x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Noel Gallagher in Dubai: not everyone happy with this high-flyer

The Oasis legend gets a mixed reception from a crowd who may have expected more of his Britpop classics.

It was a mixed reception for the Oasis legend Noel Gallagher on Friday night.

The crowd, at the packed beach in Dubai's Atlantis The Palm, eagerly awaited a set filled with Oasis songs but were treated to a two-hour performance largely focusing on the acclaimed debut, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.

The false anticipation was justified considering the promoters had stressed that this wasn't a High Flying Birds concert and Gallagher had arrived in Dubai with backing musicians as opposed to the full HFB band. After a somewhat slow start with the rumbling yet obscure Oasis' B-side (It's Good) To Be Free, Gallagher and his four-piece band picked up the pace with HFB's Everybody's on the Run, all the while ignoring cheeky crowd requests for his brother "Liam" and to "play something we know".

After serviceable versions of If I Had a Gun …, Freaky Teeth and the jaunty The Death of You and Me, Gallagher picked up the acoustic guitar for a rearranged version of Wonderwall followed by a similarly chilled version of Supersonic that elicited a mass singalong.

The set was rounded off with Lord Don't Slow Me Down and a heartfelt version of Oasis's Half the World Away.

Gallagher's solid encore included Shout it Out Loud, Digsy's Dinner and Don't Look Back in Anger. However, it was played to a diminished audience; many had walked away assuming he was finished.

It was a somewhat raucous night, with Oasis fans feeling rather underwhelmed.

Then again, they should know the often mercurial Gallagher does what he wants.

 

sferguson@thenational.ae