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Tuesday, December 12, 2006
There was plenty of conjecture surrounding Noel Gallagher's acoustic gig at the Forum Theatre on Sunday night.
It had nothing to do with Gallagher's vocal performance, which was first-rate. The set-list was outstanding, too. No, fans took umbrage at the brevity of the show.
Gallagher, accompanied by Gem Archer and percussionist Terence Kirkbride, delivered a superb (and succinct) hour of sing-alongs that left a beer-soaked crowd hungry for more.
The trio, who remained seated for the entire show, leaned heavily on songs from the band's mid-1990s heyday.
Opening with the B-side It's Good to Be Free, Gallagher offered up several more rousing renditions of his remarkably strong B-side catalogue including Talk Tonight and Half the World Away.
With the theatre's air thick with cigarette smoke, the room was brimming with diehards. Every song was greeted with a formidable roar of recognition within a few seconds of its beginning.
The exuberant crowd also mustered high-spirited vocals for each track, none more raucous than the classic Don't Look Back In Anger, from the (What's the Story) Morning Glory? album.
For his part, Gallagher was in good spirits. He playfully bantered with the boisterous - and sometimes belligerent - crowd through the show, joking on the Ashes trophy, and even brother Liam's absence.
Some genuine treats included album highlights Slideaway and Cast No Shadow as well as The Importance of Being Idle and Gallagher's reclaiming of the band's worldwide hit Wonderwall.
The night's biggest curio was an ecstatically received cover of Strawberry Fields.
After a brief farewell, Noel and co were suddenly gone. As the house lights slowly came on and the crowd realised there would be no encore, there were a few errant boos.
An abrupt ending, yes, but also one of the gigs of the year
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