Boyzone, Shayne Ward and Only The Young perform at The Newark Riverside Festival on Saturday 20th June 2015.


Images and review by Kevin Cooper

The Newark Riverside Festival held over three days promised family fun and great entertainment, and they did not disappoint. Whilst the weather forecast threatened to put a damper on proceedings, that would not have stopped this enthusiastic crowd. With Friday being handed over to various tribute bands, and Sunday designated the family fun day with the likes of the Brighouse & Rastrick Band and plenty of fireworks, it was Saturday that was the highlight.

Opening the music packed day was Only The Young; a young quartet who were eliminated in week seven of the recent X Factor finals, with Louis Walsh saying that we had not seen the last of them. Saturday’s performance showed why as they really got the Newark party started. With numbers such as Jungle Book’s I Wanna Be Like You, James Bay’s Hold Back The River, and their new single I Do, they got the audience on their feet and dancing in no time at all.

The middle spot was reserved for the winner of the second series of the same talent contest, Shayne Ward, who fresh from the announcement that he is joining the cast of Coronation Street, bounced onto the stage with his two female backing singers to his opening track, My Heart Would Take You Back. Showing that he had every right to be on the stage with the big boys, Ward’s great voice projected around the park as he treated us to The Way You Were, a brilliant version of Uptown Funk and I defy you to remain in your seat cover of Bob Marley’s Girl I Want To Make You Sweat.

During his set the brollies had to come out, but he promised sunshine and before he finished with That’s My Goal, the skies were once again blue. With a first class set, it’s time he was given a tour of his own, because on this showing he has made a whole bunch of new fans.

In no time at all Boyzone took to the stage to the delight of this screaming audience. Whenever you see this now man band, you can expect a slick professional performance and that is exactly what they delivered. All the familiar numbers were there; Love Is A Hurricane, Baby Can I Hold You Tonight, You Needed Me, Words and an encore of Love Me For A Reason and Ronan Keating’s, Life Is A Rollercoaster. There was a montage of pictures of the late Stephen Gately, a now familiar feature of any Boyzone set as they sang Why Why Why, a very moving tribute.

After delivering yet another effortless performance lasting almost ninety minutes, you do wonder how the organisers are going to top this next year, so good luck with that.