Is the High Flying Bird heading to the jungle?

(And we’re not talking reality TV.)

Is Noel Gallagher gearing up for a dance track?
Song and dance man Gallagher is definitely, maybe, going to work with the UK’s most promising musical collective. Image Picture Lorne Thomson/Redferns Via Getty Images

Noel Gallagher could soon be making amends for one of his biggest self-confessed sins – killing dance music.

He apologised in 2012 for spearheading the Nineties’ shift to guitar bands that laid waste to the dominance of house tunes.

Now the High Flying Bird could be set to work with Jungle, Britain’s most promising dance outfit and one of the few modern acts to get Gallagher’s blessing.

Jungle co-founder Josh Lloyd-Watson told Loaded, “Of course we’d be interested in working with Noel. We’d love to get in a room with someone who’s achieved so much.”

He added half the collaboration would be consumed with his fan-boy questions.

“We’d need to spend at least 20 minutes quizzing Noel first, about, ‘How did you do that song?’ and, ‘What was that row with Blur really like?’” Lloyd-Watson added.

Jungle have Noel Gallagher’s sweary blessing
Rolling with it Gallagher has hailed Jungle as “fucking amazing”. Image Picture Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images

It shouldn’t be hard for Jungle to ask for a collaboration.

Earlier this year Gallagher described the London neo-soul group’s self-titled, Mercury Prize-nominated debut album as “fucking amazing”.

And in September the former Oasis veteran presented Jungle with their prize for Most Played New Independent Act at The AIM Independent Music Awards.

“The question is, does Noel have any good riffs for us?”

Gallagher – who had a No 1 single with Setting Sun, a 1996 collaboration with The Chemical Brothers – has recently been exploring his love of dance.

He said about his solo hit track AKA… What A Life! from the eponymous Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds album of 2011, “It took me 20 years to write a song which could’ve been played in the Haçienda!”

Gallagher proudly declared his recent album Chasing Yesterday contained “space jazz” and plenty of “disco” influences.

In June the 48-year-old admitted he was working with a mystery producer, hinting it could be Jamie xx. He also released remix album Where The City Meets The Sky in September that featured reworkings of his songs by David Holmes, Andrew Weatherall and Massive Attack’s 3D. 

Gallagher once posted a video online saying he was devastated at the state of modern house music because “any fucker can do it – and quite frankly, any fucker is doing it”.

Lloyd-Watson’s Jungle bandmate Tom McFarland was less gushing when asked how he’d feel about teaming up with Gallagher.

He joked, “It’d be like going back to school. But the question really is, does Noel have any good riffs for us to use?”

Jungle are Noel Gallagher fan-boys
Fan-boy Joshua Lloyd-Watson (left) admits he’d get giddy around Gallagher. Image Picture Daniel Boczarski/Redferns Via Getty Images

Jungle founders Lloyd-Watson and McFarland wilfully shunned media attention when they started working together as Jungle, going only by the initials J and T.

The mystery was solved last year. The pair grew up next door to each other in Shepherd’s Bush, went to the exclusive Latymer Upper School and were in several unsuccessful rock bands together before forming Jungle in 2013.

One of the bands was Verve-style navel-gazers Born Blonde who signed to Mercury Records in 2010, but never took off.

After they signed to Adele’s record label XL, the pair kept their identity secret, sending out press photos featuring two anonymous African-American teenagers and refusing to do interviews.

It wasn’t until their first concert in London in July 2014 as Jungle when they revealed their identities.

They’ve since had success remixing tunes for the likes of Lianne La Havas, while their singles Busy Earnin’ and The Heat got a lot of attention. Their music video for the tune Platoon went viral thanks to their use of a six-year-old breakdancing prodigy.

Young promise Six-year-old Terra tears up the floor after she was hand-picked by Jungle to star in this promo for Platoon.

Despite Jungle’s success, they say they’re keeping it real when they make their next album – by recording it in the garden of Lloyd-Watson’s mum’s house.

Lloyd-Watson said, “We’ve always fantasised about having our own studio, but now we’ve built one. It’s in my mum’s garden. It’s a nice shed, basically. She’s charging us through the roof for electricity, which is a nightmare. There’s something quite romantic about that, though. We could have gone to New York or LA, but instead we’re doing it in Shepherd’s Bush.”

Jungle’s music, which features tropical percussion, has been described as a resurrection of early-’80s white funk by the likes of A Certain Ratio and 23 Skidoo.

Jungle’s next album may include more collaborators in addition to Gallagher.

Kasabian could also appear after Lloyd-Watson and McFarland met the Leicester band at this summer’s festivals.

McFarland said, “Meeting bands like Kasabian who we’ve been into for years is one thing, but when they say, ‘We really like your record’ that’s so inspiring. I go, ‘Really? I didn’t think you’d have even heard of us’. It’d be great to work with them.”

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