Live review: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Edinburgh Castle, Thu 19 Jul (4 stars)

Live review: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Edinburgh Castle, Thu 19 Jul

credit: Lawrence Watson

Oasis classics and modern anthems from Gallagher Snr

The Oasis soap opera continues to run and run with Liam tweeting Noel Gallagher before he even takes to the stage. When they first split Noel claimed the tunes and a march on his little brother with his High Flying Birds. The release of Liam's first proper solo album, As You Were, last year has seen the balance shift, Gallagher Jr once again snapping at his heels. Whereas Liam seems content to wallow in former glories Gallagher Snr's output is more intriguing. Latest album Who Built the Moon? showed Noel stretching his wings embracing electronica, gospel and even Afrobeat.

Gallagher has the confidence in his music to start in low gear with an understated 'Fort Knox.' 'Holy Mountain''s marching beat, the echoing reverb of 'She Taught Me How To Fly' (complete with infamous scissor percussion) and a soaring 'AKA …What a Life' prove the power of his songwriting. Gallagher also displays a fine line in dry sardonic wit taking the piss out of the Scottish weather and inadvertently starting an unlikely chorus of 'Three Lions' when discussing the World Cup ('stress free for you lot').

Torches burning along the battlements, the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle adds a sense of occasion, especially as he hits the halfway mark and opens up the back catalogue. Joking 'I can see by the amount of polo shirts and bald heads we've got some Oasis fans here', he launches into 'Little By Little'. Gallagher gives each Oasis track a twist adding brass, country elements or slightly changing tempo. 'The Importance of Being Idle', 'Whatever' and 'Half a World Away' are greeted with huge cheers. Predictably 'Wonderwall' is epic Gallagher almost drowned out by the crowd.

The encore begins with the low key 70s funk of 'Right Stuff', with Yseé taking lead vocals, before 'Go Let it Out' primes us for the big finish. 'Don't Look Back In Anger' has become part of the national psyche, especially in the wake of the Manchester bombing of 2017, it connects on a deeper level, a true modern anthem. It ends with a rousing cover of The Beatles 'All You Need is Love' Noel paying tribute to his heroes and where it all began.

Setlist:
'Fort Knox'
'Holy Mountain'
'Keep On Reaching'
'Beautiful World'
'The More That You Want It'
'If I Had A Gun'
'Dream On'
'Little By Little'
'The Importance of Being Idle'
'Love is the Law'
'Dead in the Water'
'Be Careful What You Wish For'
'She Taught Me To Fly'
'Whatever'
'Half The World Away'
'Wonderwall'
'AKA … What A Life'

'Right Stuff'
'Go Let It Out'
'Don't Look Back In Anger'
'All You Need Is Love'

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

Post-Oasis indie rock from Gallagher senior who is happy to dip into the Oasis back catalogue to bolster his set.

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