Music Review: Noel Gallagher @ O2

By Londonist Last edited 80 months ago
Music Review: Noel Gallagher @ O2

Noel had the songs; Liam the swagger. That, so the story goes, is what made Oasis the defining guitar band of the 1990s.

So, how would Gallagher Snr do on his own, up front with his High-Flying Birds at the O2 Arena on Sunday (26 February).

While short of his younger brother’s stage presence, he’s not short of charm – bantering with the front row about Man City’s Mario Balotelli and Liverpool squeaking through against Cardiff on penalties just hours earlier in the Carling Cup Final.

Oddly, someone bellows out that they love him more than David Beckham. He doesn’t know what to make of that, raising one of those impressive eyebrows.

But it’s the songs that have seen him sell out the O2, while Liam puffs out his chest to smaller crowds. And while Everybody’s On The Run, featuring The Crouch End Festival Chorus, and The Death Of You And Me with its New Orleans brass section, from his solo album shine brightly, it’s the old ones that, still, work best.

He starts the set with (It’s Good) To Be Free – free from Liam, from Britpop, from the past? – and does Mucky Fingers and The Importance Of Being Idle, both from Don’t Believe The Truth and Little By Little, from Heathen Chemistry

Oasis debut single Supersonic gets a stripped-back acoustic treatment, as does Talk Tonight, arguably Noel at his most beautiful and lost. He finishes with Don’t Look Back In Anger and the sections of the crowd still seated raise up and sing along.

They know the song, you see, and they adore Noel for having written it.

By Paul Dietrich.

Image © 2011, Lawrence Watson

Last Updated 27 February 2012