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Ronan Keating plays to a buzzing crowd at Rochester Castle

By Amy Nickalls

It was emotional. It was joyful. It was a throwback to the 90s.

Ronan Keating drew in a crowd of a range of ages, but with a definite lean towards the generation who remember the start of his Boyzone days.

Ronan Keating at Rochester Castle (3048027)
Ronan Keating at Rochester Castle (3048027)

As with each Castle Concert, the setting was beautiful and the atmosphere suitable for the whole family.

Children ran around near the stage and woman of all ages queued to get a picture with Love Island star Mike Thalassitis, who gracefully posed with each fan while watching girlfriend Megan McKenna on the stage.

Crowd at the Castle (3048009)
Crowd at the Castle (3048009)

The crowd was there for Ronan, but they enjoyed the country tones of Megan, of reality TV fame.

The stunning Sophie Ellis-Bexter followed and seemed to be having as much fun as the crowd as she played some of her new and old songs.

Sophie Ellis Bexter at Rochester Castle (3048033)
Sophie Ellis Bexter at Rochester Castle (3048033)

Classics including Take Me Home and Sing It Back, which some may forget were released by the star, were a nice surprise as the crowd eagerly waited for Murder on the Dancefloor.

She was natural and chatty between songs and appreciated the beauty of the setting where she was performing.

Sophie Ellis Bexter at Rochester Castle (3048035)
Sophie Ellis Bexter at Rochester Castle (3048035)

And rumour has it, her husband Richard Jones, also bassist for The Feeling, was performing just behind her on stage. A true family affair.

They may have been without the bottles of wine but the crowd was happily settled in their chairs and on picnic blankets.

Until the main man arrived on stage.

Ronan Keatings at Rochester Castle (3048012)
Ronan Keatings at Rochester Castle (3048012)

The audience swelled as Ronan Keating began his set, filled with a mix of his new solo stuff and the Boyzone favourites including Words and When You Say Nothing At All.

Ronan Keatings at Rochester Castle (3048023)
Ronan Keatings at Rochester Castle (3048023)

He paid an emotional tribute to Stephen Gately with One More Song that left a tear in everyone's eye - audience, security and performer.

He got the crowd dancing with his cover of Brown Eyed Girl and Life is a Rollercoster.

Ronan Keating at Rochester Castle (3048016)
Ronan Keating at Rochester Castle (3048016)

And he performed some of his news songs beautifully with a band of spectacularly talented musicians.

Mr Keating, if you're ever in town, Rochester will welcome you back with open arms.

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