The public voted with their wallets for The Song over The Voice, favouring Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds over Liam’s more lumbering Beady Eye. No wonder little brother has been talking in conciliatory terms about an Oasis 20th anniversary reunion
The High Flying Birds themselves are not much to remark upon – trusted hired hands who render Gallagher’s songs without flouncing offstage in a strop. Still, Liam’s nasal rasp and pugnacious swagger were missed.
Understandably, the emphasis, was on the self-titled HFB album which the band began to play in track order, but only after Gallagher cleverly dangled the Oasis carrot by opening with a reflective version of old B-side (It’s Good) To Be Free.
Judging by the air-punching, pint-throwing, group hugging and lung-busting in the crowd, Gallagher’s latest set has hit a chord as effectively as any of the later Oasis albums, even though several tunes verged on the clod-hopping. The fluent exception was AKA...What A Life!, a club-influenced mantra built round an Italo-house piano riff.
But inevitably, nothing galvanised the fans like the Oasis favourites – among them a lusty but plaintive Half The World Away, an acoustic guitar/piano version of Supersonic and the simple uplift of the choir-enhanced Whatever – which gave them the edge over Beady Eye’s insistence on a clean slate.