Interview: Paul Gallagher


Our friends at ZANI LTD recently sat down with Paul Gallagher at a café in Hampstead, to catch up on music, Oasis, Man City and much more. Here are some excerpts:

Sibling rivalry is one of the most competitive and emotional rivalries that there is. Whether it is attention seeking, jealousy or simply teasing, the arguments can be vicious and vindictive. However in the same breath the unity of siblings is immensely powerful. An unbreakable bond can be formed, that in some cases is an honour that would mean protecting the family name to the death. The world of sport, music, film and even crime, has seen many siblings whose concord is a force to be reckoned with. The England 1966 World Cup winning squad, consisting of Bobby and Jackie Charlton, the world of film has given us the Baldwin brothers (Alec, Stephen, William and Daniel); in music we have seen The Davies brothers (Ray and Dave) from The Kinks. The Sixties underworld gave the world two sets of siblings to fear, The Krays and The Richardson’s.

Moreover one of the most documented brotherly relationships which captured the Medias attention on numerous occasions is that of Liam and Noel Gallagher of Oasis. Such opposition seems to have eventually led to the demise of their band in Paris in August 2009, a feud that had been brewing for well over a decade. To the world it seemed inevitable.

But what of those lesser known brothers who stand in the shadows? With the Krays, It was Ronnie and Reggie who took centre stage whilst their brother Charlie always seemed to be in the background. Perhaps the Baldwin’s brother maybe envious of Alec’s breathing taking ‘balls of steel’ speech in Glengarry Glen Ross. While Phil Neville might be a tad annoyed that Gary Neville has more England caps than him.

But what of Liam and Noel Gallagher’s brother-Paul Gallagher? The older brother who witnessed the rise to success of his kid brothers to Cult status-what has he been thinking all these years? How does a man deal with that? How has his path to success been mapped out?

Paul first came to prominence when he published his own account of the Oasis story, from Childhood to Oasis with Terry ‘The Word’ Christian. For sure, you could say, an easy subject matter for him to write, yet who better else to tell their story, than from the man who was with Liam and Noel from their birth. From such a debut Paul Gallagher has become first a Journalist, but been also involved in the music business,band management and now more recently earned his name as a highly sought after DJ. Certainly a man’s idea of a dream job and a further complement to the Gallagher Heritage.

ZANIAlan McGee says he has never seen you happier and he said you seemed content and fulfilled.

Paul Gallagher – Yea, I am happy. Oasis took up a lot of my time, nineteen years in fact. Even though I wasn’t directly involved with them, I was drawn into to them. However, I don’t have to prove anything to anyone any more, not that I ever did.

ZANILife does seem to be good for you at the moment, as you are DJing all over the world

Paul Gallagher – Well mainly all over Europe, because in the US, they are expecting me to pay for it, they want you to get your flights sorted, and all that, well to me, that is their department. Predominately I have been playing in Belgium for the last two years. It’s a country of ten million people, who are well into their music.

ZANIDidn’t you take a break from DJ-ing, and how did you get back into to it?

Paul Gallagher – I met this kid in London two years ago, he said to me, “You used to DJ?” I said “yeah, that was years ago, and I can’t be bothered anymore”. But he said “If I find you a club, will you come and DJ?”, so I said “why not?” So we started ” Hindu Nights” at the Make Up Club in Ghent, Belgium every two months, and that is kind of cool. From that I have done festivals all over Europe with The Sex Pistols, Oasis, The Buzzcocks, and even a dance one, I don’t know why I was there with Soulwax, but it was a good paid gig. I have been all over in Europe, its cool. I initially started in the late 80’s in Manchester but packed it up when Acid House reared its head.

ZANI – Talking about Oasis, you wrote a best seller on Oasis with Terry Christian. From my research, I understand that you wrote this book, because you had enough of press intrusions and the ex tour managers accounts of Oasis.

Paul Gallagher – Every one was writing a book, but no body was getting it right. None of them were accurate; I was there from day dot. I sold 60,000 books in less than a year.

ZANI – Do you still speak to your co-author Terry Christian?

Paul Gallagher – Nay, he’s an Utd fan, what do I want to speak to him for? He was there at the right time, that’s all.

ZANI – Got any more plans to do any more books?

Paul Gallagher –I have a concept for a novel or a screenplay about the Irish coming to England in late forties and early fifties set in a fictional northern town with a mad love affair, all based on real people’s experiences. But if I am going to do it, I better do it now, because most of the people are in their eighties, and they might be dead when I get round to it.

ZANI – I like the concept a lot .You also wrote for Sky Sports?

Paul Gallagher – Yeah I did, everyone wanted to write about football, but I wrote about the sports that no one wanted to write about.

ZANI – What did you write about?

Paul Gallagher – I used to write about boxing, I am mates with Colin Dunne, the boxer from Liverpool. I used to interview boxers; I interviewed Paul Ingle, before he got injured, Barry McGuigan, all of them. I used to do big write ups, no one would cover boxing at Sky. Sky Sports would have “such a fight”, but they would never do an in-depth interview, but I would.

ZANI – I admire your innovativeness.

Paul Gallagher – Boxing is the hardest sport in the world, one man against one man, life or death. Hats off to any boxer that gets in the ring, you have got to be crazy. Gotta to be up for it.

ZANI – I agree, with a football team, you’ve got your team mates to help you out.

Paul Gallagher – Even at a gig, you can get away with it, without going full pelt. But you can’t with boxing.

ZANI – Who’s your favourite boxer of all time?

Paul Gallagher – I used to like Barry McGuigan, because he brought Ireland together at the time, Sugar Ray Leonard. I also wrote about Athletics when I was at Sky, because no one else wrote about it.

ZANI – Are you into Athletics?

Paul Gallagher – No, I fucking hate it. Just because no one else would touch it

ZANI – So that was your approach, be different and not go with the flow.

Paul Gallagher – Yeah, no one will nick your stories either. I also wrote for Teletext, which was equally as boring. So I quit, went back into band management for a bit.

ZANI – Would you carry on with band management?

Paul Gallagher – No, I can’t be arsed with managing bands, I manage myself these days, it’s much easier.

ZANI I understand you have an idea for a bus film in development.

Paul Gallagher – I thought it would a good idea, to take a huge van around Europe with TV Crew and a small generator, and do a Guerilla Festival. We will call it the smallest Festival in the world, so I did some research and found thirty-two foot mobile home with three beds, and seats on the top part of the mobile home. You could take the seats out and put your decks up there. Get a tidy stage set up outside, and get your guest performers, like your Doherty, Gary from Snow Patrol doing acoustic sets. We will pay for their flights, plot up at a European beach, and do our Guerilla Festival. Start off in France, end up in Russia, the smallest Festival in the world.

The film would be brilliant, ‘cos it would have loads of guests on it, you can blog it, and you can webcam it.

ZANI – I like it, a cross between Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters and Cliff Richard’s Summer Holiday.

Paul Gallagher – Exactly.

ZANI – Going back to your DJ-ing, and Oasis, you were DJ-ing the night they split. Was it a JFK moment for the Brit Pop generation?

Paul Gallagher – JFK moment, like it.

ZANI – We were one of the first sites to break the news, Alan McGee called me at midnight to give an official statement, and I was crashed out on my bed after a few Peroni’s.

Paul Gallagher – Yeah, I read it. There was something going down, because I don’t usually go on tour as such with Oasis. But for the last week of that tour, I was with them. I joined them at Bridlington Spa in Yorkshire, and then I went to Birmingham with them, then a day off. The others went to the cinema, Liam and I went to the pub, went to City v Wolves game at home. The V festival in Staffordshire, then the Chelmsford leg was pulled, and then I met up again with Oasis for the Paris gig. But it did feel a bit strange. Liam turned up, him and Noel started having World War four, everyone seemed confused.

ZANI – Yeah, Madness had to do two sets to cover for them,

Paul Gallagher – I know, I was there, and it gave me the chance to give Suggs a big slap on the head when he was being interviewed.

ZANI – Why?

Paul Gallagher – ‘Cos he stitched me up many moons ago, but it was strange for Oasis to spilt up in Paris.

ZANI – Well it’s where Jim Morrison died and was buried.

Paul Gallagher – They should have held on a little while longer, because the tour ended in Milan, and Milan would have been perfect, because that is the biggest Oasis stronghold in Italy. But it wasn’t to be. A few music journalists were saying to me at the after show party “This is a fucking disgrace” and I said “Shut up, *****, you didn’t pay to get in”.

Even though the rest of Oasis had spilt, I played right to the end of the aftershow party, but the promoters held onto my payment up until to the very end, because they thought I would do a runner. Fuck off I am a professional

ZANI – What are Liam and Noel doing now?

Paul Gallagher – As we know Noel is doing acoustic stuff, and Liam is rehearsing with a new band,

ZANI – Will Liam’s new band be called Oasis?

Paul Gallagher- I don’t know, I don’t think so.

ZANI – Let’s talk about Liam’s clothing company, Pretty Green. I heard that Paolo Maldini is a business partner with Liam.

Paul Gallagher – Yea, well.. I assumed Paolo Maldini had invested half a million Euros in Pretty Green, but this is no longer the case.

ZANI – Is it true that Pretty Green turned down an investment from Alessandro Del Piero?

Paul Gallagher – I think they met Del Piero but he didn’t come up with the money.

ZANI – But Del Piero is a massive Oasis fan.

Paul Gallagher – Yes, Del Piero is a massive Oasis fan, and he gave his world winning football boots to Liam and Noel. Liam got the right, and Noel got the left. Liam went to his favourite Italian restaurant in Henley , and gave the owner Del Piero’s boot, who happens to be a massive Juventus fan, but the owner was gutted ‘cos he only got one boot. Liam said you will have to see Noel for the other.

ZANI – That’s a bit ungrateful, that’s one more boot than all the other Italian restaurants in England.

Paul Gallagher – I know, there are a lot of footballers that love Oasis, but they can’t go because of the politics. Half of the Man Utd are into Oasis. Gary Neville, massive fan, you probably know this story as it was in the press, where he asked Noel to sign his thirty grand Gibson. Noel defaced it, wrote ‘Cunt’ all over it, and said “You are the worst ever player to play for England.”

Wayne Rooney’s girlfriend, Coleen Rooney got Wayne a guitar for his birthday, so she sent to Ignition, Noel’s management company and asked them to get Noel to sign. Noel got his mate to paint it in sky blue emulsion , wrote abuse all over it, and sent back to Rooney. So Rooney sent Noel a signed and framed photo of him scoring against Man City, Noel smashed it up and sent it back to him. It’s an ongoing saga, the Man City and Man Utd banter.

ZANI – Ha, that’s what you call banter.

Paul Gallagher – You got it.

ZANI – We spoke about new bands, are there any new bands that excite you?

Paul Gallagher – No, there aren’t any good bands out there, they all look good, they have got the attitude, but they haven’t got the songs. In saying that I do like Exit Calm from Barnsley,and also The Drums from the US of A, they have got quite a Beach Boys sound. There are loads of bands out that are rehearsing, but what the fuck are they writing.

ZANI – I don’t know, there are some good bands coming through

Paul Gallagher – But not a gang of Italian Ultras playing funk, and let’s hope not.

© Words – Matteo Sedazzari/ZANI Ltd
Additional material – Tracey Wilmot

Published with kind permission – view full interview at original Source

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