I hope it won’t sound too much like dereliction of duty but when the subject of an interview is as garrulous and opinionated and indiscreet and just plain entertaining as Noel Gallagher is, the job of the journalist is simply to turn up with a fully charged Dictaphone and press “record”.
There’s little need for searching questions or penetrating insights, and good luck with trying to get a word in even if you had arrived armed with those. (I’d had a bash, of course, as you do, but I needn’t have bothered.)
Better to sit back, keep quiet, and enjoy the show. It’s not that one is a non-participant exactly, just that the vacancy is for an audience member and the requirement is to nod, laugh or grimace at the right moments.
Only a handful of times in the two hours and more we spent talking did I — gently — attempt to steer the conversation, to pick Noel up on some small point of fact, or challenge an opinion.
“Honestly,” he said, exasperated, after perhaps the third such timid intervention, “you’re like my missus, you are. You’re interrupting! You’re putting me in a corner!”
“Sorry,” I said, but he’d already started on the next anecdote, so he didn’t hear me.