Friday 20 September 2019

'No them, there is only us' - Bono surprised Snow Patrol fans with Gary Lightbody duet in Bangor

Courtney Cox was among the revelers at the Co Down Show

Bono and Snow Patrol on stage in Bangor
Bono and Snow Patrol on stage in Bangor

Sarah Tulloch

It was a night to remember for the thousands that swarmed to Bangor's Ward Park for Snow Patrol's homecoming mega concert on Saturday.

In what could be Northern Ireland's biggest ever concert fans were treated to the country's best musical talent. From early Saturday afternoon two stages played host to household names and some of the best up-and-coming new talent.

Organiser and Snow Patrol front man Gary Lightbody promised something special - and he delivered in spades. Not only was the quality of music up there with the best but during his own set he produced a special guest in the form of U2's Bono.

The Dubliner joined Lightbody and co to perform his band's iconic hit 'One' in front of the estimated 35,000 crowd in the Bangor park in tribute to the relationship between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

"No them, there is only us," he sang to the crowd.

Lightbody introduced the song by saying that although Ward Park 3 was a day celebrating the best of Northern Irish music, they also wanted to “pay homage to the great music that comes from the Republic”.

He added that there was “only one song for these heady times” as the opening chords of the U2 hit kicked in.

"Well... my goodness," he said as Bono departed the stage.

Many hailed the night as one that will go down in Northern Ireland music folklore saying the whole day was something special.

Former Mayor of North Down and Ards, Andrew Muir described it as a "truly memorable night".

"A night I'll never forget! So proud to call this place home!" he said.

Earlier the crowd had enjoyed stellar performances from Foy Vance, Two Door Cinema Club and Ash among others.

Another famous face at the Bangor gig was Friends star Courteney Cox, who was there to support her Snow Patrol musician boyfriend Johnny McDaid. The pair started dating in 2013 and announced their engagement on Twitter in 2014. 

Courteney also shared some star-studded snaps from the night.  Her Instagram montage featured backstage footage of the show and selfies with Bono and Gary Lightbody, captioned, "Living my best life at Ward Park 3!"

She also shared a clip of Bangor musician Foy Vance with her two million followers, commenting: "If you don't know this guy... you should!"

A poorly Lightbody opened the band’s set by requesting a bit of help from the crowd.

“It’s the worst day for it but I’ve come down with a stinking cold, so if you know any words, please sing along.”

The band paid tribute to murdered journalist Lyra McKee during their performance of Take Back the City, projecting a picture of campaigners at a same-sex marriage parade in Belfast carrying a large cut-out of Lyra’s name in rainbow colours.

Front man Lightbody is due to join the final leg of a "walk for peace" from Belfast to Londonderry in memory of Lyra on Sunday.

Turning to the Ward Park 3 concert Lightbody said: “Can we take a minute to appreciate the acts on the bill today? Every single one of them from our wee country.

“The music scene in Northern Ireland at the moment is absolutely amazing and it’s to be celebrated.”

Co Down trio Two Door Cinema Club played music from their new album False Alarm, which is set to be released next month.

“This feels awful strange,” said front man Alex Trimble. “Thank you so much to Snow Patrol for having us. As teenagers we came to the first ever Ward Park and it’s a f******  privilege to play the third one.”

During his set, Bangor musician Foy Vance revealed where he will be playing two nights at the Waterfront later this year.

Appearing on stage with his quirky signature 'tache, he said: "I don’t know if I’m allowed to say. Ah, f*** it. It’s the Waterfront.”

A second stage curated by Snow Patrol's Northern Ireland artist development company, Third Bar, featured up and coming artists JC Stewart, The Wood Burning Savages, Kitt Philippa and ROE, showcasing the future of the province’s music scene.

Belfast Telegraph

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