7 March 2015

Review: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds In Nottingham

It's not just the title of Noel Gallagher's latest solo effort - much of which was played to a sold-out crowd at Nottingham's Capital FM Arena on Friday night but an insight into the reasons why I,and thousands of others queued to see the Mancunian music legend.

A throng of adults, now in semi-real jobs with semi-real responsibilities, some still hanging onto Paul Weller haircuts and Parka jackets, just wanted the chance to remember the old days for a night.

Not wanting to do Gallagher's more recent work down some of it is actually very good, more of which later but the essence to his success is still the rousing, raucous and rebellious rock and roll of the early days, coupled with some of the best ballads ever written by a British songwriter.

And that's why we're packed into the arena, enjoying (ish) semi-fizzy lagers when a proper pub or a night in are often preferred these days. We're all chasing yesterday.

And it was with great glee, as a result, that we after all you can't escape a feeling of togetherness in the presence of Oasis' best songs performed masterfully by their creator received an acoustic version of Fade Away, Shout it out Loud, Digsy's Dinner and the imperious Champagne Supernova..

After a long night on the booze back in 2006 I was brought to the cusp of tears by Oasis performing Champagne Supernova and while this time was more a fond remembrance with Noel on his own, it's still a wondrous privilege to be in a room, regardless of the vast scale, while he plays such an iconic part of your personal life live.

Not to leave us punters wanting more, Gallagher steps things up for a magnificent encore.

Pulling a soaring, choir-backed Don't Look Back in Anger out of the bag before the ultimate sing-a-long of The Masterplan left emotions shattered and great memories being relived in one small corner of Nottingham.

It's a no-nonsense performance from Gallagher, as we've come to expect. The music is great, and he knows it why spoil things with too much performance.

"I often say when people tell me they're coming to see me, that there's nothing to look at," he said in a recent interview in the Post. "There's plenty to listen to, but there's nothing to see."

The Manchester City fan's understandable view is that he's been doing what he does for more than 20 years, taking into account his 18 years as guitarist and songwriter with Oasis.

"I occupy a space about the same size as this rug," he says, pointing to the small square of fluffy fabric on the floor of his publicist's office, "and that's it. Anything more is like a workout.

"I should be able to do what I do sitting down, smoking. If I break a sweat during a gig, I need to rethink the whole thing."

But it's not a wholly accurate picture of things and there is a small element of performance to the show – even if it is just Gallagher showing us that he still loves the music as much as us.

He might have only name-checked Nottingham to mention that he was mighty hungover last time he gigged here. But what was I expecting, his support for the Major Oak as European tree of the year?

As much as the classics are the star of the show, Noel gives the new stuff a brilliant showcase too.

Some of his best songs from previous self-titled album Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds are fantastic, particularly What a Life, Everybody's on the Run, Dream On and If I had a Gun.

And early on in the set Gallagher also plays three efforts from the latest album Chasing Yesterday; Heat of the Moment, Lock all the Doors and Riverman. Oasis, they are not, but they're all really great songs.

When Gallagher announces his next tour, I will be there again, ready to listen to his latest work but really just waiting to re-live the past, the best days with friends and family, a youth full of carelessness and packed full of bloody fantastic tunes; forever Chasing Yesterday.

Souce: www.nottinghampost.com

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