MIRROR APPEAL PARTY ROCKS IN THE GARDEN; FANS RAISE Pounds 10,000 FOR BRAIN RESEARCH AT BOTANICS BASH
Hanna, Conor, The Mirror (London, England)
Rock fans flocked to the Garden Party over the weekend to see their heroes in full bloom.
Top band Ocean Colour Scene attracted thousands to the first day of the gig at Belfast's Botanic Gardens.
Even more turned up to see "the homecoming" on the second and final day - featuring Northern Ireland-born pair Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy and solo superstar Brian Kennedy.
And all the party animals made a sterling contribution to The Mirror's Royal Victoria Hospital Appeal to raise pounds 250,000 for brain tumour research. Promoters pledged 70p to our appeal for every ticket sold. The eventual donation may top pounds 10,000.
The biggest weekend in Ulster's music calendar was kicked off in the rain by Ocean Colour Scene.
The Birmingham-based band were a splash hit with more than 4,000 drenched punters as they belted out a stream of hits from their best selling album Moseley Shoals including You Got it Bad and The Riverboat Song.
Bassist Damon Minchella said after coming off stage: "That was incredible. We've been itching to play this concert, because we haven't done gigs in ages.
"It was worth waiting for. The crowd were really up for it.
"We're delighted some of the proceeds are going to The Mirror's RVH appeal, it's a great cause."
The band stunned fans by appearing live on Chris Evans's TV show TFI Friday in London just two hours before they were due on stage in Belfast.
The boys played their new release Hundred Mile High City before racing to a waiting chopper to fly across the Irish Sea.
Earlier support bands Subcircus and local heroes Tunic got the crowd in party mood.
But the festival soared even higher on Saturday night. Day Two was dubbed "the homecoming" as two of Northern Ireland's sons returned to thrill their fans.
Neil Hannon and Brian Kennedy produced two of the most dramatic shows ever seen in Ulster.
Enniskillen-born Hannon was first up with a polished and witty performance. …