Consisting of Pretty Vicious, Neon Waltz, Johnny Marr and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds; Radio X’s Headlining show was held at O2 Apollo, Manchester. Arriving six hours before the headliners were set to perform, we uncommonly caught Noel Gallagher and Johnny Marr leaving their sound checks – leaving fanatics outside the venue unimaginably star struck.
Inspiral Carpets’ Clint Boon hosted the night – a fantastic start to the evening of headlining Manchester music legends. Opening act Pretty Vicious, filled the Apollo with enthused electric guitar, howling vocals and an alive, emphasised and heavy bass. Resembling band’s such as Slaves, though the vocals of Kings of Leon’s Caleb Followill; this bands distinct sound will go far in the near future. Despite being alternatively heavier than following headliners, the contrasting genres of heavy Pretty Vicious and melodically upbeat Neon Waltz provided an engaging start to the night.
Neon Waltz, from Scotland, followed. With synthesised tones, funk guitars and exhilaratingly harmonic vocals, this band simulate a combination of Tame Impala, Peace and Swim Deep. Similar to these bands, they also had their unique sense of style, each individually sporting quirky clothing; only further adding to their great stage presence. Passion on behalf of every member evidently swept through the entirety of their set, through both the performance and music. Following their final song, the lead singer threw down his microphone stand and walked off the stage; his band members prolonging the ending.
Anticipating the wait for the legend Johnny Marr himself, the half an hour break felt extremely elongated. Though, he soon appeared.
Electrifying his entrance with ‘Back in the Box’, everyone attending Albert Hall soon after chanted the lyrics to ‘Panic’. Seen from this performance, there is absolutely no wonder that this man is classified as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, invigoratingly perfecting every solo and riff throughout the set hour. Despite being 52, as far as putting on a performance is concerned, Marr is in his everlasting teenage Smiths years.
Not only did the crowd enthuse over his Morrissey accompanied classics, though fanatically energised themselves over Marr’s solo numbers, such as ‘Generate! Generate!’ Marr stated before performing his new track ‘Spiral Cities’ “don’t be scared of the new stuff!”, to which the extremely loyal “Marr-Mate” fans already knew every word to. After his polished version of ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’, Marr cleared the stage, to make room for his close friend – Noel Gallagher.
Once the half an hour wait for Gallagher had concluded, Chris Moyles took to the spotlight, welcoming Noel onto Apollo’s stage. After having drinks hurled in his direction and boos surrounding the O2, he left the stage to Gallagher.
Accompanied with his orchestral beginning to ‘Everybody’s On The Run’, Gallagher’s flawless vocals encircled Manchester’s O2 Apollo. Once the tempo had increased, ‘Lock All The Doors’ saw the crowd’s vibrancy breathtakingly increase. In spite of Gallagher’s successful solo career, when Oasis tracks started being played, Noel handed the microphone to the audience for several verses – filling the rammed to capacity venue with goosebumps.
With tracks of both NGHFB’s first and second albums, Gallagher’s set list included just a few highlights of his solo and Liam-joint career.
Noel asked the audience if anyone was from Manchester’s rival, Liverpool. After the “Liverpool” comment received boos, Gallagher then dedicated the succeeding song to Liverpudlian’s in the crowd – ‘Digsy’s Dinner’. Having the crowd previously calming down after ‘The Mexican’, the sprightliness from ‘Champagne Supernova’ returned once again.
Accompanied with Gallagher’s roaring guitar, his band did not disappoint either; unblemished anthems were released chronologically.
‘The Masterplan’ was the final song, before Gallagher returned for an encore. ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ was the last track of the night; having the entire hall singing the words along with him.
Composedly leaving the stage, Noel said goodbye to his hometown of Manchester, where he saw his first ever gig (and worked at a pet shop across the road), before he rose to fame. It’s safe to say, two Manchester legends on the same night and stage was far more than exceptional. It couldn’t possibly be sharpened, unless Marr and Gallagher did a duet together… Maybe next time?