Review: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds ***

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Sheffield Motorpoint Arena

Almost three years after Noel Gallagher announced the acrimonious split of one of the UK’s most successful bands, the Britpop veteran has a wealth of experience to inject into High Flying Birds. But can he translate the years of wisdom into his solo project?

Rapturous applause and a flurry of hurled plastic pint glasses among the crowd heralded his arrival on stage, and the gig hit the ground running with an old Oasis song, (It’s Good) To Be Free, before Noel dipped into his new tunes like AKA...What a Life! and If I had a Gun, which all gained instant acknowledgment from the audience.

Less well-known album tracks received a more mixed response. Grabbing the attention was Everybody’s on the Run, which saw the introduction of the Crouch End Festival Chorus (it was a nice touch seeing the singers reading from a score), but the opening chords of The Good Rebel saw a chunk of onlookers make a quick exit to the bar. Closing the night was a cluster of classics from the golden days, ranging from Little by Little to the last song, Don’t Look Back in Anger, securing a suitably emotional response. All in all, it was a performance full of energy, but one laden with anticipation for the anthems synonymous with both the Gallagher brothers.

There’s no doubt that Noel is a great songwriter, but can his solo work hold its own without a fallback of the Oasis tracks? Only time will tell – it certainly isn’t clear from watching him in concert.