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2 Aug 2004 >> Thousands enjoy Westlife spectacle 2 Aug 2004 >> Thousands enjoy Westlife spectacle

IT was yet another highlight in a spectacular summer of music in East Anglia.

Hot off the heels of Elton John performing in front of 25,000 at Portman Road in Ipswich in June, and Busted taking Christchurch Park by storm two weeks ago, Irish chart-toppers Westlife wowed a huge crowd in the town's Chantry Park on Saturday night.

It was their first visit to Ipswich, but one which will live long in the memory of all those who attended íV who will also be hoping it is not long before they make a return visit.

It was a perfect evening in Chantry Park íV you could sense the anticipation and excitement throughout.

Those who went may have expected to see a crowd dominated by "teeny-boppers" íV but that was not the case. While Westlife íV Kian Egan, Shane Filan, Mark Feehily and Nicky Byrne íV have many young fans, there were also couples and lots of middle-aged women.

As a prelude to the main event, concert-goers were treated to performances by Stephanie Stretton, a competition winner from Chantry High School in Ipswich, followed by Peter Andre, 5Boyz, Pop! and Blazin' Squad.

In particular Peter Andre was a hit with the crowd, his hit song Mysterious Girl getting everyone up and dancing.

Once Blazin' Squad had finished there was then a 45-minute wait until Westlife were due to make an appearance.

The park seemed to fill-up by the second with everyone jostling for the prime positions. They needn't have worried. From the moment Westlife appeared, as if from nowhere, with their cream pinstripe suits and hats, singing Turnaround, they sang their hearts out (and won a few too) making sure that everyone felt included, even those at the back.

Turnaround was then followed by the classic My Girl and What Makes A Man. The myth that all they do is sit on stools and sing cheesy love songs was soon put to rest with some dance moves they seemed keen to show off.

The foursome then mentioned that this was their first visit to Ipswich but said they were very impressed and now have plans to re-visit.

One major highlight of Saturday's show was the melody of old songs that they put together such as Help!, I'll Be There For You and Everybody Needs Somebody. Shane even changed the lyrics of Uptown Girl to Ipswich Girl.

There was also a heart-warming moment at the end of the show when all the "thank-you's" had been said.

A young lady called Rebecca was brought out to sit with on stage, and they sang My Love to the courageous girl.

A fantastic night was seemingly had by all íV with the fireworks at the end providing a spectacular end to the evening.

Source: EADT

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