No rollercoaster -it's all up with Ronan

Ronan Keating, Newmarket Racecourse, Friday August 10OVER the past few years Ronan Keating has become as much an institution at the Newmarket races as the 2000 Guineas.

Ronan Keating, Newmarket Racecourse, Friday August 10

OVER the past few years Ronan Keating has become as much an institution at the Newmarket races as the 2000 Guineas.

This was third time the Irish crooner had performed in the Members' Enclosure, this time brought back when the Ordinary Boys pulled out. It was the first time, though, the 30-year-old had played to an audience that wasn't a sell out.

The ex-Boyzone singer turned solo artist, and good pal of jockey Frankie Detorri, is clearly comfortable on his turfside stage. He said: “This is the third time I have been here - I just love coming back.”

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He also speculated of a Boyzone reunion, to the delight of the crowd - mainly women.

“There's all this talk of reunions. Take That are back together and Boyzone might be getting back together.”

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But, for a performer who released the charmingly self-deprecating 10 Years of Hits in 2004, Keating was never going to struggle for a few sing-along-to ditties.

His performance was polished as he delved into his back catalogue belting out hits from past and present albums including last year's Bring You Home.

Whatever you think of Keating, once described 'as the sort of man who would tidy up after a party to save doing it in the morning', he knows how to put on a show.

Squeaky clean he may be (as well as raising money for cancer charities he is also a UN Goodwill Ambassador) but he is a past master at engaging with his audience, effortlessly raising the tempo to get the crowd dancing, before slowing it down with a power ballad.

I Love It When We Do had the crowd - which saw generations of women dancing - on its feet.

All the classics were there from The Way You Make Me Feel, If Tomorrow Never Comes and When You Say Nothing at All, delivered like a pro.

By the time it came to Life Is A Rollercoaster, short of a 40-1 shot coming in, the crowd couldn't have been more frenzied.

Not only a blinding performance from Keating, with a week to go before Wet Wet Wet takes to the Newmarket stage, the weather held out as well.

Georgina Wroe

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