Diana Ross gets Lytham Festival 2022 off to a dazzling start with a memorable concert packed with hits including Chain Reaction and Upside Down

If anyone had suggested to me as an eager 12-year-old forking out a substantial portion of my pocket money to help Diana Ross’ I’m Still Waiting to No 1 that she would ever be appearing in concert in my home county, I and most others would have laughed in their face.

But on Tuesday evening, here she was, one of the biggest names in pop history, on stage on our doorstep and what a rousing start she provided to the biggest Lytham Festival yet.

After three years of anticipation, the event finally arrived for the start of its record 10-night stint – and despite hardly ideal weather conditions, thousands of people packed Lytham Green to enjoy a super night of music.

Diana’s weekend Glastonbury appearance prompted quite a bit of criticism of her voice, but as we still experience the ‘first wave’ of popular music as it has been for 60 years now, my feeling is that we are incredibly privileged to have the originators, the likes of Ms Ross as well as Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones and The Who, still performing live.

Diana Ross performing at Lytham Festival

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Lytham Festival 2022: 15 pictures from spectacular opening night with Diana Ross

Everything is bound to deteriorate to some extent with age, but how sad will we be in 10 or 20 years time when they are no longer able to tour? Let’s just enjoy the ride while we still can.

The records are there for the original sounds but the joy of being able to see them on stage and join them in their classics is infectious – and Diana certainly brought plenty of joy to Lytham.

Hits such as Chain Reaction and Upside Down as well as her Supremes classics such as Baby Love and Stop In The Name of Love sent the crowd wild, even in the rain, while Ain’t No Mountain High Enough was especially well received and her new songs, such as Thank You, with which she finished, shows she is still moving forward with her music.

The opening night concert attracted a bumper crowd

With four costume changes while the excellent band held the fort on stage, it was a real night to remember and all credit also to support acts Jack Savoretti and Cassidy Janson for their excellent earlier sets.

Lytham Festival continues until July 10, with Lewis Capaldi the next headliner on Wednesday evening. Details at www.lythamfestival.com.