Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - V Festival Chelmsford 2012 review
'Noel makes amends for the Oasis no-show'
Chris Eustace - 19 August 2012
It's fitting that one of the Roses' most famous disciples should precede them on the Virgin Media Main Stage. Oh, and
he's kind of a big deal himself. Sticking largely to last year's solo debut in the first half of the set, the devotees down
the front are as word perfect on a soaring 'Everybody's On The Run' and a stompy 'Dream On' as they are
for a stripped-back, country-ish 'Supersonic'. Dedicated to Mo Farah, it's the only bit Olympics talk we get from
the stage tonight - there'll be no Liam jibes this time.
In fact, you start to miss him during slightly muted run-throughs of 'AKA Broken Arrow' and 'Stranded On The Wrong Beach'. While Noel and his band look like they're enjoying themselves, it's a little bit too cosy at times, and although Gallagher senior has all the tunes, as a frontman, he doesn't have the menacing magnetism of his brother. You wonder what Liam in his prime could have done with 'AKA What A Life!' and why 'Be Here Now' was deprived of the stunning full band version of 'Talk Tonight' played here tonight, as Noel makes amends for Oasis' no-show here 3 years ago with a barrage of hits, like 'Half The World Away', 'Whatever' and 'Little By Little', which power the set home, with arms aloft and beer flying through the air.
It sets us all up nicely for a final singalong: everybody here knows the words to 'Don't Look Back In Anger', aka the Britpop 'Hey Jude', and it would appear there'll be a lot of lost voices in Chelmsford tonight as Noel makes a grinning exit, job done.
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