Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Live Review – Scarborough Open Air Theatre

Noel Gallagher at Scarborough OAT 2018

By @Steve Crabtree, July 2018

Scarborough played host to yet another huge name recently. And the legions of indie fans in the seaside town weren’t here to play on the funfair or try out their bingo promo codes. They were here to see Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds deliver an impeccable show at the Open Air Theatre on a warm Friday night.

As the reputation of the venue gets stronger, and with the former Oasis man coming to town again, it drew in a huge crowd. Scarborough OAT was full to the brim. The social areas were busy, and a great vibe was whirling round in the air.

Noel Gallagher at Scarborough OAT 2018

“Rock n roll factor”

It hits 9pm, and with ‘Fort Knox’ booming around the place as an intro, enter Noel Gallagher. To heroic cheers, he picked up his guitar, looked to the floor and thrust in to a raucous version of ‘Holy Mountain’.  The rock and roll factor had hit North Yorkshire, and the sell out crowd were ready for 19 songs of sheer Gallagher overload.

Different from his media persona, on stage Noel Gallagher is a man of little words. Barely a mutter between his first five songs, he fired out back-to-back-to-back crafted rock tune after crafted rock tune. The only words he needed were those penned as lyrics.

He ripped through the excellent ‘In The Heat Of The Moment’ and ‘If I Had a Gun’. And ‘Dream On’ was followed by ‘Little By Little’, which drew those gasps that come when you get caught up in a bit of nostalgia. Oasis nostalgia.

Noel Gallagher at Scarborough OAT 2018

“Cool, edgy vibe”

The Open Air Theatre was rocking. And it had that cool, edgy vibe you knew you’d get with Noel Gallagher. No attitude in the crowd either, which was pleasing. Granted, there was the odd cup of beer that went up in the air, but we’re a sensible lot in Yorkshire – most of those cups had barely anything left in them. We don’t waste our beer up here! And no-one got drenched.

‘The Importance of Being Idle’ further pleased the Oasis fans, along with singalong versions of ‘Half The World Away’ and ‘Wonderwall’.

It was a show which wasn’t disappointing anyone. This was my first time seeing any of the Gallagher’s live, and although I liked much of what Oasis had to offer, after their first two albums they never blew me away. But Noel Gallagher was doing just that, and it’s obvious why he’s had the success he has. Credit goes to his band too, who really turn it on live.

Noel Gallagher at Scarborough OAT 2018

“A true British rock genius”

With a huge turn-out, Gallagher was returning to a stage he previously said he wouldn’t come back to. His tongue was planted firmly in cheek I suspect, as were his other memorable ad-libbed moments. His (now famous) claim that football wasn’t going to come home was the first one. Cue boos. And then a young girl in the audience held a placard up asking for him to adopt her, and he said: “Yeah. I’ll have you. Wait till you see your new house in London. It’s bigger than this place… the swimming pool is bigger than this place.”

By now, the lights lit up the darkened Scarborough Open Air Theatre, and Noel Gallagher’s main set finished with ‘AKA… What A Life’. An acoustic version of ‘Supersonic’ started a four-song encore, which concluded in superb fashion with 8000 of us singing ‘All You Need Is Love’ along with the main man.

A true British rock genius had delivered us an incredible show. We made our way out of the Scarborough Open Air Theatre ready for a late, two-hour journey back to West Yorkshire in great spirits. It was a long ride, but it was worth every minute.

He didn’t say he wouldn’t come back again this time either…here’s hoping Noel Gallagher comes back again soon.

Images: Cuffe & Taylor, and Steve Crabtree


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