8. Rock ‘n’ Roll Star

Australia is very far away. This may sound obvious, because it is, but it has to be said that it really is very far away. However, sometimes, things make you feel at home;

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Manchester. Second only to Lund, which I assume is in Narnia.

Manchester seems to have been haunting us, because on Saturday night we went to see the prodigal Mancunian son; Noel Gallagher. This was a Christmas present (and frankly, a brilliant one considering it was bought well before we even got to Australia) from my dad and I was bloody excited.

The gig was at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney, which is a cool little venue in the south of the city. Its also located here;

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On Saturday night not only was there a Noel Gallagher gig at Hordern Pavilion, there were games at both of the stadiums as well as something called the Sydney Family Show. So, in my typical panicked organisation style, we left early and prepared for queues and crowds. Imagine my surprise then, when we got on a bus where the other passengers consisted of the bus driver.

Anyway we arrived at the gig in plenty of time, shockingly. I paid $18 for two eye-wateringly small cans of Heineken, while Katie went for some pre-mixed Vodka Red Bull which smelt like my A-Level results night and cost about as much as I spent that night too. As we looked around at the Pretty Green tops, parkas, mod haircuts and listened to the sound of ‘Lets ‘ave it Noel!’ in Manc accents, Australia didn’t feel so far away. We even saw Noel before the gig;

Incase anyone was wondering, I took this photo by pretending to take a selfie with Katie but having the camera the other way round. James Bond eat your heart out.

We then got into the venue which turned out to be pleasantly small (we’ll have no immature jokes at this point, thank you very much). Two things struck me when we got into position for the gig. One was the fact that everyone around me was quite short. For those who don’t know, I’m 6’3″ and quite often feel bad about being so tall at gigs, because I end up getting in people’s way. Then again, other times, usually when I’m soaked through from some idiot throwing expensive beer or their own urine around, I think why don’t other people just grow a bit. Katie suffers at completely the opposite end of the spectrum, being 5’4″ she rarely can see whats going on, and in fact on this occasion was stuck behind a six foot female with wild hair (picture Monica Gellar on a humid day) who was insistent on swaying frantically left and right, which personally I see as worse than throwing wee.

The second thing to strike me was this sign, and apologies for the blurriness;

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‘CROWD SURFING IS DANGEROUS. IT CAN HURT OTHERS. THIS ACTIVITY IS PROHIBITED AND YOU MAY BE EVICTED FROM THE VENUE’

Just to clarify; we are in Australia. This is the country of deadly spiders, snakes, sharks, crocodiles, arid and empty deserts, fearsome ocean rips and Home and Away. (That last one isn’t deadly, I just think they should be held responsible for its awfulness.) And yet in this country, Crowd Surfing is banned because it is ‘dangerous’. They’re happy for you to be killed by a snake (which you can’t kill because it’s protected), but if you think about getting on shoulders, you’re bloody in for it you dingo. I rest my case.

In any case, after some questionable DJing and obviously no crowd surfing, out came Noel. The last time I saw him I was 14, he was in Oasis, and I was puking at the back of Heaton Park because I’d had 3 pints of cider and the bloke next to me was smoking weed and I didn’t like the smell. I never was meant for the hardcore, drug fuelled, rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.

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Caught him at his finest ‘grumpy Manc’ face

Aside from my past embarassing sicktuation (sorry), he was brilliant. There’s no questioning how good Oasis were, but his new songs with Noel Gallagher’s High F’in B’s also include some gems. However, you don’t just get a music gig with Noel, you get a free comedy show thrown in too.

Now I’ve been to see a fair few gigs and there’s never much quality between songs; from Alex Turner sounding like a pissed 19 year old at GMEX in 2007 (in his defence, he was pretty much a pissed 19 year old at the time), to Johnny Marr having a Bono style Rant at the Albert Hall in Manchester last year, no-ones ever really covered themselves in glory. The younger Gallagher was somewhat different. Highlights include;

  • ‘Is that a book with my face on it? What’s it about?…..Do I die in the end? What of, having too much f***ing money?’
  • (After playing Champagne Supernova) ‘It always amazes me, after playing that song, how quickly the smell of weed fills the venue, as if some bloke is smoking it going “yeah, faster than a cannonball”‘
  • (As the bouncers threw someone out) ‘What was his problem? Don’t throw him out until he’s bought a t-shirt’

And finally, after the last song as everyone applauded, Noel stood infront of the crowd with arms stretched out saying ‘I know. I know. I get it. I do. I’m the best. I’m the f***ing best. I know, I do’

As we headed home amongst the crowds, which frankly I felt were the least Sydney could do after promising me them on the way there, it was almost like being back in Manchester. If only there had been rain falling, 15 less degrees on the thermometer and a group of aggressive teenagers chanting as they relieved themselves down a side alley, it could have been Manchester.

And right at the end of the gig I finally lived out a dream I really did think had eluded me; singing in a crowd to the chorus of Don’t Look Back In Anger. Only one more thing to say; Cheers Dad!

 

Alex Odlin has reached out to Noel Gallagher to see whether he could write for this blog to improve the comedic quality. Don’t hold your breath. While you wait to find out, why not read the blog from the start here at The Masterplan, or read his past silly musings at whatnottodoatuni.wordpress.com

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