When they went on sale at the beginning of the month, tickets for Noel Gallagher’s in-conversation event at Salford Lads Club sold out in less than a minute.
Fans scrambled for tickets to the intimate 150 cover event, at which Noel spoke at length on numerous topics including Manchester, songwriting, writers’ block, creativity, football, journalists and David Bowie with characteristic no-f***s-given brashness.
Asked a question about his favourite party, he replied: “My 50th was f**king amazing. Madonna turned up and she wasn’t even invited. Like a true Mancunian, I said ‘Who the f**k invited you?’”
The music legend regaled fans with stories from his past during the 90-minute ‘in conversation’ session with Dr Kirsty Fairclough from Salford University last Friday – and raised a staggering £8,500 in the process.
The latest in a series of charity events held at the club, previous guests have included musicians Peter Hook, Mani, Clint Boon and Mike Joyce, actors John Thomson and Chris Gascoyne, and former Manchester City hero Paul Lake, who introduced Noel on stage at the club on Friday night.
Controversial as ever, when asked first to share his favourite thing about Manchester Noel quipped succinctly, “Manchester City!”
But he was more than up for talking about David Bowie, and admitted one of his biggest regrets was meeting the iconic rockstar years ago and being “too stupid to appreciate him”.
“I went to see him at Wembley Arena and someone came up to me and said “David would like to see you and I was like, ‘Course he f**ing would!‘
“But when I went to the dressing room he was putting on make-up and he was like ‘hey man,’ but I was a little bit too young and stupid to appreciate that I was there and said, ‘Have you got any beers in,'” revealed Noel.
“I could only meet him now and tell him what he means to me… but back then I was just shrugging my shoulders.'”
Touching on his ambitions, Noel spoke at length on his desire to write “the greatest song of all time.”
“I’m still trying […] I know that sounds pretentious but that’s kind of what keeps me doing it.”
“I’m not driven by anything other than making music so I’d like to just keep doing it and keep on having the enthusiasm to do it and still trying to write that f***ing song.”
Jokingly, he brings in Man City again, adding his other ambition is to “go to The Champions League final! […] I’ve actually been to about 6 but sadly my team were not there!”
Next, Dr Kirsty asked him about journalists. A topic he’s been notoriously outspoken on in the past, having made clear his derision for the commentariat on numerous occasions.
Unsurprisingly, perhaps, he let loose – laying out his least favourite questions with humorous disdain: “I get asked the same f***ing questions all the time.
“The worst question starts, ‘I’m not supposed to ask this’ …well why are you f***ing asking me then? And then it’s like…*the inevitable question* and to answer that…I haven’t got a f***ing clue!”
And when asked who would be in his supergroup and what he thought of singers/frontmen nowadays, Noel stated there is really only “Ian Brown, Johnny Marr, Hooky, Bobby Gillespie, Shaun Ryder and Our Kid”.
Wouldn’t that be something?
Questions from the audience revealed the songs he’d like played at his funeral (The End, Going Underground and Stairway to Heaven) and his favourite B-side – Half a World Away.
His response received a huge cheer. Then he added “John Lewis made me a fortune for it, ironically I’ve spent a fortune in John Lewis.”
Afterwards, he happily signed memorabilia backstage – including prints and canvases from artist Justin Eagleton and cartoonist Tony Husband, who donated their work to Salford Lads Club for the raffle.
Overall, it raised some much-needed funds for the club – which has been a fixture in the area since 1903.
Today it remains a huge tourist attraction, with many music fans coming from far and wide to visit its Archives and The Smiths room – and to recreate that famous photo.
Further in-conversation events are in the pipeline and due to be announced soon. Watch this space.