Noel Gallagher has spoken about the lack of working-class voices in contemporary music, suggesting the likes of Arctic Monkeys and Kasabian have made no impact in terms of encouraging any new “noise coming from the council estates”.
During an interview for the BBC Master Tapes show, via NME, a member of the audience questioned the Oasis founder about the health of the current British music scene. “You only have to look at the charts, what happened at the end of the 90s, all those bands used to be in the top 10, like us, Manics, Pulp, the Verve, Suede and Blur, and I think bands like that have been marginalised and sidelined,” he said. “There’s X Factor and all that kind of thing, but you name me the last great band that came out of this country? There’s not really been any great bands in the last 10 years.”
Specifically lamenting the lack of exciting bands (adding that One Direction were “not a band” but a group), Gallagher said that Arctic Monkeys and Kasabian had done little in the last decade to expand the variety of musicians operating in an increasingly middle-class music industry:
Shame on those two bands for a start because they didn’t inspire anybody else. The working classes have not got a voice any more. There doesn’t seem to be a noise coming from the council estates, you know what I mean?
I’d have eaten Bastille alive in an afternoon in the 90s, one interview, destroyed, gone, never to be heard of again. Easy, had ’em for breakfast. My bass player summed it up – we’re constantly saying: ‘Where is the next band coming from?’ and he rightly says: ‘Never mind the band, where are the people?’”
Gallagher added: “When I first started I wanted to get in the charts and wreck it, like stamp Phil Collins out and Wet Wet Wet, they’ve got to go, and all that 80s gear, we don’t need that any more. I don’t see anything from the working class, I just don’t see it.”
The musician’s recent statements echo his comments from a 2013 interview in weekly men’s magazine Shortlist, claiming that it was only the “middle-class” bands that refused to play at Teenage Cancer Trust gigs taking place at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
The new album from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Chasing Yesterday, is released in March.