ANYONE who has watched or read an interview with Noel Gallagher will know that he's a very funny man. He's also very honest.

"Right, this is how the show is going to go," he says, a few songs into his set at Delamere Forest. "I'm going to play some songs that none of you lot bought and then you can all relax and it'll be hit after hit."

And therein lies the problem with Noel's solo career since Oasis split. While he has been forced to watch his younger brother's star rise and rise to an extent that he can play Knebworth while quite happily playing the songs that made him famous, Gallagher senior seems decidely non-plussed that he has to do the same, while his three albums with the High Flying Birds are more tolerated than loved by his old band's fans

It's a shame because there is much to admire about the first half of this gig played under sultry skies as part of Delamere Forest's Forest Live series. It's a Beautiful World, She Taught Me How to Fly and in particualr the brilliant glam stop of Holy Mountain are all certifiable bangers which betray far more interesting influnces than Liam's recent rehated meat and potato rockers.


But they're not what the increasingly tipsy and sunburnt crowd are here for and Noel knows it which is why after a moving acoustic strum through of Dead In The Water, the band returns and they launch into Little By Little. 

From then on it's wall to wall Oasis with an emphasis on the ballads Noel was so adept at turning into the kind of mass singalongs that sound perfect on a warm summer's evening when you're hugging your mate. 

Stop Crying Your Heart, Half The World Away and Wonderwall all tug on the nostalgic heartstrings while it's lovely to hear a stripped down Whatever shorn of its strings but none of its beauty. 

In between we get a chippy Noel berate anyone who isn't a Manchester City fan especially the Liverpudlians.

Encoring with AKA... What a Life! and the inevitable Don't Look Back In Anger, Noel bids farewell with the promise of a new album next year. 

Whether that's enough for the faithful pining for an Oasis reunion remains to be seen but I suspect that's the last thing on Noel's restless mind.