Music review: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Hydro, Glasgow

Focusing on material from his new album Council Skies in the first half of his set, Noel Gallagher waited until the end to finally unleash the Oasis classics, writes Fiona Shepherd

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Hydro, Glasgow ***

Noel Gallagher knows how to give the people what they want and has the goods to do so, but there was still something of the impish Grinch in the way he named a couple of Oasis classics before telling his capacity audience that he wasn’t going to play those tunes. He, did, however, reference going back to the Nineties and in a Gallagher Sr set that can only mean a curated selection from the band in which he made his name and whose memory was, arguably, responsible for filling this hall.

Not that he hasn’t made his mark with his post-Oasis High Flying Birds. First in the order of business was a suite of songs from his new HFB album, Council Skies – on the one hand, shining a spotlight on his latest work; on the other, getting it out the way to deliver the meat of the set.

Noel Gallagher PIC: Matt CrockettNoel Gallagher PIC: Matt Crockett
Noel Gallagher PIC: Matt Crockett
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The songs on parade were eminently melodic and lightly psychedelic. The title track was breezy celebration rather than brooding ballad, Open the Door, See What You Find was simple catchy psych rock accompanied by kaleidoscopic visuals and the sunshine pop vibe continued with the Burt Bacharach-esque We’re Gonna Get There in the End. One day these songs will get the live strings and brass they deserve.

Watching over proceedings, between the exotic plants and floral tributes which decorated the stage, was a creepy spotlit cut-out of Man City manager Pep Guardiola. Was he thinking “get on with the Oasis tunes”? Gallagher held his nerve, via his best solo track, AKA… What a Life! And so the jubilation began, encompassing the characterful swagger of The Importance of Being Idle, an air punching and epic The Masterplan, the wistful Half the World Away, the suitably immortal Live Forever and a closing Don't Look Back In Anger, during which the crowd gladly handled all the vocals.

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