Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – iTunes Festival – Camden Roundhouse – Review

Having received an email last Friday informing me I had won two tickets to see Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds at the iTunes festival I quickly accepted the tickets and set about putting a plan in motion to go, so last night I along with my younger brother got on the train up to London after work to head to Camden. The Roundhouse is a venue that until last night had passed me by in London as this was my first visit, it’s not a bad little venue it’s definitely smaller than Brixton or Hammersmith or any of the other main venues I usually head to, I’d say there was probably around the 3000-3500 mark, what this means then is a lot of the bigger artists that the iTunes festival pulls in play a much smaller show than they usually are used to as was the case last night as Noel Gallagher since releasing his solo album has toured almost extensively in Arena’s and even a headline show at the O2 in London. My only criticism of the venue is that by it’s very design it has a ring of pillars which means if you are in the wrong place you will get a very restricted view luckily that was not the case for us last night but is something to consider in the future if needs be.

Support: –

The support last night came from ‘Soundtrack Of Our Lives’ they are a band where I’ve seen the name pop up many times before and even possibly seen a bit of before but never really properly listened to. The sound at the start of their set however was terrible and I was thinking quite early on that I really hope it gets better or else this will be a bit of a wasted night, thankfully after the first 2 or 3 songs the sound was honed in quite nicely and I could appreciate more what I was hearing, if I’m honest they put on a pretty solid if unspectacular show and I’ve certainly seen a lot worse support acts but I did find them a little too random for my liking in places, especially the bit where the singer was pretty much just making random noises into the mic for about 2 or 3 minutes.

Main Headliner: –

Up next at pretty much 9pm sharp as dictated Noel Gallagher and his band of High Flying Birds hit the stage for a set that was a combination of his solo album inter linked with some of Oasis’ biggest hits, having had the privelage of seeing Oasis three times before their split and this being my first time see NGHFB I have to say at first it was a little strange to now see Noel in the frontman position but it’s something he pulled off really well. Throughout the night there was some pretty good banter with the crowd and it was obviously apparent that he was enjoying himself playing again something that wasn’t so true in the latter days of Oasis, what this means is that it made the performance seem so much more honest and as a result the show was truly fantastic.

There were a few highlights I’d like to point out of his new solo stuff ‘Dream On’, ‘A.K.A. What A Life…’ and my personal favourite song ‘If I Had A Gun’ sounded particularly epic last night especially with the addition in places of an onstage choir to widen the sound. Of the Oasis stuff I’m really glad I got to see songs such as ‘Whatever’ and ‘Supersonic’ in a completely different light to what I’m used to with both being performed acoustically with Noel’s take on the vocals, although I will say I’m not sure I’d ever get used to that as apposed to the originals, but the two true highlights for me of the Oasis material were two of the already made Noel songs in ‘Talk Tonight’ and ‘Little By Little’ both of which sounded nothing short of stunning. Having had a quick gander at the setlists that he had been playing in the lead up to this show on the train up we made the concious decision to leave after ‘Little By Little’ knowing only ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ was to follow, what this meant was we managed to get a quiet tube train back to Waterloo and more importantly get the faster earlier train leaving Waterloo meaning for the sake of missing one song we were nearly an hour earlier home.

Overall it was a really good night and I have to give credit to how organised the iTunes festival set up was we got there ticket in hand at about 7:20pm ish walked pretty much straight through they checked my photo I.D. to prove I am who the ticket said meaning it eleviates the potential for touts. My only one MAJOR issue last night was the crowd, I have never been in such a bad and to be honest disrespectful crowd in the entirity of my gig going life, you expect that during the support a lot of people will continue there conversations and that’s fine you accept that, but to continue to shout and talk during the main headliner is not something I expect, throughout the nigh on entirity of their set most of the crowd around us almost seemed to be treating it as a club i.e there is music in the background and we’ll all shout over the top of it while drinking as much as possible, the biggest problem I see is that far too many of the people there last night were not Fans of Noel Gallaghers but more people who wanted to be scene (That spelling definitely intended), what this meant is that in the small area around me there was one couple behind me who spent the first half of Noel’s set making out not even bothering to listen, one set of girls to the left of me were getting pissed up and trying to pull pretty much any bloke that walked past them and the climax at one point I even genuinely had someone come up to me and ask me who he was watching and when I said he’s reply was ‘Oh the guy from Oasis’ before walking off, what this meant is that the few people who were genuinely fans and went for the music like ourselves didn’t get the full appreciation of it that we should have had we of seen him one his own show surrounded by genuine fans. All I can say is that I’m glad it was someone rockier that I saw as if last night was anything to go by I dread to think what it’ll be like for acts such as ‘Mumford & Sons’ or ‘Andrea Bocelli’ both of which will be somewhat more subtle in the mix, I just hope that in the future that the organisers find a way of making the shows more directed at the genuine fans of the acts rather than those who want to be scene as that will genuinely make it a much more enjoyable experience.

Setlist: –

‘(It’s Good) To Be Free’ (Oasis cover)
‘Everybody’s on the Run’
‘Dream On’
‘If I Had a Gun…’
‘The Good Rebel’
‘The Death of You and Me’
‘Freaky Teeth’
‘Supersonic’ (Oasis cover)
‘D’Yer Wanna Be a Spaceman?’ (Oasis cover)
‘(I Wanna Live in a Dream in My) Record Machine’
‘AKA… What a Life!’
‘Talk Tonight’ (Oasis cover)
‘Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks’
‘AKA… Broken Arrow’
‘Half the World Away’ (Oasis cover)
‘(Stranded On) The Wrong Beach’

Encore:

‘Let the Lord Shine a Light on Me’
‘Whatever’ (Oasis cover)
‘Little By Little’ (Oasis cover)
‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ (Oasis cover)

PDC

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