NOEL GALLAGHER, Dingwalls – Evening Standard, 15 Aug 2012

“I would like to dedicate this next song to Stratford’s finest Oasis tribute band,” said Noel Gallagher just before the second public airing of Wonderwall in the last few days. While brother Liam’s Beady Eye were murdering the song at the Olympic Closing Ceremony, here it was fuss-free, stripped to the bone, and entirely wonderful.
Either feuding sibling could have ended up playing in clubs this size after Oasis had one cross word too many and split. For Noel this was a significant step down for the benefit of XFM competition winners and the charity War Child. “Don’t boo at a charity gig!” he yelled, as the last song arrived rather too quickly. “I should have been going out for dinner tonight.”
He deserves to treat himself after a period in which he has left his former bandmates groping about in the shade, proving himself the only worthwhile songwriter in Oasis with a debut solo album stuffed with fine tunes. His intimate set this evening created a warped but welcoming parallel universe in which the acoustic segment he used to do at Oasis gigs filled the entire show, and ancient B-sides were the singalong classics.
Still opening his shows with the telling (It’s Good) to be Free, he went on to air other rarities including 1994 B-side D’Yer Wanna be a Spaceman and the Be Here Now era Angel Child, which he said he’d never performed before. The 500-strong crowd sang every word, finishing up with a Don’t Look Back in Anger on which Noel didn’t even bother trying the chorus.
He was over-reliant on increasingly ancient glories, though recent solo songs If I had a Gun… and AKA… What a Life! proved that he’s far from completely spent. He won’t be back in a small venue like this again unless he chooses to be.