After recently visiting the sounds and sights of Mars, it’s back to a more local setting today.
Though he’s slipped from his northern roots, Noel Gallagher has cast his mind back to his Mancunian beginnings with his latest High Flying Birds album, due out in June.
Titled Council Skies, here is the cover reveal:
That spot, where the band’s equipment sits, is the preserved centre circle of Manchester City’s former home in Moss Side. For eighty years, this was where fans watched their heroes in blue take the kick-off that would begin their games.
There is a generation of City fans today who never got to experience Maine Road, the club having in 2003 relocated to the Etihad Stadium in East Manchester. With the former stadium now demolished, houses have been built around that circle which has been left for sentimental supporters, like both Noel and myself, who have long historic and emotional ties to the place.
Having said that, I’ve yet to go and pay homage, but it’s on my list.
My first game was in 1982 and my last was that final one, held there twenty-one years later.
In addition to the hundreds of matches that has drawn me through the network of surrounding side streets of that inner city town, there has also been the odd concert, too. I was there for one of the two-night gigs put on by Noel’s former group, Oasis, when they were at the height of their powers in the 1990’s, with Britpop in all its pomp.
I can remember the moon coming out, the blue moon, adding to the saved inner image as it hung above us all, a sign of the musical Gods’ approval, as the band belted out Champagne Supernova.
It was a great night. A great band with great support (Ocean Colour Scene and Manic Street Preachers ). Maybe my favourite ever gig.
On the other night, a couple of my friends were mugged in one of those shadowed back alleyways as they made their way back home. What the Gods giveth the Gods taketh away.
All sorts of memories. Most of them good.