Belfast Telegraph

Local heroes are Vital ingredient

Bangor's favourite sons happy to tear up the Script

Review by Joe Nawaz

"Back by popular demand" is the measly marketing maxim behind countless desperate revivals. "Back in spite of popular demand" is often the sorry sobering reality.

But when Tennent's Vital seemingly played its last back in 2007, there was genuine and, dare one say, popular demand to bring the landmark music extravaganza back.

More than 3,000 fans and a high-profile Facebook campaign later and here we were in 2011 in Ward Park, Bangor, to pick up where the Manics, Kasabian, Razorlight and The Killers left off four years ago and 10 miles away.

The newly revived Vital festivities, the first of what is a promised three-year run, boasts Eminem, Jimmy Eat World and Kaiser Chiefs as headliners today.

However, the opening night's extravaganza featured Dublin soft poppers The Script headlining and the homecoming of Bangor's own Two Door Cinema Club backed by an assortment of festival circuit indie luminaries.

And Ellie Goulding.

Like a great open air rock 'n' roll youth club, parents and adults were reduced to chaperones as flowery wellies, skinny jeans and the odd sneaky bottle of cider constituted the staples of this decidedly teenage rampage.

The Bangor weather remained resolutely sunny but blustery as spunky punky Liverpudlians The Wombats bounded on with much exuberance.

The still not quite full to capacity crowd manically danced their approval of minor hits like 'Techno Fan' and the poptastic 'Let's Dance To Joy Division'.

Elfin Ellie Goulding slightly annoyed the quite territorial crowd when she spoke fondly of Belfast, just down the road, but a million miles away from Ward Park last night. She delivered a solid, if polite, set of quirky, dance-inflected ditties.

However, it was left to local heroes Two Door to bring the 'Vital' back to the proceedings.

"Hello, Bangor," singer Alex Trimble shyly ventured. "We are Two Door Cinema Club and we come from here." The crowd erupted accordingly.

Bassist Kevin Baird reflecting on being slightly inebriated, added: "Ten years ago at school we would have been arrested in Ward Park for this kind of thing."

Then The Script took to the stage with a gusto normally the reserve of televangelists. They played all the hits, including a rousing The Man Who Can't Be Moved. And Boy Next Door singer Danny O'Donoghue rewarded all those girls simply by being there.

But the day surely belonged to the kids and Bangor's favourite sons. A revitalised Vital and a homecoming - that surely wasn't in the script?

And it's round two tonight - over to you Mr Mathers.

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