Sunday 17 December 2017

So a rock star mimed on TV? No need to make a song and dance about it

Noel Gallagher performing with Oasis in 2000
Noel Gallagher performing with Oasis in 2000
Noel Gallagher

Noel Gallagher, miming on live television? Good Lord, what is the world coming to?

Yes, it's been confirmed by RTE that Gallagher - who flew into Dublin over the weekend to promote his new solo album with a sing-song and some chit-chat on The Saturday Night Show - refused to perform live. We'd had our suspicions, as did hundreds of fans on Twitter (a miming song-and-dance man isn't that difficult to spot).

As it turns out, Brendan O'Connor's team had, in fact, asked the former Oasis man to plug in his guitar for real, but he and his record label insisted that the band play along to a backing track.

Big deal? Well, to be quite honest, no, not really.

If we're to go by the tweets of 'outraged' fans and disappointed ticket-buyers (one or two are afraid that Gallagher might mime at his Dublin concert tomorrow night), you might say that the bloke has found himself at the centre of a proper showbiz ruckus.

Now I don't like to see people miming on television, either. If only because it looks silly. Especially if you don't put the effort in - and if Noel had been any more laid back during his performance on Saturday, he'd have fallen asleep. But sometimes, it's necessary.

The only reason some of us are annoyed about Gallagher phoning it in on The Saturday Night Show is that he has, in the past, criticised other performers for miming at concerts and award ceremonies. Fair enough.

But he's also on record for saying that miming on television is another story altogether, which it is. That's why all those disappointed Gallagher fans need to chill.

A TV studio is not an arena. You've got three or four minutes to entertain the folks at home. Some perform live, others go half and half (singing over pre-recorded instruments). It needs to be perfect. There could be any number of reasons why Noel Gallagher decided to let a backing track do the work.

His voice might have been in bad shape. He could be resting his vocal ahead of the tour. It could be that he hadn't got time to sound-check earlier on in the day, or he might not have approved of the RTE sound system.

Whatever the case, it's not important. Noel was in Ireland to remind viewers that a) he's got a new album out and b) he's playing a concert here tomorrow. Job done.

The reason I don't have a problem with miming on this occasion is because I know the difference between an over-produced, tightly-structured chat show with no room for error, and a live concert.

Everyone has mimed on TV at some point. Have we forgotten Top of the Pops here? Ah yes, some of the best bands in the world made a right show of themselves on that one - others had a good chuckle reminding TV audiences that they weren't always giving it a hundred per cent (including, at one point, Oasis).


But it's just a bit of promo. It's not the same as a gig where people have spent their hard-earned cash on tickets and, in return, expect the artist on stage to put the effort in.

Noel would never mime at a concert. Why? Because that's where the real pros go to work, and Gallagher is one of 'em. He wouldn't dare pull a fast one on the fans, because he doesn't need to.

Others aren't nearly as thoughtful. Remember the time Britney Spears mimed her way through the Dublin leg of her Circus tour at the O2 in 2009? It was awful and disrespectful, too. Now that's something to get annoyed about.

But if Noel Gallagher wishes to mime a song or two on a chat show, I'm not going to think any less of him.

How about we all save our judgement for his actual live show tomorrow night instead?

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