Razorlight and The Killers triumph at Northern Irish festival

Manic Street Preachers dedicate song Belfast journalist at bash

Razorlight packed Belfast‘s Ormeau Park to top the bill on the first night (August 21) of Northern Ireland’s largest music festival, the Tennents Vital bash.

Balmy weather blessed Johnny Borrell‘s outfit, as they powered through a set packed with hits, playing out with an epic-length version of ‘In The City’.

This is the first year the festival has been held in the Park, having moved from nearby Botanic Gardens in order to increase capacity. Despite complaints about bar and toilet queues, organisers adjudged the event a success. Nearby, the Radio 1 stage was headlined by Justice, albeit without their famous crucifix, and The Holloways.

Manic Street Preachers, meanwhile, used their greatest hits set to dedicate ‘Faster’ to Ulster-born journalist Stuart Baillie.

Baillie wrote a piece for the NME in 1995, describing his time spent with the band in the lead-up to the disappearance of guitarist Richey Edwards. The band subsequently dedicated ‘Motown Junk’ to Edwards.

The band then closed their set with what singer James Dean Bradfield described as “An old Irish folk song”, their 1996 Number Two hit ‘A Design For Life’.

Night Two played host to The Shins, Mark Ronson, Kasabian and headliners The Killers. Ronson was without his coterie of co-stars, but did invite Daniel Merriweather to sing lead vocals on faux-R&B Smiths cover ‘Stop Me’.

Kasabian, adjudged by many as the highlight of the day, thanked the crowd for their participation, singer Tom Meighan telling Belfast: “You’re beautiful. I won’t forget this.”

Vital Fest concluded with a headline set from The Killers, who played through their regular summer set, including their recent Joy Division cover ‘Shadowplay’. The track features on the forthcoming movie ‘Control’, a biopic about the life of JD’s singer Ian Curtis.