Noel’s flying high

Undated Handout Photo of Noel Gallagher. See PA Feature MUSIC Gallagher. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature MUSIC Gallagher.
Undated Handout Photo of Noel Gallagher. See PA Feature MUSIC Gallagher. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature MUSIC Gallagher.
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FORMER Oasis main-man Noel Gallagher is celebrating his first solo No1 record by announcing a UK arena tour.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds will play seven dates around the UK in February and March next year.

That includes a show at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle on Monday, February 23.

Tickets, priced from £35 to £59.50, go on sale at 9am tomorrow from (08444) 493 6666, in person from the arena box office, or online at www.metroradioarena.co.uk

The tour follows the runaway success of the elder Gallagher sibling’s eponymous solo long-player, which entered the album charts at No1 at the weekend.

It is only the third album this year to hit the top spot with sales in excess of 100,000 – and it has been met with wide critical acclaim:

Q magazine called it “proof that Noel Gallagher remains one of the best songwriters this country has ever produced”, while NME simply stated: “Noel’s still got it.”

It’s been a remarkable few months for Noel, who quit Oasis in August 2009 after yet another fight with brother Liam, which proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back for the Mancunians, who have sold 75 million records.

The first taste of his new material was The Death Of You And Me, which was compared by many to the Oasis song The Importance Of Being Idle.

That was followed by AKA ... What A Life!, released as a single on the same day as the album, and making the Top 20 in its own right.

The first-week sales of the album were 122,530 – twice as many as Liam managed with his Beady Eye offering Different Gear, Still Speeding back in February.

Noel has already written and recorded a second album, a collaboration with electro experimentalists Amorphous Androgynous, due out late next year.

For now though, the arena tour will see Noel and his band play dates in Manchester, Belfast, Dublin, Glasgow, London and Birmingham.

The touring band includes David McDonnell (guitar), Russell Pritchard (bass), Mikey Rowe (keyboards) and Jeremy Stacey (drums).

They will also be rolling out Oasis classics such as Don’t Look Back In Anger, Half The World Away, Little By Little, Talk Tonight and The Masterplan.