North east fans won’t look back in anger on fine fesival set by Noel Gallagher

Some might say that sunshine follows thunder, and others might report that a drier evening follows persistent showers earlier on.

By Darin Hutson
Sunday, 26 May, 2019, 14:30
Noel Gallagher performing at Newcastle's second This is Tomorrow festival. Photo: Carl Chambers.

In the case of the second night of this year’s This is Tomorrow festival in Newcastle, the latter would be right, and that change in the weather was particularly appreciated as it came along just as the event’s main field at Exhibition Park was busying up for the Vaccines, second on the bill, and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, last night’s headliners.

Fellow alternative rock Editors, third on the bill, weren’t so lucky but didn’t let it dampen their spirits or that of the fair-sized crowd there to see them mix up a set made up mainly of crowd-pleasers with four songs from their sixth and latest album, 2018’s Violence, and two new tracks, Barricades and Frankenstein.

Noel Gallagher performing at Newcastle's second This is Tomorrow festival. Photo: Carl Chambers.

The Vaccines also interspersed old songs with new during their hour-long set, including All My Friends are Falling in Love, a stand-alone single released in November.

Former Oasis star Gallagher took a different tack, leading off with half an hour of songs from his opinion-dividing third album with the High Flying Birds, 2017’s Who Built the Moon?, rounded off by new single Black Star Dancing, a song in much the same vein.

After that, apart from instant fan favourite Dead in the Water, a bonus track on their last LP, it was nostalgia all the way, beginning with Oasis tracks Talk Tonight, The Importance of being Idle and Little by Little, prompting, unsurprisingly, the most enthusiastic reaction from the crowd seen thus far that day, and that singalong carried on for the rest of a set lasting just over an hour and a half.

Three of the singles from the Manchester-born 51-year-old current band’s untitled 2011 debut album followed – Everybody’s on the Run, If I Had a Gun and AKA... What a Life! – and it was one Oasis classic after another from then on – Half the World Away, Wonderwall, Stop Crying Your Heart Out and Don’t Look Back in Anger – up until their set-closing cover of the Beatles single All You Need is Love.

Gallagher offered up his trademark mix of curmudgeonly charm and tongue-in-cheek charmlessness, especially in his closing address to the departing crowd, and was in fine form after getting into his stride.

This year’s festival, the second, concludes today after a mishap-hit opening night headlined by Foals and last night’s Oasis singalong overseen by Gallagher and what he described as “the best karaoke band ever”.

Welsh rockers Stereophonics headline tonight, supported by the likes of Embrace, Lewis Capaldi and Johnny Marr. Tickets cost £55. For details, go to www.thisistomorrow.co.uk