herald

Thursday 19 October 2017

Review

3Arena > CHRIS WASSER

"What about you, Dublin?" Noel Gallagher there, finally acknowledging our presence. "I don't say this often, but it truly is great to be back". Aw, shucks. We'll take him at his word. Lest we forget, Gallagher (47) doesn't do bull****. The man usually doesn't do showmanship, either.

Two solo albums in, however, and it appears things have started to change. Is that a rock 'n' roll twirl Noel performs during Everybody's on the Run? Crikey, he's smiling and everything, his legs stomping the ground beneath him. Noel Gallagher, ladies and gentlemen, is enjoying himself.

Tonight, the former Oasis chief and his High Flying Birds (it's just a fancy name for the NG backing band) perform at the foot of a ginormous production. The big man has hired a choir, too.

So, how does the New Noel Gallagher Solo Show work, eh? Rather marvellously, would you believe, Noel's simple, expanding songbook lending itself to a prodigious, well-crafted set (the melody-fused Dream On and the thunderous Ballad of the Mighty I sound positively epic). An increasingly reliable front man, Noel's vocal is in pristine shape throughout.

A handful of Oasis tunes knock it out of the park (Champagne Supernova, Don't Look Back in Anger), but the newbies leave a monumental mark of their own.

True, there are a couple of hic-cups (leave the sax solos out, Noel) but nothing worth fretting over. Thankfully, that famous sense of humour remains firmly intact.

When a roadie hands Noel the wrong guitar, he shakes his head and gives us a wink: "You literally cannot find the f***ing staff these days!" Yep, the interaction is improving. Along with everything else, we might add. That long-rumoured Oasis reunion can wait. HHHHI

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