ESPN Music: Roberto Mancini

Noel Gallagher discusses soccer, solo tour

April, 17, 2012
4/17/12
7:47
AM ET


In the video for his new single, “Dream On,” Noel Gallagher plays a boxing official refereeing a live fight. Some might say that the former Oasis songwriting genius always has sports on his mind.

“Other than my wife and kids, it’s one thing I’m most interested in. But does sport ever influence my songwriting? Not really,” says Gallagher.

That said, Noel is very in tune with his hometown soccer club, Manchester City, as they spar with rival Manchester United for the Barclays Premier League title. Last month, Gallagher even interviewed Man City striker Mario Balotelli for BBC Sport, talking with the star about the club’s rise and the manager, Roberto Mancini.

“He’s great, the man for the job,” says Gallagher, of Mancini who has led City to an undefeated home record this season. “The last few games haven’t been a great end to the season but we’ll see.”

As of April 16, Man City sat in second place, five points behind United with four left to play this season.

Gallagher’s High Flying Birds kicked off their 2012 US tour March 28 in Washington, D.C. The North American Tour, which features intimate venues, included a stop last weekend at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival near Palm Springs, Calif., and wraps up this week with stops in San Diego, Phoenix and Las Vegas.

Compared to his Oasis days, Noel's part as vocalist gives touring a fresh, different feel.

“Well, the gigs aren’t as big. That’s the main thing. But the atmosphere is better, more comfortable,” he said. Still, Noel admits that being the band’s frontman on tour, and not just playing guitar, is an adjustment.

But through it all -- the breakup of Oasis in 2009 and the new venture with High Flying Birds -- Gallagher has stayed true to his music and his love of sports. And being in the U.S. will give him a chance to experience the other kind of football up close.

“I love the NFL. I don’t have a team per se, but I’m into it” Gallagher said. “NFL comes on late night in the UK when I’m up. I love the color and energy of it all. There’s so many things going on in American Football. It took me a while to get it, but I like it a lot.”

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