High Flying Birds

NOEL GALLGHER’S PICNIC DEBUT

Author – Rachel Masterson. Originally posted on Electric Picnic live blog Reposted with permission. Photo credit Leanne Sullivan.

That familiar Gallagher drawl fills up the Main Arena, reaching your ears before the stage even becomes visible. Walking towards it, it’s clear that Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds have a big crowd.

Firmly holding his own as a front man, Noel commands the audience, singing ‘Everybody’s On The Run’ to a legion of adoring fans. Acknowledging that the crowd is full of nostalgic Oasis enthusiasts with nothing but admiration for him, he dedicates the night to “Oasis fans everywhere”.

The night continues with an immense energy, from both seasoned Oasis devotees and those for the first time getting a glimpse of one half of the Gallagher duo in action. Noel doesn’t disappoint, the rock ‘n’ roll star very much still in full force. He asks how we’re all getting on, adding if they are the best thing we’ve seen all day. When we scream in agreement he nods saying “right answer”. It certainly is the Noel Gallagher show.

He thanks us in advance for a memorable moment, before launching into ‘Champagne Supernova’, but it’s short lived. The band stop, but we continue to sing. Noel then tells us to “carry on, we messed it up” before affirming “but I’m in charge, I’m allowed to mess it up”, starting again.

Singing a back catalogue of songs than span across three decades, Noel demonstrates he has nothing to prove; these are his songs and he is going to sing them. We are treated with great High Flying Birds songs like ‘If I Had a Gun’ and ‘What a Life’ but it’s when he launches into the Oasis classics, ‘Half a World Away’ and ‘Wonderwall’, that’s when we get truly responsive. In fact, he only has to sing the opening lyrics of ‘Wonderwall’ then step back allowing the crowd to take over. We are simply happy to be in his presence, and more than happy to take the reins singing.

Finishing on a high, it’s as if the entire festival has descended to watch. Noel announces that Ireland was the first place he played as a solo act, saying “you were amazing then, you’re amazing now, thanks for sticking with me through it all”, closing with a moving version of “Don’t Look Back In Anger”. After tonight Mr Gallagher, we certainly won’t.

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