Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Black Star Dancing

Noel Gallagher is back with his first new tunes in a little while, and he continues to split the opinion of his hardcore fanbase. You’d have to think ‘Black Star Dancing’ EP comes from similar sessions to his last album ‘Who Built The Moon?’, as the majority of it feels like random offcuts.

You’re likely to have heard the title track by now; it’s been all over the radio waves, and for good reason. ‘Black Star Dancing’ is a brave experiment, nothing like anything Noel has done before, and my god does he pull it off.

This track is perfectly weighted, controlled, considered- and an absolute roaring tune. The groove could make even the staunchest Manc dancer get loose, but it’s got the singalongvalue of any of Noel’s back catalogue. 

The three recent female additions to the High Flying Birds really come into their own, giving the track that ethereal quality that sounds incredible as you’re swaying under the strobes in the club.

The end of ‘Black Star Dancing’ is when its namesake EP takes a spectacular nosedive. First down the pipe is ‘Rattling Rose’, which I really don’t know what to make of. It sounds like it couldn’t possibly Noel Gallagher’s song, and yet it is.

It’s an odd  pop number that sounds better suited to a pseudo-jazz songstress playing in a dingy cellar bar, not a rock’n’rollstar. Whilst all three songs here are separate ventures into uncharted territory for Noel, ‘Rattling Rose’ is by far the most confusing.

Then next comes ‘Sail On’; Gallagher’s attempt to get onto the bill at the Cambridge Folk Festival by the sounds of it. 

‘Sail On’ is an irritating acoustic ramble, and unlike ‘Black Star Dancing’ you just can’t allow yourself to forget this is Noel Gallagher you’re listening to; it’s always in the back of your mind.

Once again you can’t help but think he’s singing someone else’s song; in this case a demo he found from rooting around in Marcus Mumford’s sock drawer. It doesn’t compute.

Rounding off the EP are two largely redundant remixes of ‘Black Star Dancing’, if you’re into that sort of thing, but I’d recommend just listening to the main version and binning off the rest of this EP. Don’t let all the other cack taint what is a brilliant tune.

We’ll have to hope that ‘Rattling Rose’ and ‘Sail On’ aren’trepresentative of what’s coming next from Noel, because he would’ve well and truly jumped the shark. He’s got to be careful not to push his goodwill too far, as stuff like that is more than divisive- it’s off-putting.