Review: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Edinburgh Castle

Noel Gallagher performs at Edinburgh Castle. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Noel Gallagher performs at Edinburgh Castle. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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LIT up in all its glory, complete with flaming torches, Edinburgh Castle makes for a spectacular backdrop for a concert.

Something Noel Gallagher is quick to note. “Nice gaff this innit?” he says, admiring the surroundings, before adding cheekily: “Mine’s twice the size.”

Unshackled from the restraints of what Oasis had become, the 45-year-old has blossomed into a much more engaging performer. Gone is the surly, taciturn nature that once typified his stage persona, replaced by a more relaxed, carefree attitude.

Playing his debut solo album almost in its entirety, the singer demonstrates that, freed from the lumbering rock behemoth that was his former group, he has still got an ear for a catchy, melodic rock tune, with The Death Of You And Me and AKA... What A Life particular stand-outs.

“I assume we’re all Oasis fans?” he then asks rhetorically, launching into a rip-roaring version of Whatever. With around a third of the set comprising Oasis tunes, including Little By Little and an acoustic Supersonic, he was always sure to have everyone in the sold-out arena onside.

There was, of course, a final dilemma. Out of all the other massive hits, which should be the closer? Simple.The one that he got to sing. “I think you might know the words to the chorus,” he says, playing the opening riff to Don’t Look Back In Anger. Yes, Noel. You know fine well we do.

Rating: ****