Review: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds at the Edinburgh Playhouse

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds kicking off their UK Summer Tour to packout Edinburgh Playhouse on a Tuesday evening - 7th May 2019 - Picture by - Calum Buchan Photography
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds kicking off their UK Summer Tour to packout Edinburgh Playhouse on a Tuesday evening - 7th May 2019 - Picture by - Calum Buchan Photography
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The return of the Manc. It’s not even a year since big Gallagher rocked the Castle last summer and, amusingly, this 3000 plus seater gig was billed as “intimate”.

The Playhouse marks the beginning of a globe-trotting tour that takes in the UK, the Far East and the United States with an Isle of Wight headline slot in the middle.

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds kicking off their UK Summer Tour to packout Edinburgh Playhouse on a Tuesday evening - 7th May 2019 - Picture by: Calum Buchan Photography

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds kicking off their UK Summer Tour to packout Edinburgh Playhouse on a Tuesday evening - 7th May 2019 - Picture by: Calum Buchan Photography

He’s a more relaxed chap in his 50s and his positively themed new material is a far cry from the angry young man we all used to enjoy. And he keeps the chat to a minimum tonight, on one occasion asking a mum down the front if her eight-year-old was drinking vodka.

The set is familiar to anyone who’s seen him in the last few years, starting with Fort Knox then into the Glam-pop of 2017’s Holy Mountain then the “scissors song”, She Taught Me

How To Fly, written for his Edinburgh born wife.

A couple of newbies in the shape of current single Black Star Dancing after which the band are joined by a backing trio of female singers sporting Mary Quant style dresses for Rattling Rose, a live debut. For reasons unknown, this

is their only appearance.

Unsurprisingly, he leans heavily on the old act’s material and the opening strains of Talk Tonight are given a raucous welcome by the sell-out crowd, itself the beginning of a three track Oasis section. This surely must gall a bit.

The days of playing to hundreds of thousands at Knebworth are a distant memory but his own stuff is as good and in places better than the old - but he’s in showbusiness after all and knows what the mob want.

Laid back crowd pleaser Dead in the Water lets most of the band go for a quick glass of wine, Noel and pianist holding court for a bit before a few more old tracks in the shape of

Masterplan (prompting a mighty camera-phone fest), through to Stop Crying Your Heart Out before a five minute break for all.

Encoring with Don’t Look Back In Anger, the main man lets the crowd take over on the chorus, as if he had a choice and as is standard these days, they finish with All You Need Is

Love. Talk about wearing your influences on your sleeve.

All in, a very relaxed Noel doing what he does best and the new songs imply there’s new stuff on the horizon. Hopefully with less scissors.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – 7 th May – Edinburgh Playhouse

5 out of 7 stars

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