Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds at the Manchester Arena

First published in Music Reviews

IF there were any doubts about the success of Noel Gallagher’s new creation, Monday’s live show at the Manchester Arena quickly dispelled them.

Opening with Oasis tracks (It’s Good) To Be Free and Mucky Fingers, the packed house was soon belting out every word with him.

The performance, the latest of Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds UK tour, was what traditional Oasis fans have come to expect - a mix of brilliant melodies and strong vocals.

This was not the Noel of Maine Road in 1996 but it was a welcome return to form following the mixed success of the Heaton Park concerts which saw the beginning of the end for Oasis in 2009.

And what was most refreshing was how the new songs blended with the old, more familiar stuff.

Single AKA.. What a Life! (dedicated in Noel’s inimitable Manchester City loving style to ‘the greatest human being on the plant - Mario Balotelli’) was a treat while If I had a Gun and Dream On also stood out.

And with a full choir and horn section chipping in, this was an anthemic sound that had the baiting crowd wanting more.

The highlight though?

A stripped down version of Supersonic. Proof if it was needed that Gallagher remains one of the best songwriters to have emerged from this country in the past two decades.

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