I saw Noel Gallagher

A little while ago I went to see Bob Dylan play live and despite him being one of my heroes I left feeling quite disappointed. I got the impression he was just going through the motions and didn’t really care about being there. The only thing I could take away from that gig was at least I had seen him with my own two eyes.

The contrast when I saw Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds play earlier last week was amazing. He too is the sort of figure who could sell out a venue with very little effort but it turned out to be one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to. To start with the people at the Transbordeur in Lyon, France had got the sound and lighting perfect.

And things started out very well when this chap came on stage:

Supporting act Jake Bugg is still very young but full of stage presence and he can play the guitar like a demon.

He takes his influences from folk artists of Dylan’s era and he has produced some really nice songs of that ilk with a modern twist. At the time of writing his single “Taste It” is being given away for free on iTunes (Log in on your own UK itunes account to find it) So I strongly recommend that you check him out.

After that performance by a young hopeful I was half expecting a lackluster performance from an established artist just turning up for a payday, but from the moment he walked on stage I realised how wrong I was. With the enthusiastic but tame French crowd all chanting No-el! No-el! No-el! he came on stage and immediately showed his true star quality.

The man who has been awarded the 2012 Godlike Genius award by NME then wowed the audience with a collection of new songs such as the hard hitting Freaky Teeth:

And unlike Dylan, Gallagher really took the time to interact with the audience throughout the gig, although he kept the same confrontational style that Oasis were known for – he threw out a few insults with a twinkle in his eye – and the audience loved it.

He also struck the right balance between old and new, playing some of his contemporary songs but knowing the audience will also be filled with diehard Oasis fans it lead to some really magical moments:

At the end of the gig a humble Noel Gallagher came forward and thanked the audience who had all been treated to a fantastic evening.

I hope you’ll take two things away from this article, check out Jake Bugg and go and see this Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds live. You won’t regret it.


Mud causes chaos at Isle of Wight Festival

You can see the video that goes along with this story on the euronews website here.

It was mud, mud glorious mud at the Isle of Wight Festival as Music lovers showed their dedication by braving the conditions after a combination of heavy rain and thousands of visitors turned the ground into a quagmire.

While scenes like this are not uncommon at British music festivals like Isle of Wight and Glastonbury, even hardened festival goers have been complaining about a lack of foresight and preparation at this year’s event.

55,000 visitors are expected to be descending on the Island, which has a a population of 140,000, although some have turned back in the face of 10 hour queues to get to the site, which meant many people had to sleep in their cars.

Organisers have now told anyone still on the mainland to travel to the island on ferries as foot passengers as tractors have been organised to meet them on the other side.

Lyon Music Festival / Fête de la Musique

World Music Day takes place on June 21 on the day of the summer solstice.  Its aim is to promote music, and on this night amateur and professional musicians perform in the streets. Free concerts are organised to expose people to a wide variety of different genres of music. The first was organised in Paris in 1982, and it is now celebrated in 32 countries around the world.

In Lyon hundreds of concerts take place throughout the city featuring local groups as well as international artists. Although I only got home from work at midnight on this night, I still managed to dash out with my little Lumix camera and take some videos around Vieux Lyon where I live. It’s really a fantastic night with something to discover on nearly every corner. For the moment I only have Windows Movie Maker to edit with but I’ve made do. Let me know what you think: