Posts Tagged ‘Noel Gallagher’

b225c83a-ebcd-42e5-80f8-3148f8aad0de.jpgThe answer to this question is – arguably, yes – yet I need to qualify the response. If you ask a dozen people the same question, you will no doubt end up with twelve different answers – for the word ‘best’ is of course subjective. Yet in order to be somewhat objective – lets ensure that the ‘best’ band has to be contemporary. It’s meaningless to throw out names like Oasis or Zeppelin or U2, Skynyrd, the Black Crowes or whoever. As the timeline shows – at various point in history – these and many many others had their hands on that title – but in 2017, no.  And before some blinkered KI$$ fan emails me with their fist in the air telling me that the redundant caped clowns are the best – don’t even bother. If it was 1977 – maybe so, but they are nothing more than a cash register on wheels who offer zero in terms of new material. And in recent years their ‘new’ material is neither vital, engaging nor relevant. Retarded rock ‘n’ roll. I digress.

Revivalism is popular in the music bizz nowadays – but to again reiterate- be the band old or new, are they releasing quality NEW material? People tell me that Ed Sheeran is the best artist in the world – but I don’t see it. Not sure he has the songs/originality to justify all the hype that has been bestowed upon him. He is hugely successful, multiplatinum in an era where people don’t go multiplatinum no more – yet that has more to do with mass modern social media pushing his wagon than anything else. Noel Gallagher he ain’t. As a singer songwriter – will he go down in history as a modern day James Taylor ?  The best ? Time will tell.

Yet in my humble opinion, if you define the ‘best band’  in the authentic Chuck Berry/blue denim /beat up Telecaster /ramalama tradition – then Dan Baird is all that and more. There is a legitimacy to anyone who rides the same road (which started with the blues), as greats like Steve Marriott, The Yardbirds, The Stones/Faces etc. Yet Baird ain’t plying revivalism rock ‘n’ roll. He continues to release creative new material that is both memorable, original and relevant – a nod to the past and a tip of the hat to the present. And that right there- is why he is the best. Not many artists have that capacity. Springsteen does, Neil Young does – so too Mike Ness.

Baird has always been cool – and I have always dug his lyrics. His lyrics have a twist that reflect his sense of humour and down to earth, unpretentious  southern heritage. Anyone who can write about Carnys (Fairground People), can use the word ‘parenthesis’ in a song (I Love You Period), write about 8 track stereos, Firebirds, and use lickety split in a song (Red Light) is a true wordsmith as far as I’m concerned.  Baird is having fun – and that comes across in the delivery of the songs – both musically and lyrically. Yet he aint no one trick pony. If you think he just churns out carbon-copied runka runka  styled tunes modelled on ‘Keep Your Hands To Yourself’ – you are clearly mistaken.  He is capable of writing extraordinarily memorable songs that are heart wrenching – that can make the hair on the back of your neck stand up – Check out ‘Thousand Little Pieces’ from the Circus Life album as evidence of this. Be in no doubt though, that the other reason Baird rock n roll is in the upper echelons is due to his band – Homemade Sin.  The calibre of personnel in this band is top shelf. Baird’s right hand man is Warner Hodges – the guitar players guitar player. Since Hodges came on board some years back, the Dan Baird band has become more muscled up, an even tighter unit – and a band that musically – consistently fires on all cylinders. Hodges is rock solid – who himself has a rich body of work to dive into if you aint already familiar with him. This includes his stuff with Jason & The Scorchers, or any of his rippin’ solo albums, ‘Centerline’ ‘Gunslinger’ or ‘Preachin’ The Gospel’.  The engine room is made of long serving (and ex Satellites) drummer Mauro Magellan and bass player Micke Nilsson, formerly of Swedish rockers Bonafide. This rhythm section are the core of the sound, and often don’t get the accolades they deserve, yet they should. They are the pulsating, never erring backbone that allow Baird and Hodges the room to move.

In many ways – In 2017 Homemade Sin are the modern equivalent of an early 70’s Mach 1 Mustang or Chevy Camaro – they ooze character when all others around them are made of plastic, and all look the same. A shit load of horse power, solid steel, sharp lines – and true style.

I have been a Dan Baird fan for what, 30 years now. I picked up obscure Satellites and solo records in different parts of the globe on different travels. There were two tours of Australia, including a support of Johnny Diesel & The Injectors in 1989. Then it became a long time between drinks – with Baird finally coming back to these shores three years back as part of Bobby Keyes’ band. Small venues – but big rock n roll. Baird has been incredibly prolific over the past 20 years – and has released a slew of albums with many bands. All worthy of your attention. Throw the dart at any of these and you will hit the bullseye every time. Once the Satellites folded, he went solo, and released the first of many solo albums – with ‘Love Songs For The Hearing Impaired’. Check out the video of him performing ‘I Love you Period’ on Letterman. Cooler than Fonzie. And over the years there have been more albums, both solo and with other bands including the Yayhoos and The Bluefields amongst others. Buffalo Nickel, Out of Mothballs – so many great albums. In fact – if you want a good starting point, pick up either the ‘Circus Life’ or ‘Get Loud’ albums – top to bottom – both superb albums.

Some of my favourite all time Dan Baird songs are far from the obvious or expected. If I had to come up with an album’s worth of material for a “Dan Baird Desert Island Disc” it would include tunes such as The One I Am, I Love You Period, Lost Highway, I Want You Bad, Picture On The Wall, Thin Disguise, What Are We Waiting For (Yayhoos), Younger Face, Fall Apart On Me, All The Same, Thousand Little Pieces (what a song……) and Outlivin’. Note that have not included any tunes off the brand new spanking Homemade Sin album ‘Rollercoaster’ as its only released this week – nor off Dan’s new solo album -SoLow either.

Australia – tour dates are locked in for April and May 2017. Y’all get ready for the BEST rock n roll band in the world. Real rock n roll – for un real times. More information at


Mr Rockbrat chooses his Top 10 Oasis tunes !

My recent post about Slade – where I referenced Noel Gallagher from Oasis – reminded me of another article I’ve been meaning to write for some time. And it is something very close to my rock n roll heart: the mighty Oasis and more specifically – what are my Top 10 Oasis songs ?!

The timing seems right, what with the 20th year anniversary of the Definitely Maybe record upon us.  With a rich back-catalogue of tunage, it would be impossible to name just one favourite Oasis song – an outfit whom are without a doubt – the last great rock n roll band of our time. Nevertheless, I have managed to select ten tunes – so let’s have it.


This floored me when I first heard it and still does. The way Liam punches into the tune after Noel’s glorious pick slide is mind-blowing. Cryptic – cool lyrics wrapped into a chunky bass-laden chorus, would ensure this song’s popularity over many years – from small clubs to stadiums. Love it !


Often voted the #1 fan favourite, and rightly so. Big, loud guitars – a sweeping chorus – the Gallagher brothers sharing vocal duties – I mean, does it get any better ?! The answer is no, it does not. To be played at maximum volume only.

Slide Away

This one moves me like no other – whether amped up – or performed acoustically by Noel, this track (in my opinion) defines the Oasis-sound far more than Wonderwall ever will. Lyrically, it is Noel at his very best with lines such as ‘Now that you’re mine, We’ll find a way of chasing the sun, Let me be the one who shines with you.’ [Sigh] – Truly stunning.

Don’t Look Back In Anger

Littered with Lennon-isms throughout, this amazing song affects people in different ways. Only the power of a well-written song can do that, like this one. Billboard Magazine said of the tune, “Noel Gallagher reveals a deft sense of timing and craft that turn his improprieties into masterful pop gems.” I cannot add to that.

Some Might Say

This was an easy one to nail – and has the trademark Oasis-sound – big guitars, sing-along chorus and hooks a-plenty. Twenty years on it still sounds phenomenal.

Gas Panic

Lifted from the very underrated Standing on The Shoulder of Giants –Gas Panic is one of my choice Oasis cuts – and I mean, what’s not to love ? The mystical lyrics are great – but it’s the way the song kicks into gear about 90 seconds in – that’s the stuff I really dig. Liam introduces this on the live Familiar To Millions album with ‘it’s a Good fookin’ tune this, cmon’! – My sentiments exactly.

The Masterplan

Sheer brilliance and the tune which thrust Noel Gallagher above the pack of 90’s songwriters.  If this was put on canvas – people would be lining up for hours to see it.

Bring It On Down

Noel has written several loud and dirty punk songs – such as Fade Away and Headshrinker. Both could’ve made my top ten – but it was in fact the similar-veined Bring It On Down which got the nod. What elevates this one is the smashing, raucous guitars mixed with Liam’s snarling vocals. And with a pounding drum intro like no other – this could be one of Tony McCarroll’s finest moments. Great in the live environment too, it contains grimy, street-level lyrics like  ‘you’re the outcast – you’re the underclass, but you don’t care – because you’re living fast’. This is about as pure as rock n roll gets, penned by  young, hungry working-class kids with attitudes and songs to match.

(It’s Good) To Be Free

This is such a great song, but it was hearing it on a BBC session from late 1994 which in fact knocked me senseless. Noel’s searing guitar work, Liam’s snotty vocal delivery – make an effort to track this down – and you’ll see what I mean. Intensely wonderful.

The Importance of being idle

Kinks comparisons aside – this song went to Number One in the UK and justifiably so.  It is catchy as all hell, and (another) of Noel’s finest moments !

So there you have it folks. All done. In compiling a list of only ten, I have obviously left behind countless others….superb songs like Force Of Nature, Magic Pie, Waiting For The Rapture, Hey Now, Step Out, Talk Tonight, I Hope I Think I Know, Lyla, Rock n Roll Star, Little By Little, Shock Of the Lightning, Live Forever, Half The World Away, Stay Young and My Big Mouth – my gosh the list is endless. In case you ain’t figured it out – Oasis have been my favourite rock n roll band of these past two decades – they make me smile – they make me sing, they make me dance – they remind me of why I got into rock n roll in the first place.

The dreams we had as children may fade away – but good times and great rock n roll will live forever.

sladestToday I am giving Slade’s 1973 record ‘Sladest’ a thorough inspection – and damn it’s good. Actually it’s extraordinary ! What you are in fact all looking at folks – is the very first record I ever bought. See, me and the Cowboy used to spend many Saturday mornings as kids – perusing local school fetes, and it was on once such occasion, when I – at around 10 years old – shelled out around 50 cents for this guitar-charged classic. Suffice to say, when I got the wax home and spun it, I was addicted for life. The quality of hook-laden songs contained here is incredible – and I spent many hours as a kid – greedily drinking from the Slade well, whilst simultaneously reading over the booklet contained in this gatefold album.  Funnily enough, I have a distant memory of one of my sisters – (the one who let the side down when it came to rock cred) – mocking Dave Hill’s haircut. This misguided slur – made by someone who had dodgy albums by the likes of Bony M and Hall & Oates wedged in her K-tel Record Selector (not to mention sporting a do not unlike that of John Oates) – was most unwelcome. All hail Dave Hill – he has penned some of the most recognisable riffs of all time and is waaaaaay underrated. But where was I?  Oh yeah – just get a load of some of the tracks on Sladest: Cum on Feel the Noize, Look Wot You Dun, Gudbuy T’Jane, Skweeze Me Pleeze Me, Take Me Bak ‘Ome, Coz I Luv You, Get Down and Get With It, Mama Weer All Crazee Now. I mean, I know this was a Greatest Hits’ album, but sheesh – all tracks really are wonderful rock n roll songs, good time tunes, party tunes – a couple of them are bonafide anthems. No wonder that Slade were hugely influential on Simmons and Stanley from Kiss (not to mention helping themselves to the ‘Alive !’ title for their err live opus from 75 – Slade Alive ! was released three years earlier).  And as we would see some two decades later – Noel from Oasis would display his love of Slade through his music and songwriting.

In the 80’s – LA’s Quiet Riot would have massive success with a couple of Slade songs – main man Kevin Du Brow’s  vocals eerily like Noddy Holder. Not that I cared – I loved QR as much as Slade – and if you don’t own 1983’s Metal Health and 1984’s Condition Critical may the “Man With The Metal Mask” track you down. Fun fact: Quiet Riot form in 1973 – same year as ‘Sladest’ was issued. This record went to number one in both UK and here in Australia – and justifiably sat there for some time. Apart from Quiet Riot – I know of a couple of other bands to have tackled Slade tunage such as the aforementioned Oasis with Cum on Feel the Noize (which rivals the original) – and the horrendous Britny Fox who butchered ‘Goodbye T Jane’ back in 1988.

So there you have it folks – ‘Sladest’ – the first record I bought which ultimately has led me on an incredible rock n roll journey – which continues to this day. Go buy this and start your own   journey now !

Well – 2011 is almost done and dusted. There’s been a few albums released that are worthy of your attention, so here we go, Cowboy Col’s Top 5 albums of 2011 (in no particular order).

Lucinda Williams – Blessed: Read all about it here

Noel Gallagher – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. Already Number 1 and gone platinum. The songwriter of his generation. Superb. Liam Gallagher says Noel’s High Flying Birds are ‘boring’ and have ‘no balls’ and ‘no attitude’. I don’t know about that. I’ll leave it to Mr Rockbrat to dissect. The Chief is back – show all and sundry how it’s done in no uncertain terms. 

 The New Toys – Buffalo CD: Read all about it here

 Kevin K – Joey & Me CD- Read all about it here

 Michael Monroe –  Sensory Overdrive CD   Read all about it here

 There was an album released very late last year that has been completely overlooked, so I’m going to include that as well. That is Black Label – Brothers In Arms: Read all about it here

Part of the charm of the Gallaghers is their no nonsense approach. Neither suffer fools lightly, be they journalists or not, so at last, late last year this little book was released that compiles all the wit and wisdom of the Gallaghers in one book. I read through it the other day and reading some of Noel’s quotes made me laugh. Need to know what Liam thinks about  aliens?  Or Noel’s thoughts on religion ? It’s all in here. Hey Rockbrat –  you got this one? At only $14 Australian – with free postage worldwide – well you can’t really go wrong now can you… it here

For those not aware of Oasis history – this show at Wembley has achieved legendary status, chiefly because Liam is as pissed as a parrot. Things were not going all that great for the boys on the ‘Standing On The Shoulder of Giants’ Tour – with Noel walking out mid-tour after a brotherly fight – and being replaced by Matt Deighton. Noel however returned for the triumphant London gigs – which were that summer’s biggest rock shows. The first night (July 21st) went well, and the boys are in top form with the recording being released down the track via the ‘Familiar to Millions’ live album and video. Liam apparently went out to celebrate after the first gig and went on a bender. He shows up at Wembley shortly before show time holding a pool cue and in Noel’s words ‘looking like Grizzly f#%king Adams ! The broadcast was beamed live to the masses around the world and Our Kid is pissed and on form. He kept on referring to the venue as a shithole, which is where the title of this live recording stems from. Sure he’s out of tune at times, and sure he cusses, swears, forgets lyrics and does not hold back. Phil Collins and Simple Minds both cop a verbal barrage. But the unit carries on, cranking out the anthems to an adoring 100’000 devotees. The charm and drunken swagger of Liam Gallagher as he fronts the mighty Oasis on this particular evening is truly magnificent. I’ve read that both Noel and Liam have never watched this debacle, but the Rockbrat rates it as one of his favorite ever live Oasis recordings. Liam and Oasis – they just don’t make rock n roll outfits like this anymore !

This album went to number one in many countries and sold millions. It’s a freakin classic filled with anthems. Hard to believe it’s now 15 years old. Most of the albums came with a standard silver disc. However some of the discs themselves feature a photograph of the back of Noel Gallagher’s head. Story goes that Noel knew the album was gonna be massive – and that some record company exec (who he wasn’t a fan of) would no doubt hang the million selling disc on the wall – and that he’d be turning his back on them ! Not sure how many were pressed and they’re kinda scarce now, but an interesting Oasis collectable nonetheless.