Live Review: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds // Manchester o2 Ritz


Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds swooped into Manchester’s renowned O2 Ritz for a special gig for the lucky few who caught the band in-between headlining major festivals across the UK.

It was sweaty, beer-soaked and an ode to the gigs of the frontman’s gigs gone by. The special performance organised by Absolute Radio gave the crowds what they had waited for with an early 8.15pm start. Two pint cups in hand and jackets tied around the fans waists, the fans ranged from clear avid Oasis lovers to the youth of Manchester who were too young to remember when Oasis were at their peak, selling out stadium shows. Despite the differences, the fans nevertheless roared and cheered as Mr Manchester and his comrades strolled on the stage to the psychedelic infused ‘Fort Knox’.

The first half of the gig is a celebration of NGFHB latest release, the 2017 album Who Built The Moon, with fans bobbing around to the thumping ‘Holy Mountain’ and ‘She Taught Me How To Fly’. ‘The Man Who Built The Moon’ was debuted in style, a real treat for the fans who had queued up all day to grab a good spot in the venue. ‘Dead in the Water’ closes the section of the set that hails the current sound of NGHFB.

It’s at this point where Noel speaks and says “let’s go backwards” and kicks into the golden oldies that defined Noel Gallagher as a musician who didn’t need to rely on his brother for help. Tracks like ‘If I Had a Gun…’ and ‘AKA…What A Life’ please the majority of the crowd who have waited for this moment since the debut album was released back in 2011.

Noel dusts off Oasis tracks that aren’t always on the menu at his gigs including ‘Whatever’ which got everybody standing arms around each other and singing, forgetting that they have to go to work the day after. ‘Half the World Away’ was dedicated to the late, talented Caroline Aherne, an emotional but ever so fitting tribute to Manchester’s finest actress. ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ was done in a similar light, fans taking it upon themselves to out sing Noel during the classic song that’s a signature track for Manchester and it’s people.

The notable set ends with a cover of The Beatles ‘All You Need is Love’ dedicated to “Manchester’s Best Tamborine Player”, no guessing who that is…

As fans leave covered in booze, sweat and other fluids it’s clear that success can be found once you leave a band that soundtracked nearly two decades of music. May the High Flying Birds keep on flying!


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