Noel Gallagher says he felt 'demonised' growing up in Irish community in Manchester during the Troubles
Noel Gallagher has said he felt demonised growing up in the Irish community in Manchester due to IRA bombings.
The Oasis star recalled coming home to Manchester in the mid-1970s after family summer holidays at his granny’s house in Mayo and having the family car searched by British soldiers with sniffer dogs.
The musician, whose new album Council Skies with his band, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds is released in June, said: “When you’re with your parents, you feel safe. But when they’re taking your Uncle Paddy out of the car, and then you go off into a room and the sniffer dogs come out and they’d have mirrors underneath the car? I didn’t really realise then what they were searching for.”
The 55-year-old, who recently split from music publicist wife Sara MacDonald, said: “I was too young to understand. I was old enough to hear it on the news but young enough not to completely understand it. Obviously, I know more about it now than I did then — like the Birmingham Six and all that," he told the Sunday Independent.
“The Irish community in Manchester circled the wagons, because the Irish community were demonised. I felt that at the time. But I would only have been six, seven, eight when it [the IRA bombing campaign of mainland Britain] was going on in 1974 and 1975. I was born in 1967.”
Gallagher's friend, Belfast producer David Holmes, has worked on his new album including doing a remix of I’m Not Giving up Tonight. He also produced the last album, 2017’s Who Built The Moon?
“Belfast is a great European city. It’s funny to think of the history of violence in that city,” Gallagher said.
“But I don’t get to see any of it. I whizz in, do the gig, it’s all great and then you come out again. I was going to David’s house one day. It was through an area that was full of Union Jacks. The pavements were painted red, white and blue. I was a bit: ‘Oh, f**king hell!’ And the opposite side of it as well,” he said.
“You come in on the plane and you see the places that are walled off, it’s like, ‘Jesus’.”