Heathen Chemistry’ (2002), failed to match the success of their predecessors.

Bonehead and Paul McGuigan left the band and were replaced by Gem Archer and Andy Bell respectively, and Oasis emulated Spinal Tap by employing a succession of drummers, including Ringo Starr’s son, Zak Starkey. Oasis’ last two albums, ‘Don’t Believe The Truth’ (2005) and ‘Dig Out Your Soul’ (2008) went some way to restoring musical quality control.

Following years of internal turmoil between Noel and Liam Gallagher, the band finally split just minutes before they were due onstage at the Rock en Seine festival in Paris on 28 August 2009.

Climbing the Holy Mountain with Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

When did Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds form?

Though presented as a band, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds is the name for the former Oasis guitarist’s solo activity in the wake of that Oasis' demise.

Despite the ugly split, Noel Gallagher brought in former Oasis members Gem Archer and drummer Chris Sharrock – both of whom also played in Liam Gallagher’s post-Oasis band, Beady Eye – as well as Oasis session pianist Mike Rowe and The Zutons’ bassist Russell Pritchard.

To date, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds have released three albums: ‘Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ (2011), ‘Chasing Yesterday’ (2015), and ‘Who Built The Moon?' (2017).

Noel Gallagher also recorded an album with electronic production duo Amorphous Androgynous. Describing it as “far out” and heavy on psychedelic influences, Noel scrapped the album, fearing that the weight of expectation was too much.

Which are Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds biggest songs?

They have indeed, and their biggest hits include ‘Holy Mountain’, ‘The Death Of You And Me’ and ‘AKA… What A Life!’

Noel Gallagher: Don't Look Back In Anger

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds: The origin of the band name

Speaking to chat show host Jonathan Ross on The Jonathan Ross Show, Noel explained that the idea to use the prefix “Noel Gallagher’s…” came to him whilst listening to Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac as he washed the dishes. The second half of the name is taken from the song ‘High Flying Bird’, which was recorded by Jefferson Airplane, among others.

Just think: they could’ve been called Noel Gallagher’s Dirty Dishes.

What guitar does Noel Gallagher play?

Noel Gallagher is most associated with the thinline, hollow body, semi-acoustic guitar, the Epiphone Casino, which he used in the early days of Oasis. He also used to play a cherry sunburst Epiphone Les Paul.

Since then, he’s used a Gibson Les Paul – two of which were presents from former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr – and a Gibson ES-355 semi-acoustic. He’s also got a few Fender Telecasters and one of those was a present too – this time from actor Johnny Depp.

Noel Gallagher: In the heat of the moment

Which other musicians has Noel Gallagher worked with?

He does like his collaborations. To date, he’s worked with Paul Weller several times, most notably on ‘Stanley Road’ (1995), ‘Illumination’ (2002), ’22 Dreams’ (2008) and ‘True Meanings’ (2018).

You’ll also find him on records by The Prodigy (bass on ‘Shoot Down’ on the ‘Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned’ album (2004)), Miles Kane's ‘Colour Of The Trap’ (2011), The Chemical Brothers’ ‘Setting Sun’ (1997) and ‘Let Forever Be’ (1999), and Goldie’s ‘Temper Temper’ (1998).

And, most surprisingly, he sings with former Blur nemesis Damon Albarn on Gorillaz’ ‘We Got The Power’.

Who is Noel Gallagher’s wife?

Noel was married to Meg Matthews for almost four years and they have one daughter, Ana?s Gallagher.

He later married Sara MacDonald in 2011. They have two sons, Donovan Rory MacDonald Gallagher and Sonny Patrick MacDonald Gallagher.

Did Noel Gallagher tour in 2020?

Shows were unfortunately cancelled in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and there's uncertainty around shows at the moment due to the current situation facing the UK. We'll be sure to bring you more news when we know about new dates, which are thought to be rescheduled to 2021/2022.

Will Noel reconcile with Liam for an Oasis reunion?

It’s unlikely at this moment in time. Liam recently claimed that Noel ‘begged’ him to reunite Oasis, but Noel has denied this, saying that Liam’s tweets on the matter are making him more unwilling to reform the band.

In February 2020, Liam alleged that Noel had turned down a whopping £100m offer for an Oasis reunion, and of course, Noel has denied this too.

In March 2020, Liam called on Noel for a reunion gig saying it "will happen" with or without Noel.

Read up on everything that's been said about an Oasis reunion.

How much is Noel Gallagher worth?

Although there is no certain way of knowing, various reports suggest Noel Gallagher's net worth lies around the £53 million mark.

Scroll through to see some of our favourite live moments from Noel Gallagher:

Noel Gallagher at the Isle of Wight Festival, 2012


Noel Gallagher performing at the Isle of Wight Festival, 2012


Noel Gallagher performing at the Isle of Wight Festival, 2012


Noel Gallagher performing at Rivoli Ballroom, 2015


Noel Gallagher performing at Rivoli Ballroom, 2015


Noel Gallagher backstage at the Isle of Wight Festival, 2019


Noel Gallagher performing at the Isle of Wight Festival, 2019


Noel Gallagher performing at the Isle of Wight Festival, 2019


Noel Gallagher performing at the Isle of Wight Festival, 2019


Noel Gallagher performing at the Isle of Wight Festival, 2019


Noel Gallagher performing at the Isle of Wight Festival, 2019


WATCH: Noel Gallagher on the Stone Roses and an Oasis reunion? Q Awards 2011

Listen to Noel Gallagher's biggest hits on the Absolute Radio playlist. Listen to Absolute Radio now.

Now read:

Oasis: What's the story?

Liam Gallagher calls for Oasis reunion once coronavirus pandemic is 'put to bed'

Liam Gallagher: From Oasis to Beady Eye to solo megastar

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