Entertainment & Arts

Noel Gallagher turned down Olympic closing ceremony

Noel Gallagher
Image caption Noel Gallagher quit Oasis in 2009 following a row with his brother Liam

Singer Noel Gallagher has revealed that he turned down an invitation to play at the Olympics closing ceremony after organisers asked him to mime.

The former Oasis star told Xfm's Danny Wallace that he was also put off by the secrecy surrounding the ceremony.

"They wanted me to do it acoustically and then they wanted me to mime," he told Wallace on Wednesday.

"I'm all for miming in TV shows, but if you're in a stadium with 80,000 people and you're pretending? I can play live!

"In the end, I was just like, 'you know what? I'd rather watch it on the telly.'"

Gallagher, who launched his solo career fronting The High Flying Birds in 2011, told Wallace he was asked to perform at Sunday's closing ceremony "ages ago".

"I was like... 'who else is playing?' and they were like, 'we can't tell you, you've got to sign a confidentiality agreement' - it's like it's the Iran nuclear programme or something.

Image caption Liam Gallagher sang the Oasis hit Wonderwall at the ceremony

"I mean what do they think is going to happen? ITV are going to get hold of it and put on a gig the night before with the same bill?!

Ultimately, Gallagher was replaced by his brother - and ex-bandmate - Liam, who performed the Oasis hit Wonderwall with his new band Beady Eye.

But the track, originally written by Noel, had to be re-recorded. Noel said he only gave final permission for the performance to go ahead two days before the ceremony.

"I did play a bit of cat and mouse with them for a few days," admitted the singer.

"I took it 'til Friday night at ten o'clock before I said yes.

"I was like 'meh... it's alright.... I'm not sure with this new string arrangement' and they were like, 'the gig's on Sunday!' so I was like, 'okay, alright, you can have it then.'"

Noel later took a swipe at Beady Eye's performance, dedicating his own performance of Wonderwall to "Stratford's finest Oasis tribute band" in a gig on Tuesday night.

Oasis split up three years ago after an argument backstage at a concert in Paris.

David Bowie, The Sex Pistols and The Rolling Stones all reportedly turned down the chance to appear in the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony, according to The Guardian.

Jessie J, Elbow, Take That and The Spice Girls were among those who took part in the Olympic finale, directed by artistic director Kim Gavin.

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