Noel Gallagher

The Crooks - Now Then

For many Oasis fans, including Noel Gallagher, they wish upon a parallel universe. One where 1997's 'Be Here Now' had undergone extreme quality control.

Well, that wish might just have been granted in the form Chesterfield's The Crooks. Cut them and they will bleed DMA's via the extravagance of Oasis circa 1996 to 1998 but, crucially, without the self-indulgence on their latest EP ‘Now Then’.

'Grey Man' has the lone wanderer feel of Noel's solo masterpiece 'Riverman'. Here though, he walks upright with youthful enthusiasm. The psychedelic guitars of Stee and Mods are the perfect platform for frontman Jacko to execute his Liam Gallagher via Thomas O’Dell (DMA’s) vocals. As Jacko decrees “bring me back to the wonderland”, music lovers over the age of 30 will have their youthful ambition restored whilst this generation runs amok to secure it for them.

The Oasis via DMA’s style continues throughout to wonderful effect. ‘All Isn’t As It Seems’ is a lyrical update of ‘Live Forever’ or The Enemy’s ‘Away From Here’. As the chorus of “I want to live my life away / I’m sick of doing it your way” images of huge festival crowds singing arm in arm come rushing to the fore. Meanwhile, on ‘Champagne & Caviar’, the parallel universe strikes. Oasis’ ‘It’s Getting Better Man’ is cut down to 3mins of scintillating solos and the hunger of ‘Definitely Maybe’.

When they do strike for the stadium rock sound on ‘Rocket’, it comes with the anguish that rock ‘n’ roll needs to truly matter. With a punk spirit in its veins, ‘Rocket’ is the sound of people trying to make ends meet and enjoy themselves. All the while, an Etonian racist and Pro-Privatisation of NHS dickheads battle it out to rule over us. The sheer guts and desperation of ‘Rocket’ can be all things to all people. It’s a clarion call to the jaded and a helping hand to those on the canvas. It’s uniting spirit is a reminder that rock n roll will never die.  

Despite the comparisons to DMA's and Oasis, this is not just a re-hash. The Crooks are very much one step backwards, 2 steps forward sonically. It’s the spirit they evoke on ‘Now Then’ that shines brightest. It’s as though they put Shane Meadows in charge of producing ‘Be Here Now’ to give it the brutal reality check it needed. The results, heady and pure rock n roll.

Friday 2nd August marks our 8th birthday. Come down to the New Cross Inn for a night of great live music. Tickets available here:

Gazelle – Young Blood EP

Leicester’s Gazelle have been setting the underground circuit alight with their brand of rock ‘n’ roll in 2019. This past Friday marked their debut EP release. Can ‘Young Blood’ keep the ball rolling?

Escapism and attitude are the bedrock of this EP. ‘Guilt Trip Gun’ pairs self-doubt and realisation that sticking two fingers up to the world is the only way through it! John Squire’s paisley era (Sally Cinnamon & Mersey Paradise) is reignited on the solo. Meanwhile, ‘Finger On The Trigger’ is inescapably for the young. Angst ridden and driven to break free of their shackles, Gazelle again look to the Roses with the bravado of Stoke’s All The Young.

On the title track and ‘Diamond High’, they begin to showcase there is more to them than just bangers. The former takes The Cure’s archetypal guitar sound and splices it with a rock’n’ roll desperation. Had it sound tracked the tunnel scene of Perks of Being a Wallflower, it would not have been out of place.

‘Diamond High’ taps into the innocent energy of Gerry Cinnamon. Taking a stripped back approach to the Roses rippling guitars, they’ve found a wholesome and everyman sound that’s made Shed 7 so adorable down the years. The sentiments of ‘Live Forever’ prevail on ‘Diamond High’ beautifully in lyrics:

“I get lost sometimes / Your always in mind / I promise you and I / can forget the rest of the world”

 This kind of no nonsense romanticism is destined to bring them huge success!

Friday 2nd August marks our 8th birthday. Come down to the New Cross Inn for a night of great live music. Tickets available here:




Noel Gallagher - Black Star Dancing

Despite the success of ‘Who Built The Moon?’, creatively, although leaps were made, great strides forward were not.

So, when the house music Noel talks about so lovingly emerges in the opening of ‘Black Star Dancing’, we stood still. Has the penny dropped? Has he gone for it this time? It would appear he might have!

The crisp bassline immediately transports you to the early part of a club night. A sense of excitement hangs in the air, where will this night go! Noel has found his Chicago soul vocally, cool and calm in verse, exciting and escapist in the chorus. Someone get him in a studio with Frankie Knuckles and Marshall Jefferson!

Noel’s work with Johnny Marr has filtered through on the guitars too. The choppy disco style of Marr and Nile Rodgers collides with his incredulous ability to deliver a catchy solo. It goes further than pop music though, there is a dark edge backing the heavenly backing vocals and hypnotic beats.

This kind of juxtaposition was there on ‘Who Built The Moon?’ but, the quality has now gone to another level.

Friday 2nd August marks our 8th birthday. Come down to the New Cross Inn for a night of great live music. Tickets available here: