One of the finest songwriters that Britain has ever produced, Noel Gallagher soundtracked the Britpop scene of the 90s with signature songs “Live Forever”, “Roll With It”, “Cigarettes And Alcohol” and “Wonderwall”.
A public and turbulent relationship with brother Liam entertained the British music press for over a decade and with the end of Oasis in 2009, a solo career for Noel was predictable, with success inevitable.
Oasis’ “(It’s Good) To Be Free” and a simple “hello” from Noel provided the brief introduction to Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds sold-out stint at Glasgow’s SECC on Friday 24th of February.
Material from Noel’s debut solo offering followed, shaping the bulk of the set. It was warmly welcomes but it was the generous sprinkling of Oasis’ back catalogue that provoked the biggest reaction – an acoustic version of “Supersonic” made Noel inaudible, lost in the raucous singalong.
Gone are the days with Oasis and with it, Noel’s wildman reputation and the snide arrogance the was once infamous for, replaced by a cool confidence and air of maturity that never seemed possible. Always the more approachable of the Brothers Gallagher, Noel casually joked and chatted with fans between songs, with traces of his well-known sharp sense of humour evident. “This next song…is fucking brilliant!” And he wasn’t wrong, as “If I Had A Gun….” proved popular with punters.
A sneak preview of forthcoming track and potential hit “Freaky Teeth” gave gig goers a taste of what’s to come. Although it was met with the typical impassive response of unfamiliar material, it was undeniably promising.
Having never been one for seeming like he cared what other people think, Noel has already shifted millions of copies of his debut album, sold out the accompanying tour, and received favourable reviews from Q, Rolling Stone and NME. In doing so, he had already silenced his critics before sound checking on Friday evening.
An Oasis encore may have been predictable, but “Whatever”, “Little By Little”, “The Importance Of Being Idle” and signature song “Don’t Look Back In Anger” were embraced by fans like an old friend with a mass, almost religious singalong closing the gig on a euphoric high.
Since the split of Oasis, Liam Gallagher has, in typical fashion, been very vocal in blaming Noel for the demise and eventual disbandment of the band, whereas Noel has maintained a dignified silence and simply let his music do the talking. It certainly seems that big brother knows best.