Review: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds at Sheffield Motorpoint Arena

Solo star: Noel Gallagher performing back at Sheffield Motorpoint Arena.
Solo star: Noel Gallagher performing back at Sheffield Motorpoint Arena.

AND to think Noel had slight misgivings about being a frontman...writes David Dunn

As main songwriting powerhouse of Oasis the ‘fun brother’ was always likely to make the most impact among those who treasured more the content rather than the tribal nature of one of the UK’s most successful bands.

While an element of the latter inevitably survives – plenty of ‘pints’ were still launched from various quarters – Noel has seduced more people with his High Flying Birds.

Returning to the scene of the first Oasis arena gig, it’s evident in solo gems, such as If I Had A Gun and horns-backed current single Dream On, fans of the man and/or his former outfit have fresh anthems to embrace and celebrate.

Sheffield heroes Reverend & The Makers stoked the crowd with a bouncy support set geared to plug their new album, but this was a Noel love-in - and with top price tickets £59.50 a pop, no one here was not going to thrill at his return.

Noel displayed hints of his stadium past, a full choir elegantly lifting Everybody’s On The Run, while stripping Oasis staple Supersonic back to an acoustic/piano-accompanied nugget.

Batman-esque new tune Freaky Teeth hinted at what could follow, while Noel earned laughs when dealing with a boozy bare-chested female fan.

With Oasis classics Little By Little and Don’t Look Back In Anger – the mega hit he debuted in Attercliffe – closing the show it was clear Noel has managed to retain the camaraderie yet lessen the oik count in his transition from sibling rival to solo star.

He may lack the arrogant swagger and sometimes the vocal muscularity of Liam, but Noel arguably bagged all the tunes.