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Noel Gallagher

Venue: Singleton Park, Swansea
Date: 2nd September 2016

Noel Gallagher’s first trip to South Wales for four years was an occasion I was not going to miss but, before declaring how great Noel was, mention needs to be given to the beautiful, scenic venue of Singleton Park. This was the first time I had attended a concert there and what a wonderful place for an outdoor event it is! Pretty Vicious opened the evening with a set that was overflowing with confidence. They are a band who currently have the world at their feet, not looking out of place on the big stage, and who will one day in the not too distant future be coming back to headline events of their own of a similar size. Gaz Coombes followed looking as cool and youthful as ever, his set comprised solo material which sounded simply perfect live. Frightened Rabbit, a band who have been on my iPod for a while but who I had not fully connected with, followed with bold, anthemic songs that were an absolute joy to hear as night began to fall and anticipation started to rise in the wait for our hero.

Noel launched straight into ‘Everybody’s On The Run’ and once again gave us another night to remember. We were treated to songs that have defined my life, songs that have made me the person I am today and songs that will stay with me to my very last breath. It was the perfect mix of High Flying Birds material that included ‘In The Heat Of The Moment’, ‘Riverman', ‘The Death Of You And Me’, ‘If I Had A Gun’ and, of course, classic Oasis songs. Noel is certainly of the belief that Oasis songs belong to us and you know that he will never turn his back on them and the life they have given him. He acknowledged that very sentiment during the encore, introducing ‘Wonderwall' by saying how special the song is to him because without it he would be going to festivals with us rather than playing them.

It was a real treat to hear so many Oasis B-sides including ‘Half The World Away’ which he touchingly dedicated to Caroline Aherne by simply saying “This is for the Royle Family”. ‘Talk Tonight’, ‘Fade Away’, ‘D’Yer Wanna Be A Spaceman’ and ‘The Masterplan’ rolled back the years and, as always, left us thinking how these songs were only B-sides, they exceed countless songs that have reached Number 1. ‘Digsy’s Dinner’ had me jumping around with a huge smile and feeling happy from the inside out, what more could you possibly want?

Noel was provided with the perfect ammunition for his connection with the audience when he spotted a seven year old at the front of the gig. When asked by Noel what he wanted to be when he grew up the seven year old answered ‘a footballer’. This left Noel amazed as to why he did not want to be a rock star and, in his introduction to ‘Fade Away’, told the youngster to ‘get on the lyrics to this song as they will blow your mind’. Noel, those lyrics still blow my mind and I’ve got thirty plus years on that kid! He referred back to the seven year old throughout the gig telling him to be prepared for a life-changer before launching into ‘Champagne Supernova’. The evening ended with ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ and once again asked the seven year old if he still wanted to be a footballer. Noel Gallagher… changing lives for over twenty years.

It really is not an understatement to say that Oasis changed my life, I dread to think at times what my life would be like if Oasis had not come knocking on my door at the age of 16 showing me the power of music, providing me with the inspiration, friendships and memories that have been shared with these songs. To have Noel still out there recording new music and continuing to play Oasis songs is something that I hope never ends.

Steve Tay

The Libertines

O2 Academy, Bristol

Swn Festival 2015

Cardiff City Centre

Bill Ryder-Jones

Moon Club, Cardiff

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