THE question of whether rock giants Oasis are going to reform is forever doing the rounds on social media. A more pertinent question, however, could be why.

While Liam Gallagher has hit a groove pleasing nostalgists with shows and events harking back to the band’s ‘90s peak (next year, for example, he will honour the 30th anniversary of debut album Definitely Maybe with a special tour), elder sibling Noel has been racking up an impressive canon of solo material.

Both have carved out hugely successful niches in the post-Oasis landscape, as Noel’s sell-out gig at the Ovo Hydro this week emphatically underlined.

The elder Gallagher and his High Flying Birds showed there was no need to rely on past glories as they romped through a series of infectiously catchy, melodic rock anthems that are now his trademark, and which each of his four solo albums are brimming with.

And, perhaps most pleasingly of all for the veteran song-writer, tracks such as In the Heat of the Moment, If I Had a Gun... and AKA… What a Life! appear to have found a place next to Oasis classics in the hearts of his loyal fanbase, judging by the extent to which the songs were sung back to him word for word.

The emotional punch, however, was undoubtedly delivered by Dead in the Water, a stripped down, haunting ballad – performed by Gallagher on acoustic guitar with just Mike Rowe on piano for company – that lays claim to being the greatest love song the Mancunian has ever composed.

Of course, no Noel Gallagher show would be complete without a smattering of Oasis – the band with which he made his name.

Liam may still have the chops to serve up Fade Away, Rock ‘n’ Roll Star, and Morning Glory in all their ragged, punk-tinged glory, but Noel always shone on his slower, more reflective compositions anyway, and that was evidenced here with crowd-pleasing renditions of Going Nowhere, Half the World Away, Little by Little and The Masterplan.

A three-strong encore rounded off proceedings, with a cover of Bob Dylan’s Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn), a tender Live Forever and Don’t Look Back in Anger – sung in entirety by the crowd at Gallagher’s behest - ensuring the evening hit all the right notes for the faithful crowd.

Having found his place, and voice, at the centre of the stage, it is hard to ever imagine Noel giving way to his younger sibling again. And it is equally difficult to see Liam being pushed to the wings by anyone.

But this is rock 'n' roll, and stranger things have happened.