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Alan: the royals are a bunch of fucking German inbreds

LONDON - More about Upside Down: The Creation Records Story, the new documentary charting the mighty rise, spectacular cultural impact and peculiar fall of Alan McGee's notorious record label. The company, with McGee at its helm, released some of the most influential albums of the early 90s, famously becoming home to Oasis during their Britpop heyday, thus placing themselves firmly alongside Factory Records as one of the most notorious labels to ever grace the British music scene.
For McGee, year after year of non-stop partying and excessive drug-taking culminated with him being rushed to an LA hospital by paramedics in 1994, three years after his label hit its creative zenith with the releases of Screamadelica, Loveless and Bandwagonesque. Sailing through the golden years of Britpop, Creation fell on tougher times later in the decade, released Kevin Rowland's monstrous failure My Beauty in 1999, and folded not long after that.
Q caught up with the now 'retired' McGee over a crackling phone line to get his version of the story. Cue much insanity, a fair share of drugs and a lot of swearing. Oh, and he's not a big fan of that newlywed couple, either.

I thought you were supposed to be retired?
A: I have retired! [(says something thoroughly incoherent about Dr. Feelgood and Upside Down director Danny O'Conner)]..he's a bloody brilliant director, fucking insane. A mentalist.

As insane as the impression you get of Creation from Upside Down?
A: Yeah, maybe back in the day. Now, Primal's are sober, I am sober..I think even Liam might be sober.

One thing I notic...
A: Just to answer your question: I'm really really happy with the film. Danny O'Conner is brilliant. But I would never have thought I'd be going to fucking film premieres, and in a bizarre way it's become some freaky cult movie. But I don't really know how big cult movies get. I thought it might get quite good reviews, but it just keeps coming. Someone asked me if I wanted to go talk in Taiwan to introduce the movie! It's gone a bit mental.

In the doc, [House Of Love singer] Guy Chadwick mentions that everyone at Creation was obsessed with being cool. Do you agree?
A: We were kinda ridiculous people, yeah. But that's mostly got to do with us being in a band or me running a record label. But I'd have to say we're probably guilty as charged.

The amount of drugs and insanity that went on in Creation...it must have been pretty intense?
A: It was. But you know, for me it was only intense up until '94 and then I got clean and never went back on drugs. I got bored in 2004 and drank for about a year, and then stopped. Now I'm just me. A 50-year-old bloke living in Wales. I'd probably bore you to tears now.

I'm sure you'd have some good stories though...
A: (laughs) Yeah, from a 50-year-old who got out alive and sober.

Could Creation have existed without the drugs?
A: Arguably no. This is a terrible thing to say, I don't mean it in any way that's promoting it, and I'm only drawing on personal experience. But I personally probably couldn't have been that on form in '91-'92, when I was putting out Screamadelica, Loveless and Bandwagonesque, taking all these giant steps without drugs, because I'd probably be realising what it is what I was doing [laughs]. So that's drugs, and it probably helped hit a kinda critical fucking high. I mean, I went on tour around '87 and never came off that tour until February '94. A seven-year party.

And you stopped before Britpop took off.
A: Yeah, I got out of drugs, cleaned up for nine months, came back sober, and it took me a while to get back into it. To be honest, I started losing interest in running a record label around then, but being sober didn't stop me being successful, or running a successful record label. Oasis made it exciting because they were so fucking huge and it exploded so fucking fast. It was just a major high without drugs.

Do you think Oasis will reform?
A: Yeah, I think so eventually, when the dust settles. Creatively, I think it's a good thing for them both that they split. Liam's record is good, a very happy record. Noel's demos are fucking stunning, the songs I've heard are amazing. The only problem could be getting the recording right, but if he does it will be an amazing record. But I think they're up against a lot of stuff because they're not called Oasis. But there will be peace eventually. Something will land on the desk, and it will be a few hundred million for some dates, and they'll go 'yeah'.

Noel Gallagher says in Upside Down that the Knebworth gigs were the death of indie...
A: I personally don't agree with that at all. Domino's been the natural successor to Creation, an utterly vigilant label. But I don't think Creation could be Creation in this current climate. Creation was about having an attitude, and it epitomised the 90s.

There's some talk in the movie about how Creation went global when Oasis came along.
A: You know, for me it's very hard to tell because I was always in the middle of it. Even I don't understand the full extent of what we did, but I think Danny captured the right points in the film, at the right time too. It would've been wrong to do [the film] back then I think, but now we've had some time to think on it.

How do feel about Be Here Now looking back on it?
A: I don't think the production is good, but I think the songs are good. And it sold like a million copies. James Allan from Glasvegas loves it! He wants to do a side project where he does Be Here Now acoustic with a choir. Fucking mad!

..but there's a good album in there underneath all the layers of guitars..
A: I totally agree! I think it was just too many drugs involved. And the weird thing for me is that I went through it all sober!

Have you read Tony Blair's biography?
A: [laughs] I never read it, no.

It's striking that your name, Noel, Liam, Damon Albarn, Britpop and Cool Britannia is not mentioned once, seeing how he based a lot of his campaign on that 'movement'.
A: [laughs more] He has erased it from history! But honestly, I don't for a moment regret going to 10 Downing Street. Don't think I'll be invited back, though.

One last question seeing how this goes out after a certain wedding...
A: [guffaws] You want me to comment on the fucking royals?

Yeah. How was the wedding for you in future retrospect?
A: Well, I'm not pro-royals. I don't understand why we've got them. To me they're just the biggest bunch of fucking chancers in Britain. Fucking...get paid millions to be fucking, you know...a bunch of...fucking German inbreds. But that's just me thinking out loud.
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Oasisblues copyright © 1994 - 2017

Beady Eye gigography and next tour dates

2000

30 May - Forum, Milan, Italy (the first "Noeless" gig since 1991 when he didn't join Oasis yet)

summer tour without Noel

2003

16 November - Andy Bell unplugged - Debaser, Stockholm, Sweden (bootleg)

2011


3rd & 4th March - Barrowland, Glasgow, Scotland +here and here + bootleg
6th & 7th March - O2 Apollo, Manchester +bootleg 1 +bootleg 2
9th & 10th March - Troxy, London +bootleg 1
13 March - Casino de Paris, Paris, france
14 March - E-Werk, Koln, Germany
16 March - Alcatraz, Milan, Italy +dvd bootleg
18 March - La Riviera, Madrid, Spain +bootleg
19 March - Bikini, Toulouse, france
21 March - Paradiso, Amsterdam, Holland (bootleg)
22 March - Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, Belgium (bootleg)
14 & 15 April - The Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland here a bootleg image
17 April - Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland
20 April - O2 Academy, Newcastle (a photo here)
23 April - Centre, Newport (photo and bootleg)
30 May - Grosse Freiheit 36, Hamburg, Germany
+a photo here + win tickets here
8 June - Saschall, Firenze, Italy +my story here +bootleg here +win tickets here
11th June - Papillons de Nuit Festival, Saint Lo, france
12 June - Isle of Wight festival +story here and here +interview here +videos here +interview and bootleg here
25th June - Theater of Living Art, Philadelphia, U.S.A.
30 June - Rock Werchter, Belgium (bootleg)
1 July - Main Square Festival, Arras, france +a photo here
7 July - BBK Live Festival, Bilbao, Spain
9 July - Oxegen Festival, Naas, Ireland
26 August - Reading Festival (win tickets) +videos here +review&video here +bootleg here
3 September - AX Hall, Seoul, South Korea
14 September - Twinkle Rock Festival, Taipei, Taiwan
7 October - Atlantico, Rome, Italy +main bootleg here +another bootleg here
+win the concert here
11 October - Volkshaus, Zurich, Switzerland (postponed)
13 October - Gasometer, Vienna, Austria (postponed)
31 October - Theater Caupolican, Santiago, Chile
2 November - Teatro de Verano Ramon Collazo, Montevideo, Uruguay
3 November - Teatro Colegiales, Buenos Aires, Argentina
4 November - Personal Festival, Buenos Aires, Argentina
5 November - Planeta Terra festival, Sao Paulo, Brazil
12 November - O2 Academy, Sheffield
14 November - O2 Academy, Birmingham
17 November - O2 Academy Brixton, London
2 December - The Warfield, San Francisco, U.S.A.
3 December - Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles, U.S.A. +another complete review here +win tickets here and here
5 December - First Avenue, Minneapolis, U.S.A.
6 December - The Rave Ballroon, Milwaukee, U.S.A.
9 December - Terminal 5, New York, U.S.A.
10 December - House of Blues, Boston, U.S.A.

2012

new tour

2013

3 June - Abbey Road, London (acoustic) +bootleg here
7 June - McClusky's, Kingston (album launch acoustic gig)



8 November - Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland

2014

Noel Gallagher solo gigography, and Low Lying Turds tour dates

(although his blinded fans say he's a "new solo artist", it's 20 years he's around and already played "solo" gigs previously (the first one in 1994), with the help of other people of course, as the Unplugged 1996, the gig for Tibet, the tour in 2006-2007, London, Milan, Manchester, Moscow, Los Angeles, Toronto, Paris, Australia, etc.)

2010


25 March - Royal Albert Hall - London

2011


28 November - Alcatraz - Milan, Italy + review here +video bootleg here +audio and video bootleg here

2012


lost interest... even Noel got bored of himself

10 April - Auditorio Banamex - Monterrey, Mexico (cancelled)

END OF THE HIGH FLYING BIRDS

2013

fans leave the gig again and ask for Liam again
..... € 10 = £ 8
 

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