At age 9, he played violin at school and then mandolin and guitar. His first public appearances were at the Hythe Youth Club then at Harvey Grammar School where he was a student. His first local band was The Strangers with John “Andy” Andrews.
He played in several other local bands, mainly as lead guitarist, before turning professional at 17, and touring clubs in Scotland and Germany with Neil Landon and the Burnettes formed in late 1962 and The Loving Kind formed in November 1965. In 1966 he was selected by manager Chas Chandler as the bassist for Jimi Hendrix’s band and he left in 1969. He was featured on three seminal albums with Hendrix, ‘Are You Experienced?‘, ‘Axis: Bold as Love’ and ‘Electric Ladyland’.
Redding switched from guitar to bass on joining the Jimi Hendrix Experience. He was the first person to join the Experience, and the first to leave. His final concert with them was in June 1969. His playing style was distinguished by the use of a pick, a mid-range “trebly” sound, and in later years the use of fuzz and distortion effects through overdriven Sunn amps. His role in the band was that of a time-keeper. This was evident in the Experience’s version of “Come On (Baby Let the Good Times Roll)” and “Drivin’ South” from the BBC Sessions. He would typically lay down a bass groove over which Hendrix and drummer Mitch Mitchell would loosely play. He wrote two album tracks, “Little Miss Strange” and “She’s So Fine”. He played the bass line on “Red House” using the bass strings on a normal six-string guitar.
Although he appeared in other bands after Hendrix’s death, he never achieved a similar level of success. While living in L.A., Noel joined a heavy metal three-piece, Road, before relocating to Clonakilty, Ireland in 1972, where he formed The Noel Redding Band with Eric Bell from Thin Lizzy. The Noel Redding Band with Eric Bell from Thin Lizzy, Dave Clarke, Les Sampson, and Robbie Walsh. Despite the band’s name, Redding shared songwriting and lead vocal duties equally with Clarke. They released two albums for RCA, three tours of the Netherlands, two tours of England, one tour of Ireland, and a 10-week tour in the US. The band dissolved after a dispute with their management company. Tracks recorded for a third unreleased album were later released as The Missing Album on Mouse Records.
Afterwards Noel recorded and toured sporadically through the years, occasionally doing session work on other artists’ albums including recording for Thin Lizzy and Traffic. He performed with the rock band Phish in 1993. He also formed Shut Up Frank with Dave Clarke, Mick Avory of The Kinks and Dave Rowberry of The Animals. They toured extensively and recorded several albums, which are still available on Mouse Records.
He died on May 11, 2003 at his home in Ireland from Shock haemorrhage due to oesophageal varices in reaction to cirrhosis of the liver. He was 57.