Noel Gallagher pointed out that High Flying Birds is a band, not a solo project. No one really believed him.
While his kid brother’s band Beady Eye recently called it a day, Noel Gallagher’s just scored the fastest-selling album of the year so far. For the blokeish crowd at the O2, all must have seemed right with the world: a Gallagher on top of the charts ahead of sensitive boys Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran. He couldn’t resist an unsubtle reference to “my f***ing No 1 album”, then pointed out that Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds is a band, not a solo project. No one really believed him.
Yet there was no doubting the appeal of his post-Oasis songs. Everybody’s on the Run was the first anthem, while Lock All the Doors sounded like the Mancunians in their pomp.
Gallagher got excited by some argy-bargy down the front (“excellent behaviour”), although calm was soon restored by the mellow Riverman, featuring a saxophone solo of which Liam Gallagher would surely not approve. His big brother can get away with such experimental flourishes if he keeps writing stand-out tunes like the multi-layered Ballad of the Mighty I.
Perhaps Champagne Supernova would have benefited from Liam’s swagger, though Noel’s vocal was lifted by the Crouch End Festival Chorus.
During Don’t Look Back in Anger the audience sang along with the choir, while The Masterplan (Wonderwall’s b-side) made for a life-affirming finale. Oasis may be missed but Noel Gallagher offers the best of both worlds.
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