A man with a Masterplan

Sharing a stage with Johnny Marr, seeing Man Utd lose in the Cup, and a sold-out hometown mega-gig. It was a good weekend for Noel Gallagher, and for fan AASMA DAY in that huge Manchester Arena crowd

Noel Gallagher
Noel Gallagher

There must be few happier people than Noel Gallagher this week.

Not only have Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds hit number one in the album charts with Chasing Yesterday, Noel and his gang performed a triumphant homecoming gig at a packed to the rafters arena AND he saw Manchester United lose to Arsenal in the FA Cup.

To put the icing on the cake, Noel’s childhood guitar hero Smiths legend Johnny Marr joined him on stage to play a track they recorded together for the new album, but had never before performed in public.

No wonder Noel seemed in exceptionally good humour during the gig.

When you’re in a band as successful, iconic and influential as Oasis, the danger when you break free or start afresh is that there’ll always be comparisons and a feeling of not quite living up to expectations.

However, as much as I loved Oasis, after hearing the brilliance and change of formula in some of Noel’s solo material, I couldn’t help wondering why he didn’t venture out on his own sooner.

The set included a great mix of songs from the new High Flying Birds album as well as their debut, peppered with a good balance of Oasis classics which fans will never tire of hearing.

Standout tracks included Lock All The Doors, You Know We Can’t Go Back, The Mexican and Riverman, as well as the guitar thrashing The Ballad of the Mighty I with the aforementioned Johnny Marr – much to the thrill of the crowd.

Throughout the concert Noel kept updated with the score of the Man Utd game and the banter went on until he announced their loss with glee and dedicated Dream On to United fans.

With the backing of a choir, tracks from the High Flying Birds’ first album included Everybody’s On The Run and Stranded On The Wrong Beach, as well as one of my personal favourites AKA What A Life, the euphoric 90s dance-esque single.

Oasis songs were always going to go down well and Fade Away and Champagne Supernova – which Noel dedicated to Bonehead – as well as a rousing rendition of Digsy’s Dinner and Don’t Look Back In Anger were gobbled up.

A masterstroke was ending on The Masterplan, possibly one of the greatest B-sides ever recorded, made all the better live.

There’s no denying it would be wonderful if Oasis reformed.

But for now, Noel seems to be doing quite nicely without his brother and is still penning some belting tunes much to the joy of his fans.