Oasis leader joined by The View and very special guest
Noel Gallagher played his biggest ever solo gig in London tonight (March 26).
Headlining the Royal Albert Hall for the first of this year’s Teenage Cancer Trust shows, the Gibson Guitars-sponsored night saw the Oasis leader mixing his own songs with a host of classic covers.
Kicking off his set accompanied by bandmate Gem Archer and percussionist Terry Kirkbride, who has played at previous solo shows, Gallagher opened the evening with a series of his acclaimed B-sides, including ’Talk Tonight’ and ’(It’s Good) To Be Free’.
He then introduced his star collaborator of night in typically comic style.
“So as it’s the Teenage Cancer Trust and as it’s the Albert Hall, I’d like to introduce – somewhat predictably – Paul Weller,” proclaimed the guitarist as The Modfather linked up for an ecstatically received version of The Jam’s ’The Butterfly Collector’ and a cover of The Beatles’ ’All You Need Is Love’.
Gallagher was then joined by an all-female string section for the rest of the gig, which included an outing for a track from Oasis’ much-maligned third album.
“Every time we go on tour, on that bandwagon, people say ‘Why don’t you play songs off ‘Be Here Now’’,” explained Gallagher. “So this evening we’re going to play a song off ’Be Here Now’. I don’t think this has ever been played before, for obvious reasons.”
The guitarist then performed ’Don’t Go Away’, before moving onto a rare live performance of ’Definitely Maybe’ vinyl bonus track ’Sad Song’.
With the evening’s special feel, many fans began calling for Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher before a stripped down version of ’Wonderwall’, forcing his brother to explain his absence.
“I did ask Liam if he’d come down tonight,” joked Gallagher, “but he used the words ‘fuck’ and ‘charity’ in the same sentence.”
The Oasis boss then stunned the crowd with another cover which he introduced as his “favourite song ever”.
Performing a beautiful version of The Smiths’ ’There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’, Gallagher – dressed in a brown blazer and black shirt – recalled the first time he had ever played the song acoustically, in Russia at the weekend (March 25).
“I did this in Moscow the other night, but I don’t think The Smiths have sold any fucking records in Russia,” he observed. “I got to the chorus and thought ‘They’re going to have it in a minute’ – no.”
Finishing up the night with a host of Oasis hits including ’Don’t Look Back In Anger’, which he dedicated to “the kids” benefiting from the Teenage Cancer Trust’s work, Gallagher rounded off the evening covering The Beatles again, this time with ’Strawberry Fields Forever’.
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Noel Gallagher played:
‘(It’s Good) To Be Free’
‘Cast No Shadow’
‘Half The World Away’
‘The Importance Of Being Idle’
‘The Butterfly Collector’
‘All You Need Is Love’
‘Don’t Go Away’
‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’
‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’
‘Married With Children’
‘Strawberry Fields Forever’
Including versions of singles ’Same Jeans’, ’Superstar Tradesman’ and ’Wasted Little DJs’, the Dundee band also surprised the audience, covering Squeeze’s 1979 hit ’Up The Junction’.
Highlights and interviews from tonight’s gig are due to be broadcast on Virgin Radio between 4-8pm tomorrow (March 7).
For more information go to Virginradio.co.uk.
Meanwhile Noel Gallagher plays his second Teenage Cancer Trust gig tomorrow (March 27), this time supported by The Coral.