10 March 2015

Review: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds In Manchester













Many fans will no doubt single out Johnny Marr's appearance on stage alongside Noel Gallagher as the highlight of their night at Manchester arena.

But for anyone who has followed the careers of Oasis - and subsequently Noel - there can be few better live music spectacles than The Masterplan being performed to a hometown crowd.

The title track to an album of B sides good enough to rival anything Oasis or either of the Gallagher brothers have ever released was what the girl stood next to me in the beer queue was looking forward to most.

Privately, I was too. And it didn't disappoint.

I know it is terribly bad form to start a review with the last song of the encore but it was without doubt the highlight, particularly the electric guitar solo in the middle of it.

And therein lies part of the problem for Noel. He has created such a rod for his own back with his back catalogue, it is hard for anything to top it.

But he certainly gives it a good go and a packed Manchester Arena suggested his popularity is far from fading.

Much of the build up was dominated by rumours brother Liam was set to attend the gig and, judging by the amount of pretty green (Liam's fashion label) clobber on show, it seemed many fans had believed the hype. But it turned out to be just that.

When Noel and his High Flying Birds entered the stage, they kicked things off with (Stranded on) the Wrong Beach, from their self-named first album.

I have to begrudgingly admit, it was a little tame.

That was followed by everybody's on the run, a single from the same record.

It took the first Oasis song to really get us going and that was B-side Fade Away. In the background, slides of someone's childhood played as the lyrics 'while we're living, the dreams we had as children fade away' we're sung by Noel and the crowd.

It would be nice to believe they were his, but it didn't seem likely.

Our first taste of new album Chasing Yesterday came in the form of In The Heat of the Moment but it wasn't until songs later we heard the one I had been eagerly awaiting - Riverman.

If you'd closed your eyes during the intro, you'd have been forgiven for thinking Wonderwall was about to be unleashed.

But the true identity of the Weller-esque track was soon revealed and you got the feeling Noel knew it was his best work of late, with his face scrunching as he sang the words "find me the girl who electrifies the storm".

Along the way, we heard The Death of You and Me, from album one, and The Mexican, from NGHFB's latest offering.

The latter when performed live - as it does on the album itself - illustrated Noel's definite lurch away from Oasis towards his own, individual sound

And would we ever have seen Noel doing a 360 spin during a song without his brother looking on and taking the proverbial? Well, we did last night.

Source: www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk

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