I have to admit that on hearing one of my musical idols was set to play at Lytham Festival I was both excited and apprehensive.
For me, thinking of Lytham conjures images of expensive eateries and charity shops with window displays that rival some high street stores – a million miles away from my hometown of Wigan, with its dingy alleyways depicted by Oasis on their 1997 D’You Know What I Mean? single cover.
Lytham Festival had, earlier in the week, encountered a few teething problems when a screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens had to be cut prematurely due to high winds. But after braving the elements for the rest of the week, the festival team had given the Birds a green light.
On arrival I was impressed at the scale of the event: a huge arena engulfed Lytham Green and was clad with stalls, burger bars and the twinkling lights of a ferris wheel. On the surface it seemed that the organisers had done well to replicate the festival atmosphere. However after taking a position to the left hand side of the stage I spotted an oysters and champagne bar and the illusion was slightly tarnished.
The crowd came to life on arrival of the band and Noel burst into Shoot a Hole into the Sun from the High Flying Birds’ first album AKA…What a Life! The second song, Everybody’s on the Run, was met with applause, although the efforts from some in the audience seemed lacklustre. In between songs Noel interacted with the crowd in typical Gallagher fashion, passing comment on the festival’s VIP champagne terrace and remarking to a young fan in the audience: “I’ve been a legend since before you were born!”
The band played superb renditions of the Oasis hits Fade Away and Champagne Supernova, and it was to these songs that the 14,000 in attendance really found their voices, waving lighters and providing a much needed boost in the atmosphere.
Overall the High Flying Birds performed brilliantly and in no way disappointed. But my initial concerns about the festival clashing with the notorious attitude and style of Noel and the band were not completely quashed as the evening drew to its close.
Photo credit: Lytham Festival
Like the Big Issue North on Facebook