Noel Gallagher reveals real reason he goes to Glastonbury as he prepares for Pyramid Stage
NOEL GALLAGHER has told me he doesn’t head to Glastonbury for the music – but rather for the weird and wonderful people he meets at the site on Worthy Farm.
And while the former Oasis guitarist and songwriter is not one for a selfie, he is determined to grab a snap on Paul McCartney’s knee.
The Britpop hell-raiser will take to the Pyramid Stage this evening with his band Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds ahead of Macca’s triumphant return to the festival.
In his only newspaper chat ahead of the set, Noel revealed: “Thank God Glastonbury is back. It sh**s all over New Year and it’s way more important than Christmas.”
He plans to stick around and explore the festival, joking: “After I’ve sat on Macca’s knee for a bit I’ll swing by the little Mancunian enclave up in some far-off never never land and say all right to Bez [from Happy Mondays] and the box of toys and take it from there.
“I’m very much looking forward to seeing The Punishers — top psychedelic firm from Manchester, although I think they might clash with The Pink Monkeys so I’ll have to decide which ones I’m gonna do — actually I might do both.
“Other than that, no one really.
“I don’t go for the music. I’ll just wander around bumping into amazing people getting into adventures and seeing wonderful things.”
Very few acts have ever headlined Glastonbury twice but thanks to Oasis, Noel is in that extremely elite club. The group made their debut at the Somerset festival in 1994, returning a year later to headline in 1995.
Nearly a decade on, in 2004 festival organiser Michael Eavis booked them once more, with Noel and his brother Liam performing as the main act on Friday night.
In a full-circle moment that is sure to send Noel down memory lane, the Saturday headliner that year was none other than Paul McCartney.
While Noel has nothing but love for Glastonbury, Liam has previously admitted it was one of the worst gigs of his life.
He said: “I’ve always enjoyed Glastonbury.
“There’s only one that I didn’t, and that was when I wore a white jacket.
“I didn’t enjoy that one because that was when I had first started using in-ears [monitor earphones to hear the music] and it spun me out for 15 years.”
Liam added to BBC 6 Music: “I hated that gig, man.
“I put them in for the sake of the band and my voice and all that, but I couldn’t get my head round it.”
In-ears or not, I have no doubt this evening Noel will prove once again why he is one of the greatest musicians of our time.
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY issued a passionate plea to music lovers.
Ukraine’s president spoke via video message on the giant screens of the Other Stage ahead of The Libertines’ set yesterday.
He warned more must be done to stop Russia declaring war on the rest of the world.
Zelensky said: “Glastonbury is the greatest concentration of freedom these days, and I ask you to share this feeling with everyone whose freedom is under attack.
“Spread the truth about Russia’s war. Help Ukrainians who are forced to flee their homes because of this war.
“Put pressure on all the politicians you know to help restore peace in Ukraine. Prove that freedom always wins.”
Spice Girls on cards for 2023
MEL C has confirmed the Spice Girls have been in talks about taking to the Pyramid Stage for next year’s legends slot.
Sporty said: “It’s the dream, the absolute dream.
“We would love to do it. You know what, the girls and I, we have chatted about it.
“It’s the biggest stage in the world, we have the best festival in the world right here.”
Asked by BBC Breakfast if Victoria Beckham is on board, Mel replied: “I have a good feeling.”
If they sign up, Mel C, Posh, Mel B, Geri Horner and Emma Bunton would be following in the footsteps of some huge names.
Others to have graced it in the past include Dolly Parton, Kylie Minogue, Lionel Richie and Shirley Bassey.
Following her popular DJ set on Thursday, Mel wowed fans yesterday afternoon by joining Stockport indie band Blossoms in an energetic performance of the Spice Girls’ 1997 hit Spice Up Your Life.
A source said: “Mel has made no secret she wants the girls to reunite. She’s at the festival and treating it as a recce for 2023.
“There is momentum in the talks and cautious optimism that Posh will join them.
Organisers are really keen to lock this in, especially as they have come under fire before for a lack of women on the bill.”
I’m no Spice Boy but it would be epic if Emily and Michael Eavis pull this one off.
If anyone can bring Posh back into the fold, it’s them.
Griff in jet set with Ed
GRIFF wows on the John Peel Stage fresh from touring Europe with Dua Lipa.
The Black Hole singer made the most of the warm weather and chose a white crop top and skirt for her performance yesterday afternoon.
Other acts appearing on that stage this year include Primal Scream, Charli XCX and Yungblud.
Chatting backstage, Griff told me how she has struck up a close friendship with Ed Sheeran, who she is supporting on his tour later this year.
The Bad Habits superstar even invited her on his private jet to hang out.
She said: “He is really good. When you are talking to Ed you don’t feel like you are talking to Ed Sheeran – he’s so normal and down to earth.
“He invited me on his private jet one time and it was the most surreal thing I’ve ever done. It’s so huge and beautiful. He is such a generous guy.”
DIANA ROSS warmed up for her Glastonbury debut at the O2 in London – and dropped her mic into the crowd
The Motown great, who will appear on the Pyramid Stage this weekend, made the mistake just seconds into her comeback gig in the capital on Thursday.
Luckily for the ex-Supremes singer, a fan returned the mic – but she did look rather flustered.
Pete ’n’ love, Glasto
THE LIBERTINES took the Other Stage back to the Nineties with their set yesterday morning.
Pete Doherty, Carl Barat, John Hassall and Gary Powell opened with Up The Bracket, then launched into a string of favourites and revelled in the crowd singing along to What Katie Did.
Can’t Stand Me Now sent fans into a frenzy as Pete and Carl performed like it was nearer midnight than lunchtime, leaning into the mic together before embracing on stage.
Pete was seen whispering, “I love you” to Carl before they continued the rip-roaring set, which ended with Don’t Look Back Into The Sun.
The crowd, myself included, did not not want the show to end and the cheers were like a wave engulfing everyone and anything in Worthy Farm.
Drummer Gary whipped up the audience for a last hurrah, as he started a chant of “We love you Ukraine” – much to the delight of those at his feet.
IT’S hard to know where to go first, but Block9 has some of the most impressive sets and stages I’ve ever seen.
The creative geniuses behind the Dua Lipa Studio 2054 show in 2020 have based the Genosys outdoor arena on the birth of dance music.
It marks the 30th anniversary of Castlemorton, the biggest illegal rave ever held in the UK.
Block9 co-founder Stephen Gallagher told me backstage: “Thirty years on, we continue to fight for the utopian dream Castlemorton represented.”
Now that’s one party worth the hangover.
Sam and Sigrid in studio
SAM FENDER confirmed he has been in the studio with Sigrid.
I revealed the pair were spotted deep in conversation at an afterparty following the NME Awards in March.
The Hypersonic Missiles singer, who played the Pyramid Stage last night while Norwegian star Sigrid took to the John Peel Stage, admitted the tracks are not for his album because he is “too much of a control freak” on his own material.
Sam said: “We have done a little bit of writing and stuff but nothing set in stone.
“I’ve been doing bits of co-writing on the side, not for my own stuff. I am too much of a control freak to co-write with anyone for my own stuff.”
I WAS lucky enough to check out Rosco Shakes’ set at The Rabbit Hole last night and was blown away.
The rhythm and blues band previously played the farm in 2019 before being picked up by BBC Radio 2’s Blues Show.
Macca & Cheese
PAUL McCARTNEY managed to squeeze in a surprise gig before going to the festival.
The Beatles legend is about to become the oldest solo headliner of Glastonbury as he takes to the Pyramid Stage tonight.
Macca waved as he arrived in Frome, 15 miles from the festival site, with his wife Nancy Shevell.
The concert was at the Cheese & Grain – and tickets sold out in less than an hour.