By Tamoor Hasan
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds performing in Toronto in May 2015.
Toronto became a little more British this past weekend. TD Echo Beach welcomed Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds to Toronto’s Molson Amphitheatre on Sunday, July 10.
High Flying Birds has already been in Toronto recently, performing two shows at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in early May last year, but he returned for another stop in Ontario’s capital as part of the second North American leg of his Chasing Yesterday Tour. The tour began in March 2015, following the February 25 release of the band’s album of the same name, and will end on September 6 this year in the O2 Academy Brixton in London.
Noel Gallagher is still regarded by many as rock royalty. He spent most of his musical career as the brainchild and one of the faces of Manchester-based multi-platinum rock group Oasis. He and his brother Liam were two of the most recognizable faces in the 90’s and 2000’s Britpop scene. They were also among the most publicized celebrities in Britain due in part to their fractious relationship and sibling rivalry. Oasis split in August 2009 when Noel announced that he was leaving the group after an altercation with Liam moments before the Rock en Seine Festival in Paris. It ended a 15-year run by the band at the top of the music ladder in the United Kingdom and around the world.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds was formed in 2010 after Noel took a brief pause from songwriting. The name is inspired by Peter Green and the blues rock group he helped establish, Fleetwood Mac. His band is full of top talent, including The Lemon Trees drummer Jeremy Stacey, and Russell Pritchard, former bass player of The Zutons. The band released their self-titled debut album in 2011, and followed it up with Chasing Yesterday in 2015.
High Flying Birds may present a different sound from the Britpop anthems of Oasis, but it also represents a growth and development within Noel and displays the evolution of his songwriting abilities. The band combines alternative rock with other genres like baroque pop and psychedelic rock. Toronto-theatre.com describes the band as “a star-studded, psychedelic alt-rock outfit,” while English newspaper, The Telegraph, praises his resilience: "Here he is again, selling out arenas throughout the land, touring the globe and raising up the kind of anthemic choruses that incite mass shout-a-longs and uncommon levels of devotion."
The band has many great hits to its name, such as “The Death of You and Me”, “If I Had a Gun”, “Ballad of the Mighty I”, and “In the Heat of the Moment”. At 49-years-old, Noel Gallagher is proving that talent has no age limit.