It's often said that Noel Gallagher should charge for his interviews and give his music away for free. Standing on the stage in Camden tonight, he quickly asserts his wit when he derides the iTunes Festival appearance as a 'TV show, not a gig'.
However, those who value Gallagher's humour more than his songs are possibly missing that Manchester's finest songwriter of the last twenty years (stand down Guy Garvey, don't even try Ian Brown) is in one of the finest periods of his career to date.
Having shaken off the monkey that is his brother Liam, Noel is free to embrace his role as the organ grinder and has established himself with a host of newfound anthems, brought to life in Camden tonight. 'Everybody's On The Run' soars around the curved edges of the Roundhouse whilst 'The Death of You and Me' brings a jaunty side out of Gallagher, who now has the freedom and ability to switch up styles in a way that Oasis struggled with.
This increased sense of whimsy is given historical context as Noel dips into the vaults and delivers an acoustic performance of 'Half The World Away', best know as the theme tune to TV's The Royal Family. The sound of fans singing every single word back also highlights the slightly superfluous use of the actual choir by Gallagher. Crouch End's Festival Chorus do a great job but are routinely bettered for volume by the fans tonight. They don't need lyric sheets either.
The Killers played at this very same venue the evening before and, whilst the confetti has all been swept away, the singalong choruses both acts are known for keep coming. However, unlike Brandon Flowers or, say, Coldplay, Noel Gallagher has an effortless style of songwriting. 'AKA What A Life' sounds fatastic but also, like something Gallagher might have written during the half-time break during a Manchester City match so simple is its format. It's refreshing to see someone deliver an anthem that doesn't sound like it is ticking boxes marked 'Big song' and 'Will sound good in stadiums'. However, this same ease can also come off as lazy and the non-single material from the High Flying Birds album proves formulaic at best tonight.
Gallagher knows his weapons and selects them wisely though. Ditching the new material, Gallagher finishes with an encore of Oasis songs and the crowd gets to stretch their arms and open their throats out to both 'Whatever' and the unforgettable 'Don't Look Back In Anger'. Both songs, like their creator, appear to be getting better with age.