Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
Noel Gallagher walks onstage to the repetitious, drunken, hooligan like chants of “Noel! Noel! Noel”, to which his response is a very calm, collected, “what?”
Song one is “It’s Good To Be Free” an old Oasis B-Side from way back when given a High Flying Birds twist (acoustic guitars, driving drums) which begins the night on the right note and also shows us Noel hasn’t forgotten about those little gems that were hid away even in the Oasis years for a long while, occasionally making the odd appearance here and there at acoustic shows, but hardly heard of after their release.
Although, naturally, the Oasis songs received colossal reactions, the new material garners near enough, if not equally, the same level of excitement. Instant hits like “If I Had A Gun” and “A.K.A What A Life” made the audience explode, crowd members jumping, hands in the air, eyes closed, serenading every last word right back at Noel who simply continued to play, as if unmoved by the ocean of people who’s voices echoed his lyrics throughout the arena, line for line, word for word.
The One song that stood out most profoundly from the new material was “(Stranded On) The Wrong Beach”, a brilliant crowd starter and sing-a-long that really will put any doubt you had that Noel can still write to rest. In fact “Stranded” could have easily gone toe to toe with any of the Oasis songs performed that night. Not to say the other songs on Noely G’s first solo venture don’t measure up because they do, but I’d go as far to say that this song was one of the many highlights of the night.
One of the other highlights being Noel’s interaction between a female member of the audience who had taken it upon herself to perform an act of “upper body indecent exposure” if you catch my drift.
“Where’s she gone?” Noel enquires after finishing a song, “listen, you can’t come down here, get your chest out, get your face on the big screen then fuck off home.”
Ever the funny man, his audience interaction was exactly what you would expect from NME’s newly crowned “Godlike Genius” award winner: humourous, suave, calm and charm personified even with the constant utterance of expletives.
Gallagher senior ends on a bang, giving an outstanding performance of “Don’t Look Back In Anger”, being so gracious as to let the entire arena sing the chorus, which was indeed a beautiful and touching spectacle to behold and, more importantly, be a part of.
Noel says his thanks, says goodbye to the girl who ( I do believe) still had her breasts exposed, flicks his pick into the crowd and coolly walks off stage after an amazing set. It goes without saying, as it always has, but I’ll utter it just once more…Noel’s still got it.