Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, might not be the most rock ‘n’ roll of settings. The 18thcentury mansion, home to the Dukes of Marlborough is one of the finest examples of English 18thcentury Baroque architecture and notoriously, where Winston Churchill was born in the loo during a party.
Yet Noel Gallagher and his high flying birds, which includes several guitarists, singers, and someone who played the scissors on some of his tracks, managed to rock it none the less. Coming to the stage, and facing a crowd made up of mostly aging Oasis fans who were sitting in deck chairs and sipping boutique gin, Noel and his band started the night as the sun went down with hits such as Holy Mountain.
As dusk finished, the atmosphere intensified – onlookers waited with baited breath to see if he would play old Oasis material. He didn’t disappoint. Classics such as Don’t Look Back In Anger and Champagne Supernova ran out across the stately homes grounds to much singing along and applauding. When he sang Wonderwall, he told the crowd it was the song that paid for his house that is bigger than Blenheim.
Showing no signs of slowing down – or growing old gracefully, Noel and his Manchester City football flag still acted with the same cocky bravado that they did when they used to play gigs at local leisure centres. He knew what the audience wanted in music and spirit – and gave it in bucket-fulls.
The night was part of Blenheim Palace’s Nocturne events that also included evenings with Gary Barlow, Elvis Costello and Chic with Nile Rogers. We can’t wait to see who they have on the line up for next year.
Words by Toby Mellors