What to expect at the Noel Gallagher and Garbage concert tour: 'We're all beasts' (2024)

Ed MasleyArizona Republic

Shirley Manson and Noel Gallagher are about to spend the summer on a co-headlining tour that brings Garbage and Gallagher’s High Flying Birds to Talking Stick Resort Amphitheater on Sunday, June 11.

At the moment, though, they’re on a Zoom call, finishing each other’s sentences and responding to questions with freewheeling comedy bits, resulting in an interview that’s far more entertaining than illuminating.

There’s a rapport between the two that suggests they’ve been touring together for years. But this is actually their first time joining forces, although Garbage did rise to fame just a moment or two after Gallagher’s previous band, Oasis, emerged as the Britpop band most likely to conquer the world with “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?”

Their paths have crossed along the way, but Manson says Gallagher doesn’t remember, and when she tries to share the details, she is quickly interrupted by Gallagher's tale of a high-sea adventure with Omar Sharif and Peter Sellers.

It’s just that kind of interview.

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How Garbage and High Flying Birds decided to tour together

How did you come to find yourselves touring together?

Shirley Manson: Well, my granny knows Noel's granny and everybody thought it would be a good idea if we toured America together.

Noel Gallagher: My granny said to Shirley's granny, "Look, I've had enough of him. And you've had enough of her, so let's pack them off to America."

I would assume your paths have crossed at some point through the years?

Gallagher: We've met.

Manson: Noel doesn't remember meeting me (laughs). But I remember meeting him, of course. I've never forgotten how lovely he was. And as a result, I've just been a big fan of his ever since. Actually, Garbage, we were obsessed with Oasis for a while. We watched them like maniacs on MTV when we were making our own records in the studio and were very inspired by them. So yeah, we're psyched to be on tour together. It's gonna be great.

You said you remember meeting him. What were the circ*mstances?

Gallagher: Don't spoil it. Say something cool.

Manson: It was at the KROQ Christmas festival....

Gallagher (interrupting): I'll take it from here. We were on a (expletive) super yacht, right? In the Mediterranean with...

Manson (laughing): You myth maker.

Gallagher: With Omar Sharif. And….

Manson: Brigitte Bardot.

Gallagher: Brigitte Bardot and Peter Sellers. And Shirley turned to me and said, "Where did it all go wrong?" I said "I have no idea but I'm getting out of here." She said "I'm coming with you." And I said "Let's rock."

Manson: That was how it went.

I see. Why do I get the impression it's gonna be hard to get a serious answer out of Noel?

Manson: Yes, he's very difficult. It's a shame, really. He could have gone very far in the music industry. But you know, he's just unpleasant. And that's all we have. But we'll get through this interview. Don't you worry.

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Noel Gallagher on High Flying Birds' new album, 'Council Skies'

Noel, you have an album, "Council Skies," coming out the same day the tour starts. I've heard the singles. What can you say about the album as a whole?

Gallagher: Well, it was written in the first lockdown in 2020. It's quite a reflective album because I guess that year was quite reflective for everybody. I don't know what it was like in America but in Britain, we were all at home and I wrote a lot of material. I was going through a bit of (expletive) in my personal life and it's all there. I don't really want to tell people how to listen to a record but if you could sum it up with one word, it would be reflective.

Do you think releasing the "Back the Way We Came: Vol. 1 (2011–2021)" compilation as you were starting work on it had anything to do with putting you in that more reflective headspace? Or was that totally unrelated?

Gallagher: Do you want the honest answer?


Gallagher: There were a load of people sitting in an office not doing anything. And I was like, "We've got to do something." It was a weird time in 2020. And we decided it had been 10 years since I went solo and it seemed like a good time to put that record out. I wanted to keep us all focused on something and not just be moping around the house drunk at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

I get that, although that can be fun for a few days.

Gallagher: It can be fun for nine months.

I know the title of your album comes from Pete McKee's book "Council Skies." I was hoping you could talk about how that became the title and what role that song played in how the album came together.

I was writing the song and in the bit that mentions "Council Skies," there was a gap in the words and I didn't know what I was gonna call it. And that book was on a coffee table at home and I just happened to glance at it. It's the same as when I wrote "Wonderwall." It had a gap in the lyrics and I had a poster of the film "Wonderwall" framed on a wall at home. I'd walk past it 1,000 times a day and never notice it. And that one particular day, the same with the book, I looked at it and thought, "Wow, what a great title."

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Shirley Manson discusses a new Garbage album

Shirley, I know Garbage have been working on an album, your first since "No Gods No Masters." What can you tell me about how that's been going?

Manson: It's so hard to talk about a record when you're still in the middle of it. It's really difficult to see. But it's already got quite a different flavor from "No Gods," which was definitely kind of a political record in a funny way. You know, with a small p. This is a lot more personal, I think. And to steal from my comrade, Noel, it's definitely a bit more reflective. We all went through a lot during COVID and lockdown. I think we all got a little bit of PTSD. (laughs)

I certainly don't feel like the same person anymore, for whatever reason. So I think some of that's definitely influenced the writing. But as I said, you just don't know until it's done, especially with Garbage, because of the way we write. Everything gets sort of mashed up and cut up and put back together. It's sort of very Frankenstein the way that we work.

I know you were involved in assembling "Anthology." How did it feel to sift through all that music?

We put an anthology together just to sort of celebrate how long we've been together as a band. Our record company were pushing to get it together. At first, we were sort of like, "Uh, we've already done a best-of, let's not do that." And they were like, "But that was 15 years ago." We were sort of like, "Whoa, OK." We just literally took all the singles that had come out and put them on two pieces of vinyl and it felt significant.

I think nobody expected Garbage to last this long. Most of all ourselves, but I don't think the industry ever thought that we would have it in us to make it this far, you know? So I think we're proud of that.

It's very difficult to survive in the music industry at the moment, let alone a bunch of people who emerged in the '90s. It's highly competitive. It's hit-orientated. It's financially challenging for bands, which is why you don't see that many bands anymore. It's just financially a suck. And of course, record companies support solo artists, because they're cheaper to run and much easier to push around than a bunch of incalcitrant bastards who emerged in the '90s.

What do you think has kept Garbage together?

Manson: I don't know. I mean, I guess we have good chemistry. We're all beasts and we've got nothing better to do.

Shirley Manson and Noel Gallagher looking forward to the tour

Do you suspect that there's going to be any guesting on each other's sets on this tour?

Manson (laughing): No pressure, Noel.

Gallagher: Well, I am single and ready to mingle, so….

Is there anything you're especially looking forward to on this tour?

Gallagher: I'm just looking forward to the whole experience. I mean, I love touring America, particularly in the summer. I love being on the bus. I love my band and what I do. And it's just gonna be a great experience. You know, these things are what you make them. I'm determined that this is gonna be great. And I know Shirley feels the same way. And we're gonna have a great time.

Manson: Hurrah! Well, we're bringing out Metric, who are a fantastic band. I don't know if you've ever seen them play but they're more our style probably than Noel's style. They use a lot of electronics like we do. But Emily Haines is a fierce front woman. I'm gonna have my work cut out for me to follow her every night. So we're excited. It's a great package, actually. If you were into Garbage and Oasis and Noel and Metric, I think you're gonna have a really good summer with us. But I wouldn't say that, wouldn't I?

Garbage & Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

When: 7 p.m. Sunday, June 11.

Where: Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre, 2121 N. 83rd Ave., Phoenix.

Admission: $29.50and up.

Details: 602-254-7200,livenation.com.

Reach the reporter ated.masley@arizonarepublic.comor 602-444-4495. Follow him on Twitter@EdMasley.

Support local journalism.Subscribe to azcentral.com today.

What to expect at the Noel Gallagher and Garbage concert tour: 'We're all beasts' (2024)
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