Gig review: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, T in the Park

EVEN though there’s an air of almost unassuming dignity to Noel Gallagher now he’s no longer one half of rock’s biggest bitchfest alongside his brother Liam, he doesn’t appear entirely able to divorce himself from the role of agent provocateur.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

Main Stage, Saturday

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His new stage persona is that of a smartly middle-aged man issuing sober thank-yous between songs, but he found it impossible to resist dedicating a song to “all the Man City fans,” his fellow victors at long last, and issuing a stern “**** you” to someone in the crowd who appeared to take issue.

It was a welcome outburst. Where Gallagher’s old band long outstayed their welcome for all but the most easily pleased, his new project navigates the tightrope between all that used to be good about Oasis and all he still has to offer with reinvigorated skill. The aforementioned dedication preceded AKA... What a Life, the finest song from his first and only solo album, and it spoke volumes that few of these tracks were ignored while the crowd awaited the hey-day hits, as many of Oasis’ later efforts were. If I Had a Gun..., Dream On, AKA... Broken Arrow and the resonant Stranded On the Wrong Beach were at least worthy of sharing a bill with bona fide classics like Talk Tonight, Half the World Away and a closing, joyously-welcomed Don’t Look Back in Anger.