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Bands get the 2010 event going at the Chelmsford site

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The Divine Comedy injected an unlikely edge of sophistication as the first day of the 2010 V Festival got into full swing at Chelmsford‘s Hylands Park this afternoon (August 21).

Playing the 4Music Stage as a solo artist, Neil Hannon appeared behind a black grand piano wearing a bowler hat and brandishing a glass of red wine.

“Only me, I am The Divine Comedy,” he informed the crowd as he kicked his set off. “Thanks for sticking around.”

Later the singer switched to an acoustic guitar for ‘A Lady Of A Certain Age’, before which Hannon joked about his longevity with The Divine Comedy name.

“This is very pleasant isn’t it, the sun always comes out for me,” he told the crowd. “I’m a lucky guy, hence why I’m still here 20 years later.”

He then introduced ‘Songs Of Love’, which also doubled as the theme for TV comedy Father Ted, encouraging his audience to whistle the instrumental part used by the show, before returning to the grand piano to wrap things up with ‘I Like’.

The Divine Comedy played:

‘The Complete Banker’
‘At The Indie Disco’
‘National Express’
‘A Lady Of A Certain Age’
‘Songs Of Love’
‘Our Mutual Friend’
‘I Like ‘

Earlier on the same stage The Magic Numbers played as the site started to fill up ahead of this evening’s headliners Kings Of Leon.

NME is coming live from both V Festival sites this weekend. Head to NME.COM/festivals for full coverage. Plus make sure you buy next week’s issue of NME to get the definitive review of V Festival, either on UK newstands from August 25 or available digitally worldwide.

V Festival 2010 – Photo Gallery