Live Review: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (Festival Internacional de Benicàssim 17/07/2015)

After Jamie T, later on the second night of FIB came Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds. With 2 solo albums now in his arsenal, Noel has asserted himself as an artist aside from his success in Oasis that came to an end back in 2009. Armed with his trademark ruby red guitar, one of the coolest men in music used his famous stand and deliver style of performance to present to an entourage an exhibition of talent and swagger.

5 songs, played with little or no dialogue in between, opened his set at Benicassim. The first, from his self-titled debut LP, fit perfectly with the setting. Facing towards the mountains inland the powerful chorus of Everybody’s On The Run was a perfect start. 4 songs from the eclectic recent ‘Chasing Yesterday’ album then followed, the highlight being the upbeat You Know We Can’t Go Back after the chilled-out Riverman and the single In The Heat of The Moment.

Then came one of the moments of the weekend, a pause and the first chord of the evergreen Champagne Supernova. Those who were lucky enough to have seen Oasis could reminisce, those who didn’t manage to (like me) witness the masterpiece for the first time. One of those moments you could write pages and pages about but never quite be able to illustrate the moment to the degree it deserves. What a song and what a performance. For the first time since 2012, the beautiful Talk Tonight made an appearance immediately after, and Half The World Away turned up for the first time since 2013 after Dream On and The Mexican.

Supposedly criticised as one of his worst songs, Digsy’s Dinner is one I’ve always been really fond of. The youthful lyrics and choppy chords make for a perfect match in festival season. More Oasis, The Masterplan, arms aloft and belted out by thousands.

The 14th song, a good amount for a festival set, was always going to be noteworthy. The low-key intro, one of the most recognisable in British music history, that belongs to Oaisis’ Don’t Look Back In Anger is one that has filled dancefloors at last orders since 1996 – still one of the best songs of its’ generation and often marked as one of the best of all time. It’s not my favourite, but it’s certainly one I wanted to hear live and Noel did it justice closing his set on the East coast of Spain last week.

If you’re a fan of Noel, his ‘Desert Island Discs’ feature was on BBC Radio 4 this week, find 45 minutes over the weekend to listen to it here if you can.

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