Belfast Telegraph

Why Noel will never forget Oasis first Belfast gig

By Maureen Coleman

Oasis superstar Noel Gallagher has revealed why he will never forget the band’s debut performance in Belfast — and why the city still holds a special place in his heart.

Back in September 1994 an emerging young rock act from Manchester playing the Limelight heard the news that their first album had gone straight to number one.

Speaking at a packed Press conference at Slane Castle — to announce an Oasis headlining gig at the Boyneside venue on June 20 2009 — Noel recalled the moment he was told Definitely Maybe had topped the charts.

“We were playing in a bar in Belfast, I think it was called the Limelight. I was in the dressing room afterwards when someone came up and told us the album was going to be number one.

“So, yeah, Belfast will always be special for that reason.”

Noel, who was accompanied by band member Gem Archer, said he hoped to pop into the Limelight again for a drink when Oasis play a double date in Belfast later this month.

“Maybe we could go the second night,” he said, before turning to Gem and asking: “What do you think, do you fancy it?”

Gem replied: “Absolutely.”

Noel described Belfast as “one of the greatest cities in Europe” and said he loved playing anywhere in Ireland as the “Celtic crowds” always gave the band a warm reception.

“I think it’s because they get more drunk,” he laughed.

And he also said he had fond memories of holidaying in Ireland as a child.

“I spent a massive part of my youth in Ireland, six weeks of my school holidays there until I was 15,” he said.

“The smell in the air brings it all back to me. And Ireland has the best sweet shops in the world. I’m partial to Silvermints myself. I love it here, it’s the land of my fathers.”

Noel recalled the last time Oasis played Slane, supporting REM in 1995, and said he was delighted they were coming back as the headline act.

“It’ll be nice to finally do this in front of our fans after all these years,” he said.

“The last time about 80 of our relatives turned up. Some of those kids have grown up and have kids of their own now, so there’ll probably be about 97 of them here next year.

“It’ll also be great for the guys who have joined the band since the last time we played here and hopefully we will get the weather right and everybody will have a good time, and we’ll finally put the nail on the credit crunch.”

When asked what kept the band going, Noel joked: “It’s the credit crunch. It’s really kicked in at Chez Gallagher.”

He also told the Press conference that he was still very much “in love” with making music and that there was nothing else he could consider doing.

Limelight owner David Neely said the Oasis gig of 1994 was still one of the most talked about concerts in Belfast.

“Of course we would love to see them here again,” he added.

“We’ll have the champagne on ice for them.”

Belfast Telegraph

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