Review: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds at the Edinburgh Playhouse

The return of the Manc. It’s not even a year since big Gallagher rocked the Castle last summer and, amusingly, this 3000 plus seater gig was billed as “intimate”.

Wednesday, 8th May 2019, 4:01 pm
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds kicking off their UK Summer Tour to packout Edinburgh Playhouse on a Tuesday evening - 7th May 2019 - Picture by - Calum Buchan Photography

The Playhouse marks the beginning of a globe-trotting tour that takes in the UK, the Far East and the United States with an Isle of Wight headline slot in the middle.

He’s a more relaxed chap in his 50s and his positively themed new material is a far cry from the angry young man we all used to enjoy. And he keeps the chat to a minimum tonight, on one occasion asking a mum down the front if her eight-year-old was drinking vodka.

The set is familiar to anyone who’s seen him in the last few years, starting with Fort Knox then into the Glam-pop of 2017’s Holy Mountain then the “scissors song”, She Taught Me

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Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds kicking off their UK Summer Tour to packout Edinburgh Playhouse on a Tuesday evening - 7th May 2019 - Picture by: Calum Buchan Photography

How To Fly, written for his Edinburgh born wife.

A couple of newbies in the shape of current single Black Star Dancing after which the band are joined by a backing trio of female singers sporting Mary Quant style dresses for Rattling Rose, a live debut. For reasons unknown, this

is their only appearance.

Unsurprisingly, he leans heavily on the old act’s material and the opening strains of Talk Tonight are given a raucous welcome by the sell-out crowd, itself the beginning of a three track Oasis section. This surely must gall a bit.

The days of playing to hundreds of thousands at Knebworth are a distant memory but his own stuff is as good and in places better than the old - but he’s in showbusiness after all and knows what the mob want.

Laid back crowd pleaser Dead in the Water lets most of the band go for a quick glass of wine, Noel and pianist holding court for a bit before a few more old tracks in the shape of

Masterplan (prompting a mighty camera-phone fest), through to Stop Crying Your Heart Out before a five minute break for all.

Encoring with Don’t Look Back In Anger, the main man lets the crowd take over on the chorus, as if he had a choice and as is standard these days, they finish with All You Need Is

Love. Talk about wearing your influences on your sleeve.

All in, a very relaxed Noel doing what he does best and the new songs imply there’s new stuff on the horizon. Hopefully with less scissors.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – 7 th May – Edinburgh Playhouse

5 out of 7 stars

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