Noel Gallagher played his second post-Oasis solo show tonight (March 26), mocking his ex-bandmate and brother Liam during his London Royal Albert Hall gig for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
The singer/guitarist played the same set he played the previous night at the venue, taking a pop at the fashion interest of his brother, Liam, who runs the Pretty Green clothes label after performing 'Cast No Shadow'.
Responding to shouts from a fan he said, "For the record that guy said, 'Where's Liam?'. He's probably being a real northerner somewhere designing the perfect desert boot." ahahahahahaha [referring to Liam answer to Peter Kay on Twitter]
Before the set started The Who's Roger Daltrey, who curates the Teenage Cancer Trust gigs, had given an introduction in which he explained how he'd invited Liam to help his band perform 'Quadrophenia' with them next week at the venue.
"I couldn't think of anyone better to play [character] Ace Face," he told the audience before making way for Noel. "I called him up but he said, 'I can't, I'm doing something far more important. I'm going to Disneyland with my children'."
As he had been last night, Noel was joined by his ex-Oasis bandmate Gem Archer on guitar plus Oasis' former live keyboard player Jay Darlington. An eight-piece all-female orchestra joined the set-up shortly into the gig as did the 50-strong Crouch End Choir.
With the set heavy on songs from the early parts of Oasis career and berefit of new material, Noel dedicated 'Slide Away' to his girlfriend Sara MacDonald ♥♥. He dedicated 'Digsy's Dinner' to a particularly vocal crowd member who he found out was named Dave. Dave, stood near the front row, briefly earned cheers as he danced following the dedication before Noel said, "Are you done now?". He added, "Every note for you," as the song ended. "Every fucking note for you."
"Thanks for supporting the charity for the past ten years," he said before leading cheers for his band, the choir and orchestra.
An introduction from Roger Daltry and a standing ovation before a note had even been played. Pretty decent start!
'Fade Away' gets the first big singalong of the night. 'Cast No Shadow' playing now. Looking to be the second biggest...so far.
Did you guys ever hear about 'the lost chord'? We just had a collective one to 'Listen Up'. Shivers down the back. Very cool.
sitting on a plane you know you can't complain... all your dreams are made of strawberry lemonade...
only blondes for Noel ahahahaha
"I always told my friends to come to the concerts because they're full of blondes. Of course them idiots never came".
For me the same.
Reviewed by Elisa Bray:
You could read a lot into Noel Gallagher's choice to open his first solo show post-Oasis with "(It's Good) to Be Free". In a semi acoustic set for the Teenage Cancer Trust, the elder Gallagher brother, who was responsible for the majority of the band's song-writing, takes to his stool with less a swagger and more the quiet poise of a professional performer at his ease.
Discarding his rock-star leather jacket early on, in a casual shirt and jeans, the 42-year-old could not have looked more comfortably relaxed. It was apparent in his singing, too, softer and more tender tones than his brother's, and tonight often tinged with emotion, especially in "Half the World Away", which moved many a fan, as couples and thirtysomething male friends locked arms and swayed, wielding pints of beer as they sang along.
The opening song was not the only one to take on a more weighty meaning with the passage of time. The nostalgia of "Fade Away", which he played early on, seemed to strike a point deep within many of the crowd, as Gallagher sang "while we're living, the dreams we had as children fade away." In a stripped-down version of "Wonderwall", he seemed almost pensive in his laid-back, understated delivery.
"It's not rock'n'roll", he tells the crowd, smiling. Indeed, he's accompanied throughout by former Oasis member Gem Archer on lead guitar and Terry Kirkbride on minimal percussion, an all-female string orchestra – the Wired Strings – and the 50-strong Crouch End Choir. Not that for the most part you could hear the latter. With a backing choir of 5,200 people – the full capacity of the Royal Albert Hall – belting out the songs in a merry mass sing-a-long throughout the show, the choir was drowned out.
The strings section, however, made a wonderful addition, especially in their recreation of the unmistakable opening to "Whatever", and in the rapturously received final song of the night "Don't Look Back in Anger". Meanwhile, against Gallagher's gentle acoustic strumming, Archer's lead guitar parts shimmered.
Last week came the news that Gallagher is going to become a father for a third time, and tonight he is on his most reserved behaviour. By his very composure and mature, reserved performance, Noel seemed to – consciously or not – set himself apart from his brasher brother. But an evening with one of the Gallagher brothers – even the more sensible of the two – was never going to be complete without a bit of gentle crowd-baiting. In good humour Gallagher teased audience members, in particular the "Scousers" and "Geordies" in the crowd.
In a set heavy on B-sides, and with only one track from the latter part of their career, from the post-1990s, Gallagher chose not to perform any new material, joking, "No, we're not playing new songs. As brilliant as they are, now's not the right time or place." But with the best and most-loved Oasis songs from early on in their career, such as the brilliant "Slide Away", which tonight receives the most appreciative response, nobody could complain.
Two years ago Noel Gallagher played a similar solo acoustic set for the charity in the same venue. Back then, fans called out for his brother. Tonight, it's just Noel's name they chant. When he ends tonight's performance with the humble send-off: "It's been an absolute pleasure to play for you tonight", with a smile on his face as he strides towards the solo career ahead of him, he leaves 5,200 smiles behind.