Saturday, November 19th 2011
Shows: Noel Gallagher
Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds roosted in UCLA’s elegant Royce Hall for two sold out shows Thursday and Friday night, delivering unto us a pair of 90 minute sets (give or take) comprised of every song on his debut solo album as well as a number of beautifully rendered Oasis classics that I for one had honestly forgotten to expect.
Royce Hall’s first-class acoustics maintained every nuance of the set that generally opted for the more intimate, poignant songs rather than the balls-out rockers. Notable exceptions to this of course were AKA… What A Life and (Stranded On) The Wrong Beach from the High Flying Birds album, and Oasis megahit Supersonic. But it was the tweaked, MTV Unplugged version of Wonderwall, along with Talk Tonight, If I Had A Gun, and show-closer Don’t Look Back In Anger that collectively underpinned the evenings.
The most newsworthy moment came at the tail end of the first batch of High Flying Birds songs, when Noel introduced a new song called Freaky Teeth, which he promised would appear on a second solo album to be released sometime next year. If the song is any indication of where that album will wind up sonically, color us excited. Those of you who count Wrong Beach among your favorite HFB songs will love it. The first thing I thought of the sultry, swaggering groove, backed by organs as Noel drawled on about my God and The Devil and my soul, was that it would make a great Bond theme. And it has since been brought to my attention that it was, in fact, designed as precisely that. There are bootlegs of the Royce Hall performances out there already, But in the interest of clarity, here’s a professionally-shot version from BBC Radio Theatre from early this month:
We can’t wait for the High Flying Birds’ sophomore effort, sure to come before we tire of the fantastic debut.