An average Monday in the middle of May, was last night turned on its head.
This was a surprise date from The Mighty I, announced alongside Radio X, in the middle of a huge European tour. X presenter Gordon Smart introduced his good friend before asking the crowd to say “Fuck Off, Gordon!” after beaming that he had not paid to see Noel Gallagher since back in ’96.
Some faces in the crowd tonight had not even been born in ’96, in the midst of the Oasis heyday. The mix in age tonight showed the broad appeal of the Gallagher brand, and in particular, Noel’s ability to constantly reinvent himself and produce something new.
The same template has been upheld magnificently by one of Noel’s chief influences, and collaborator on recent album Who Built The Moon?, Paul Weller.
Watford Colosseum was packed out tonight. All of the High Flying Birds material went down a storm, with new tracks filling the space with the full force of Noel’s wall of sound. This was once a rehearsal space for none other than Pavarotti, and we are sure Noel would welcome being mentioned in the same breath.
Fort Knox, similar to a lot of the newer tunes, sounds like one big jamming session for Noel, which fits his casual demeanour these days. It seems Noel is in a bubble at this stage of life where he is at ease with everything, allowing him to use the music as an outlet for this tantalising coolness.
Mr Gallagher ripped through this set, barely stopping to speak to the crowd, flying through huge hits of his solo era: AKA…What A Life, In The Heat of The Moment, Holy Mountain and Lock All The Doors.
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The one time he did stop to address the crowd was when a mob of young lads started chanting “Watford FC! Watford FC!”….the only let down of this show was Noel’s Manchester City flag draped over an amp. Noel simply replied “we beat you lot 6-0 at your place, you’re shite.”
Oasis drew comparisons with The Beatles back in the 90s and often cited them as a real source of inspiration. It seemed fitting for Noel to bellow out a rousing version of All You Need Is Love to end a blockbuster evening, with fantastic support from the boys on brass.
Noel introduced the band before this final number, saying “this is Saxophone Steve”…the crowd naturally went on to chant “STEVE-O! STEVE-O! STEVE-O!”, to which Noel quipped “he’s actually a Steven”….cue choruses of “STEVEN! STEVEN! STEVEN!”
Noel Gallagher really is a gem of the British music scene. His new material has such a zest to it, and such deep feeling. These songs, teamed with Oasis classics such as Wonderwall, Slideaway and Don’t Look Back In Anger unified the crowd in a wave of nostalgia. No matter the age, no matter whether you were there the first time round, these are British anthems and this is a British legend.