Review: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds rock Edinburgh Castle
Chris Mackinnon heaps the praise on Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds* * * * *ESPLANADE, The Castle
It’s been an age since the Mancunian monobrow brothers burst on to the Britpop scene and after their not exactly friendly dissolution it’s been a decent few years for Gallagher senior. Like his sibling, it took him a while to get out of the hefty shadow of Oasis but they’re a distant memory these days. Well, until a few songs in that is.
As is standard at outdoor gigs, the initial sound mix is a bit awry. I didn’t realise there was a brass section on the stage until the second song, the glorious Holy Mountain.
If I had a Gun from the first HFB album was a particular high point and it was only after this that he decided this was a good time for a bit of chat, along the lines of how weird it was to be wearing sunglasses in Scotland. Fair point, but as a fully paid up rock god, you’ll bet he wears them indoors.
The ghost of the old act was never going to be far away and an early foray into the back catalogue started with Little By Little and straight into a stonkingly high energy Importance of Being Idle.
Another belter from 2017’s Who Built The Moon in the pared back shape of Drown in the Water which gave most of the band a break, leaving only Noel plus pianist on duty. The masses returned for another newbie, dedicated to Noel’s Edinburgh born wife, “the Queen of Scotland” as he describes her. The song in question is She Taught Me How To Fly, another great new song that has drawn pelters from all and sundry, not least Gallagher junior, due to its utilisation of scissors on percussion. And talking of pelters, Noel then made the slightly foolhardy choice of asking if we’d enjoyed the World Cup, which prompted a hearty rendition of 3 Lions. Oops.
Bit of an Oasis-fest from hereon, the band belting through Whatever, Half a World Away and Wonderwall, getting predictably rambunctious help from the crowd. A nice pairing of Don’t Look Back In Anger and All You Need Is Love closed the evening. Maybe Mr Angry really has mellowed in middle age. Learning anything baby brother?