N.I.A - 1/3/2012
It's hard to predict what the quieter, and arguably more lyrically creative Gallagher brother can bring to the table of British music that we haven't already seen. Proud, youthful, artist angst? Smashed guitars? Disappointed avid fans? One thing is for sure, the performance delivered by Noel Gallagher at the NIA did anything but disappoint.
An earthy, typically indie backdrop of anticipation was formed by support band Reverend and the Makers, before the main act began with a simple word, uttered in an effortlessly casual Mancunian accent 'Al'ight'. That's all it took. Cheery echoes from nostalgic 90s memories and newfound song obsessions alike bounced around the arena, as the all too appropriate 'It's Good (To Be Free)' began.
Followed by tracks both old and new, Noel's performance depicted something more than a much-anticipated return, but also a continuing presence in modern music. Accompanied by large choir harmonies, both solo and Oasis tracks were delivered with the coolness and effortlessness only a true pro can achieve. Gallagher performed old favourite 'Supersonic' with nothing but an acoustic guitar donned over his shoulder. Raw passion and memories erupted throughout, as tracks from the band's self-titled album intertwined with old Oasis favourites flowed throughout a flawless set list. 'Talk Tonight', a less popular B-side intoxicated loyal fans and newcomers alike with the story of Noel's legendary conversation with an anonymous female in San Francisco, regarding his internal debate between ending and continuing with Oasis back as early as 1994.
A cheeky dedication 'to all the ladies in here' lifted the emotional weight with newer track 'AKA… Broken Arrow', a crowd pleaser despite its lack of Britpop roots. After an ominous end to the main set with '(Stranded On) The Wrong Beach', Gallagher left a lot to be anticipated for the encore, everything coming down to the Oasis classics. A beautiful rendition of another B-side 'Whatever' with mesmorising orchestral accompaniment was a definite highlight of the entire night, followed by old favourites 'Little by Little', 'The Importance Of Being Idle' and 'Don't Look Back In Anger'. A blur of nostalgia for the middle-aged Liam look-a-likes and a strike of inspiration for new generations, the encore encapsulated the audience, the soundtrack of the 90s rushing through every human being present.
With or without his straight-talking and beautifully vocally nasal brother, it is clear that Noel is still most definitely a musician in his own right. His fans and his performance proved that. My God, is that man flying high.
Written by Charlotte Ross