If the Gallagher brothers could stand each other they would be playing Wembley Stadium. As it is, they’re both doing OK, filling arenas, having No 1 albums and proving that plenty of people still miss Oasis.
Liam can just about replace Noel with jobbing songwriters. Noel faces the bigger challenge, coping without Liam’s bolshie charisma. In a classic Gallagher manoeuvre, he doesn’t even try: he just stands there like a session man.
He’s not even spotlit, which seems modest but hardly rock ’n’ roll.
The wit he shows in interviews goes sour on stage. When the fans yell ‘No-el, No-el’, he snaps: ‘You’ve got to chant my f***ing name louder than that.’
He opens with too many tracks from the new album Who Built The Moon?, led by Fort Knox, which isn’t easy to get into.
Only the glam rock of Holy Mountain, derivative but delightful, shines out of the sludge. Things look up when Noel turns to Oasis with Little By Little and The Importance Of Being Idle.
They’re not much better than the solo stuff, but they are much bigger, amplified by the crowd.
That was Oasis’s secret: their beery singalongs turned the punters into speakers.
We get two more such pairings, carefully curated, with Half A World Away heralding Wonderwall (weary but still warming) and Go Let It Out teeing up Don’t Look Back In Anger (all the greater since it became Manchester’s anthem).
Noel knows his best work. If only he could produce more of it – and bury the hatchet with his brother.