Music review: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds/Baxter Dury

Gallagher's move to psychedelic sounds didn't take well. Picture: Getty
Gallagher's move to psychedelic sounds didn't take well. Picture: Getty
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NOEL Gallagher has waited 25 years to go far out with his music. At least partly under the influence of his producer David Holmes, he has replaced plodding pop songs with a more psychedelic sound palette on the latest High Flying Birds album Who Built the Moon?

Hydro, Glasgow **

But, in concert at least, it was not entirely clear if he has made a worthwhile trade-off, as the cosmic subtleties of the arrangements were lost in the punishing volume and, 
barring the blunt instrument of Holy Mountain and the acid boogie of Keep On Reaching, with curt bursts of brass 
just about cutting through, 
the new songs failed to translate.

With no compensating charisma or stagecraft, there was little to engage the rather muted capacity crowd. Even the carefully curated Oasis selections – including Half the World Away with Bacharachian horns and Wonderwall in a looser, swinging arrangement – only rallied the troops to moderate jubilation.

Mild, belated euphoria greeted the hands-in-the-air house-influenced anthem AKA What A Life but, by then, it was all over bar the prime acid riffing of The Right Stuff, an acoustic Don’t Look Back In Anger and a straight cover of All You Need Is Love delivered through a bobbing barrage of primary-coloured balloons.

The louche Baxter Dury has charisma to spare but his support set of subtle, intimate vignettes and offbeat new wave pop was more understandably lost in the hangar space of the Hydro. Roll on his return to Glasgow later this year.

FIONA SHEPHERD