Tuesday 25 April 2017

Fans and Foo Fighters storm pop peer Henry's Slane Castle

The leaden skies didn't dampen the first big party of summer

Concert goers pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
Concert goers pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
FORBIDDEN FRUIT: Louise Kavanagh of Donnybrook and Emma Connell of Carrickmines at the Bulmers Forbidden Fruit festival at Kilmainham. Photo: Mark Stedman
ROCK GODS: Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters at Slane Castle yesterday. Photo: Arthur Carron
Andressa Dallo and Aline Rocha, Brazil at Slane
Hozier

Emma-Jane Hade

Summer doesn't start for music fans until after the party in Lord Henry's back garden. And yesterday, 70,000 whooped it up at Slane Castle - turning the natural amphitheatre on the banks of the Boyne into a raucous riot of colour and noise.

The threatening veil of leaden skies couldn't dampen spirits of thousands of bank-holiday revellers who jammed into Slane Castle for the 25th concert at the iconic demesne.

Lord Henry Mount Charles, or more correctly the 8th Marquess Conyngham, has been throwing open his historic pile in the heart of Co Meath to rock 'n' roll bands and fans for the last three decades.

Thin Lizzy headlined the inaugural concert in the summer of 1981 and since then, Slane has hosted some of the most memorable and largest outdoor concerts in Ireland.

Hozier pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
Hozier pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
Hozier pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
Hozier pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
Hozier pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
The Foo Fighters pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
The Foo Fighters pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters at Slane Castle yesterdayPhoto: Arthur Carron

Rock'n' roll aristocrats, the legendary Foo Fighters, wowed fans as they took to the stage as the headline act.

Dave Grohl and co's astonishing back catalogue of high-octane rock 'n' roll could not have been a better counterpoint to the bluesy and occasionally introspective Hozier, who put in a bravura performance as he led the Irish contingent before the headline act.

Read more: Rain fails to dampen spirits at Slane as thousands sing along with Hozier

The Take Me To Church singer was the third act on stage yesterday afternoon, following Ash and teenage sensations The Strypes, who had the unenviable task of opening the show.

But this proved to be no problem for the four-piece Cavan outfit, who took to the stage with gusto shortly after 2pm.

Their family and friends cheered on from the stands as thousands chanted and jumped along to every beat.

Concert goers pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
Concert goers pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
Concert goers pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
Concert goers pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
Andressa Dallo and Aline Rocha, Brazil pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
Niamh O'Neill and Grace Sheridan, Monaghan pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
Deirdre Smyth, Sabrina McKenna and Helena Sheridan, Monaghan pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
Emma and Lucy Mullen Reynolds with Katie Kierans, Drogheda pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
Elaine Crowley pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron

Henry, the pop peer, looked content as he walked around the lawn in the shadow of the castle yesterday. This weekend's concert was particularly poignant for him as he recently opened up about his difficult battle with cancer.

"I am absolutely thrilled to be here 'cause I wasn't sure I would live to see it and that makes life pretty special," he confided.

"The Strypes were amazing, they really were. I was thrilled to have them on the bill," he told the Sunday Independent.

"I know they were thrilled to be on the bill because I was talking to them backstage earlier on. Most bands that play Slane are pretty blown away by the venue, when you go out on stage and see that out in front of you, it is really something special."

Read more: Slane: the 'dinosaur' music event that just refuses to die

"Hozier is a phenomenon, he is a lovely laid-back guy," he added.

The Foo Fighters pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
The Foo Fighters pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
The Foo Fighters pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
The Foo Fighters pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
The Foo Fighters pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
The Foo Fighters pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
The Foo Fighters pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
The Foo Fighters pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
The Foo Fighters pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
The Foo Fighters pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
The Foo Fighters pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron
The Foo Fighters pictured at Slane Castle in Co Meath. Picture: Arthur Carron

Stephen Sheridan, from Monaghan, made his first trip to Slane Castle for Foo Fighters, who, he believes, are "the best band in the world by a long, long way".

"This is my first time, it's class, brilliant," he added.

Sabrina McKenna was there to see Hozier, who she described as "amazing".

Security was tight, traffic was banned from Slane and the surrounding areas.

Wellington-clad revellers munched on fries and burgers as they wandered around the buzzing venue yesterday afternoon, after making the long hike from buses along gravelled lanes decorated with fairy lights.

Amongst the fans enjoying the chilled festival vibe was MTV star Laura Whitmore, accompanied by a gaggle of friends.

Sunday Independent

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