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High LYING Birds' Noel Gallagher doesn't Stop the Clocks... round 1 goes to Liam

LONDON - Oh, AKA what a surprise lol: so many "2 stars out of 5" reviews...

2 / 5 stars

Noel Gallagher doesn't stop the clocks on his long-threatened solo album. He merely rewinds them. The brains behind Oasis once again presents his impeccable taste in vintage Britrock on a record long on wistful introspection and short on the laddish euphoria that made his old band an occasional joy. High Flying Birds does, however, confirm that when Liam was allowed to write songs for Oasis it was in the interests of the division of labour rather than artistic merit.
Joined by former Oasis pianist Mike Rowe, drummer Jeremy Stacey of The Lemon Trees and percussionist Lenny Castro, Noel's new kids on the flock brings us on a journey (in the non-X Factor sense of the word) back to a happier time where we, the listener, were constantly beseeched to "hold on" and reminded that we "gotta be strong enough for love." This is Everybody's On The Run, the multi-layered opener to High Flying Birds and it's a song that represents the clichés encrusted with thickly applied string sections that make up a large part of the solo Noel's output.
Likewise with Dream On which finds "a songbird is singing" and Noel reverting to the late Oasis' default setting of jaunty Kinks barrelhouse piano and fat woozy brass. Elsewhere, If I Had a Gun is essentially a rewrite of Wonderwall before it falls off a cliff.
The ghost of the recent past is never far away, however, and two Oasis cast offs make an appearance on High Lying Birds in the shape of (I Wanna Live in a Dream in My) Record Machine which builds to an exultant guitar solo, and a revisiting of Stop The Clocks which really does sound like something cobbled together to flll out the running time.
Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks does at least engage with some sort of reality in a song concerned with war and political incompetence and which paints a vivid picture of grieving villagers in Wooton Basset and religious fundies in far flung lands both east and west. Musical leaps forward (in Noel terms) come in the shape of some lovely choral work from The Crouch End Festival Chorus, the use of a saw, and a bloke conjuring up a Ennio Morricone-like effect with the rim of a glass on (Stranded On) The Wrong Beach.
The best thing here by a long shot is AKA . . . What a Life! which has some of the dancefloor rush of Noel's pre-fame Hacienda days and echoes his colourful excursion with The Chemical Brothers on Let Forever Be.
Strangely, for a man who gives the best quotes in rock, Noel has little to say, humorous or otherwise. Where are the kind of bon mots and lairy witticisms that he can delight with? A shame because ever since Liam and Noel stopped singing from the same spreadsheet, Oasis watchers will have pored over their respective lyrics looking for barbed exchanges between the estranged siblings. There's little sign of any here.
Big Brother certainly renews his membership of the village green appreciation society on High Flying Birds but musically a lot of this debut merely sounds like Oasis with clipped wings. The real solo Noel may emerge on next year's collaboration with Amorphous Androgynous, the psychedelic side show from The Future Sound of London but on the basis of High Flying Birds, round one of wibbling rivalry (the return match) goes to our kid's Beady Eye.
It's a likeable enough album from a very likeable bloke but forget any Icarus metaphors - Noel solo is more earthbound than high flying.
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Beady Eye gigography and next tour dates


30 May - Forum, Milan, Italy (the first "Noeless" gig since 1991 when he didn't join Oasis yet)

summer tour without Noel


16 November - Andy Bell unplugged - Debaser, Stockholm, Sweden (bootleg)


3rd & 4th March - Barrowland, Glasgow, Scotland +here and here + bootleg
6th & 7th March - O2 Apollo, Manchester +bootleg 1 +bootleg 2
9th & 10th March - Troxy, London +bootleg 1
13 March - Casino de Paris, Paris, france
14 March - E-Werk, Koln, Germany
16 March - Alcatraz, Milan, Italy +dvd bootleg
18 March - La Riviera, Madrid, Spain +bootleg
19 March - Bikini, Toulouse, france
21 March - Paradiso, Amsterdam, Holland (bootleg)
22 March - Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, Belgium (bootleg)
14 & 15 April - The Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland here a bootleg image
17 April - Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland
20 April - O2 Academy, Newcastle (a photo here)
23 April - Centre, Newport (photo and bootleg)
30 May - Grosse Freiheit 36, Hamburg, Germany
+a photo here + win tickets here
8 June - Saschall, Firenze, Italy +my story here +bootleg here +win tickets here
11th June - Papillons de Nuit Festival, Saint Lo, france
12 June - Isle of Wight festival +story here and here +interview here +videos here +interview and bootleg here
25th June - Theater of Living Art, Philadelphia, U.S.A.
30 June - Rock Werchter, Belgium (bootleg)
1 July - Main Square Festival, Arras, france +a photo here
7 July - BBK Live Festival, Bilbao, Spain
9 July - Oxegen Festival, Naas, Ireland
26 August - Reading Festival (win tickets) +videos here +review&video here +bootleg here
3 September - AX Hall, Seoul, South Korea
14 September - Twinkle Rock Festival, Taipei, Taiwan
7 October - Atlantico, Rome, Italy +main bootleg here +another bootleg here
+win the concert here
11 October - Volkshaus, Zurich, Switzerland (postponed)
13 October - Gasometer, Vienna, Austria (postponed)
31 October - Theater Caupolican, Santiago, Chile
2 November - Teatro de Verano Ramon Collazo, Montevideo, Uruguay
3 November - Teatro Colegiales, Buenos Aires, Argentina
4 November - Personal Festival, Buenos Aires, Argentina
5 November - Planeta Terra festival, Sao Paulo, Brazil
12 November - O2 Academy, Sheffield
14 November - O2 Academy, Birmingham
17 November - O2 Academy Brixton, London
2 December - The Warfield, San Francisco, U.S.A.
3 December - Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles, U.S.A. +another complete review here +win tickets here and here
5 December - First Avenue, Minneapolis, U.S.A.
6 December - The Rave Ballroon, Milwaukee, U.S.A.
9 December - Terminal 5, New York, U.S.A.
10 December - House of Blues, Boston, U.S.A.


new tour


3 June - Abbey Road, London (acoustic) +bootleg here
7 June - McClusky's, Kingston (album launch acoustic gig)

8 November - Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland


Noel Gallagher solo gigography, and Low Lying Turds tour dates

(although his blinded fans say he's a "new solo artist", it's 20 years he's around and already played "solo" gigs previously (the first one in 1994), with the help of other people of course, as the Unplugged 1996, the gig for Tibet, the tour in 2006-2007, London, Milan, Manchester, Moscow, Los Angeles, Toronto, Paris, Australia, etc.)


25 March - Royal Albert Hall - London


28 November - Alcatraz - Milan, Italy + review here +video bootleg here +audio and video bootleg here


lost interest... even Noel got bored of himself

10 April - Auditorio Banamex - Monterrey, Mexico (cancelled)



fans leave the gig again and ask for Liam again
..... € 10 = £ 8

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