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Review: Westlife headline day two of Cardiff Castle Depot Live!

Westlife at Cardiff Castle. Credit: Wales247

The UK’s biggest-selling album group of the 21st century, Westlife has returned to Cardiff, this time at Cardiff Castle Depot Live! Supported by Lucien Moon and the wonderful Irish firecracker, Lyra.

On a cooler June evening in Cardiff, it was Lucien and Lyra’s job to warm up the crowd to get things going. And boy did they.  

Lucien Moon – aka singer-songwriter Jamie Benkert from Northampton, opened the show and last month said “it’ll definitely be the most people I’ve performed to” along with his band (bass, guitar, drums and keyboard and a bit on tracks as well). Playing his original music, with his latest single, ‘What I Needed’, released last month, leading up to Depot Live! Lucien confirmed:

“I’ve been doing my research on the venue and it’s amazing, it’s an iconic place some huge names have played at. I hope it’s going to lead onto bigger things as long as we put on a good show.”

I’m sure those who attended would agree with us when we say Lucien and the band did amazing.

Lyra at Cardiff Castle. Credit: Wales 247

As Lyra burst out on stage, she was welcomed back with open arms by an adoring crowd in the capital, and was delighted to return to Cardiff, following her very own mini tour where she took the stage on 23rd April at The Globe.

Lyra’s dynamic powerhouse vocals really show that you can’t judge a book by its cover, or in this case a chatty Cork lass when she talks. 

Lyra really had the audience engaged, talking all about being herself, not trying to fit into a box or conform to society. With the world ever changing and life being so unpredictable, it’s all about living in the moment and dancing like nobody’s watching.

Her set included songs: ‘Chess’, ‘Edge of Seventeen’ ‘We are Beautiful’ and her  sweet dedication to an important lady in her life ‘Mother’

What would the highly anticipated main event be without keeping the crowd waiting, luckily with Westlife not taking the stage until 9pm the crowd entertained themselves. What better way for a Welsh crowd to keep themselves entertained than by singing along to some really crowd pleasers such as ‘Sweet Caroline’, ‘500 Miles’ and ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’. Even the stage crew popped their heads round the curtain to sneak a peek and take a video.

The Irish pop vocal group from Dublin, Ireland formed back in 1998. Westlife now consists of four members Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan, and Nicky Byrne. The band said goodbye to Brian McFadden back in 2004 when he decided to leave. In 2012 the group temporarily disbanded after 14 years of success and reunited in 2018 to the delight of their fans.

Westlife at Cardiff Castle. Credit: Wales247

Westlife have established themselves as the world’s biggest band of the 21st century, worldwide over 55 million records sold and are the only band to have their first seven singles enter the UK chart at No.1. With the most singles of any artist to debut at No.1 in the UK, the band have accomplished an incredible 14 No.1 singles, leaving them behind only Elvis Presley and The Beatles. Worldwide Westlife achieved 33 No.1 albums and have sold five million concert tickets.

Westlife continue their Wild Dreams tour opening with ‘Starlight’ – the first track of their highly anticipated new album. Followed on by some old classics such as ‘Uptown Girl’, ‘Fool Again’ and ‘Swear it Again..

Unfortunately one of the members, Mark Feehily, couldn’t make it as he’s currently recovering from an operation that doctors told him back in May he needed to have done “sooner rather than later”. The singer released a statement on Instagram on 22nd May:

Credit: Instagram

Shane reassured fans that Mark was slowly recovering, and sent his love to the fans. With a member absent on stage, the audience stepped into the shoes of the fourth band member. Though if Mark had been on stage the audience would still happily be singing along.

That wasn’t the only singing that the crowd did, during the performance the crowd burst into a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ to celebrate Shane’s 44th birthday. It wasn’t the only time it was sung, the second time Nicky and Kian tried and failed to hide a birthday cake with candles. The audience sang once again, not only in English but in Welsh too.

The boys nipped off stage for a quick costume change, with the next set dedicated to the works of ABBA, including ‘Mamma Mia’, ‘I Have a Dream’ and ‘Waterloo’. With stage lighting reminiscent of the 70’s vibrant colours, it certainly felt like a ABBA party with Westlife you didn’t want to miss.

Westlife at Cardiff Castle. Credit: Wales247

Another quick costume change later and the boys were back on stage. This set slowed things down and threw in some fun Beyoncé moves, a definite crowd pleaser if the whoops from the ladies were anything to go by. 

Just as they were about to start ‘Flying Without Wings’ one of the boys noticed a young lady in distress and stopped the show calling for medics and security to intervene. Nothing sinister, but with how packed the standing section directly in front of the crowd was, it’s unsurprising that something like this might happen.

As expected the boys looked after the audience like one of their own. They took charge of the situation, directing fans to clear space for help to get through and then a pathway as she was carried out. After checking I’d the young lady was alone and finding out she wasn’t, her friend and an extremely dedicated fan decided she didn’t want to miss the end of the show and chose to stay.

Credit: Wales 247

What an end to the night, hands swaying with phone torches lit as the light slowly fades, and some real tear jerks such as ‘Hello My Love’ and ‘You Raise me Up’. Crowds slowly made their way out of Cardiff Castle still singing.

The summer fun continues this weekend with Depot in the Castle on Saturday, 8 July. To find out more and to book tickets, visit depotinthecastle.com/