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Noel Gallagher On Christmas, Politics, Family And More

The invisible elves at Kenwood House, the grade I listed Robert Adam masterpiece perching on the shoulder of Hampstead Heath, have been busy. Holly branches heavy with red berries are draped over ornately carved mantelpieces. A tree hung with tasteful sparkly baubles and pine cones stands tall in the library. The Christmas shop is open. Children can book an audience with Father Christmas. I am here, however, for another living piece of English heritage.

Noel Gallagher, Manchester’s sacred and profane hit machine, is standing by a shuttered Georgian sash window in a mustardy corduroy jacket, gazing out over the heath towards the City skyline. At 52, he is still so fit you could twang him like a guitar string. The milky winter light flatters his lean, sideburned face, tanned after a month of touring Australia with U2 with his band, High Flying Birds, the group he formed after he left Oasis 10 years ago following one last backstage bust-up with his younger brother, Liam.

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