Oasis Reviews Archive

Reviews from as many Oasis albums, singles and concerts as I can fine. Hopefully in the future incorporating pictures, audio and video.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Manchester, England (Lowry Theatre)

1. (It's Good) To Be Free
2. Talk Tonight
3. Fade Away
4. Cast No Shadow
5. The Importance Of Being Idle
6. Listen Up
7. Half The World Away
8. Wonderwall
9. Whatever
10. Slide Away
11. Strawberry Fields Forever
12. Don't Look Back In Anger
13. Married With Children

Noel Gallagher
Gem Archer
Terry Kirkbride

Manchester Evening News - 5/5
Helen Tither

WHAT would you expect from an exclusive and intimate Oasis homecoming gig? Cosy revelations about the Gallagher brothers’ life growing up down the road in Burnage? Heartfelt tales of missing Manchester?

When Noel Gallagher and bandmate Gem Archer take the stage for their acoustic gig in front of 400 Xfm competition winners at The Lowry theatre we get nothing of the sort.

Turns out he’s not really the kiss and tell, gut-spilling, tea and sympathy type.

But, if we don’t get up close and personal with Noel himself, we do get more intimate than ever with his songs. Which, let’s face it, more than makes up for that lack of chat.

This is Oasis, after all, not Oprah. And what songs. Stripped back, toned down, and minus the trademark strut of little brother Liam, these are Oasis tunes as you have never heard them before.

How Noel perhaps wants them to be. Take blast from the past Whatever – a string-laden single from the back catalogue which teeters dangerously on the brink of schmaltz.

Transformed here into a feisty folky number, it comes alive with a bit of Noel re-mastering.

“The original way we done this was ****,” he mumbles. “But we was all on drugs.”
Yes, he’s a man of few words. But when he does use them to answer back the (frequent) hecklers, he’s quick off the mark.

“Lend us a tenner,” comes the cry from the audience. “I only carry fifties, cock.” And not a hair on that mop top barnet ruffled.

But if the crowd are less than gushingly star struck by the presence of this modern day music icon on stage, you get the impression that’s just how he likes it.

He certainly comes without any of the airs and graces of the super famous, preferring instead to dress down in trademark jeans and polo shirt, as though he’s strolled straight off the street.

It soon becomes clear there’s little need for rock n’ roll swagger anyway.

Even without all the hype, the tough talking, and the hard-faced controversy, these are simply some of the greatest songs of the past decade.

From the anthemic Wonderwall to the recent chart comeback, The Importance of Being Idle, each one sounds great once more with just some simple guitar and Noel’s vulnerable vocals breathed up close into the mic.

Heard without the posturing of frontman Liam (who barely gets a mention all night), it simply proves what a great singer/songwriter he is in his own right.

Ostensibly, these intimate forays of Noel’s around the country are to promote the band’s 'best of' album, Stop the Clocks.

Less of an advert for the band, maybe. Definitely a good sign for any future solo career.


Noel Gallagher voiced his support for ex-Arctic Monkey Andy Nicholson during an intimate hometown gig tonight (December 4).

The Oasis guitarist played 'Talk Tonight' during his latest acoustic show.

"I'd like to dedicate this one to our mate Andy" he told the crowd at the Lowry Theatre in Manchester. "He used to be in the Arctic Monkeys, but now he isn't for reasons I just don't know."

The Oasis leader's stripped-down gig, organised and broadcast by XFM Manchester, was witnessed by 400 ecstatic competition winners and celebrities including Peter Kay.

Backed by bandmate Gem Archer on guitar and organ, and percussionist Terry Kirkbridge, Gallagher played a career-spanning set, featuring early Oasis favourites 'Cast No Shadow', 'Wonderwall' and rapturously received set-closer 'Married With Children'.

The hour-long show also featured a cover of The Beatles' 'Strawberry Fields Forever' and a number of Oasis B-sides including 'Half The World Away' and '(It's Good) To Be Free'. Noel was in a buoyant, comic mood, slapping down a heckler who asked to borrow a tenner with a typical boast of: "I only carry fifties mate."

He also had a jokey dig at XFM DJ and ex-Inspiral Carpets man Clint Boon, who introduced him as "the greatest songwriter this country's ever produced."

"It's a nice thing for Clint to say - although it didn't stop him sacking me twice [as an Inspiral Carpets roadie]," he quipped. "Although it all worked out well in the end - I mean, he's working on the radio now!"

Support came from Tailgunner, the band fronted by 'Definitely Maybe' producer Mark Coyle, for whom Noel had a brief stint as a drummer.

The gig followed earlier acoustic show at the Union Chapel in London(November 26).

Live broadcast on XFM apart from final song Married With Children. Gig was preceded with special XFM show with interview with Noel.


Post a Comment

<< Home