Gig Review... Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds @ SECC , Glasgow, 24th February 2012

There's few people like Noel Gallagher in British music. Everyone knows who he is and millions of people see him as an idol. He was in the band many people believe defined English music for a decade and now he's a successful solo artist. It's fair to say the crowd are up for this one tonight.
Reverend & The Makers are on first though, to get everyone warmed up. When I first heard that they'd been announced as the support act I was pleased, I've always thought of them to be the sort of band I'd like. After hearing this though, I decided to give both of their album a listen and was very impressed, particularly with second album 'A French Kiss In The Chaos'. As a result, I was looking forward to seeing Jon McClure and co live. They played a nice mix of songs from both albums with a few new ones to boot. Despite the reaction hits like 'Heavyweight Champion of the World' receive, its brand new track 'Bassline' which steals the show. This will be on the new unusually titled album '@reverend_makers' and is an indicator that it could be another impressive album from the Sheffield troupe.

NME's Godlike Genius for 2012 has been filling arenas for his whole career with Oasis but now is the time for Noel Gallagher's first ever solo venture into such territory. And it sounds absolutely massive, the best Noel's ever sounded. He and his High Flying Birds really are on top form. Choirs and an orchestra help to bolster the sound of the impressive band which Noel has put together for the tour. The drummer in particular knocks out some huge sounding drum tracks. Old Oasis b-side '(It's Good) To Be Free' opens the show and is followed by a pounding rendition of 'Mucky Fingers'. It doesn't seem to matter which tracks Noel picks from his old band's back catalogue, they all sound great.

Having said this, the songs from his d├ębut solo album stand up very well to the classics, with songs like 'Everybody's On The Run' and 'If I Had A Gun...' drawing huge sing-alongs from the crowd. Noel has previously remarked that he's not the sort of performer who makes a big deal of where he's playing when talking to the crowd but he tells the Glasgow audience “It's been a privilege to play for you tonight, as it always is up here”. These words seem even more genuine in hindsight having read his blog where he calls the Glasgow gig a great night whilst criticising others show like London and Birmingham.
The noise level almost goes through the roof when Noel, with only two of his cohorts on stage, plays a beautifully stripped down version of 'Supersonic'. This is matched though by his encore, a real show of strength from one of British music's greats. My personal highlight 'Whatever' leads into 'Little By Little', 'The Importance of Being Idle' and finally 'Don't Look Back In Anger'.
Noel doesn't need Oasis, he doesn't need to play 'Wonderwall' and on this form I hope he keeps playing with his High Flying Birds for a long time.

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds played:
(It's Good) To Be Free
Mucky Fingers
Everybody's On The Run
Dream On
If I Had A Gun...
The Good Rebel
The Death of You and Me
Freaky Teeth
(I Wanna Live in a Dream in My) Record Machine
AKA... What A Life!
Talk Tonight
Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks
AKA... Broken Arrow
Half The World Away
(Stranded On) The Wrong Beach

Little By Little
The Importance of Being Idle
Don't Look Back In Anger

Written by - Neil Shaw