IT'SRAINING HITS; Downpours fail to dampen party atmosphere as Lionel wows 15,000 in Colwyn Bay.
Byline: ALEX HICKEY Daily Post Reporter email@example.com
TORRENTIAL rain that poured down all day failed to dampen the sheer joy that greeted Lionel Richie when he took to the stage at Parc Eirias in Colwyn Bay.
The 15,000 capacity crowd erupted in cheers when the legendary soul singer strolled out under leaden skies for his first ever gig in North Wales.
The age-defying former Commodores frontman, who barely looks a day over 40 but celebrates his 67th birthday today, arrived by helicopter fresh from Saturday's gig at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea.
Shouting "hello" from behind the stage, he strolled on wearing a black suit and open-necked shirt.
The crowd were immediately on their feet when he opened the set with the classic Running With The Night just after 7.45pm.
He then went into Penny Lover from his Commodores days.
A small glitch with his microphone early on was quickly resolved, and there was no repeat of the sound problems reported at his Swansea gig the night before.
The scene was set and he never disappointed.
Speaking to the crowd, his first words were: "Cold Wind Bay, let me get this right: this is your summer time? "My God, your name fits the occasion, Cold Wind Bay."
According to the singer, one of his assistants had told him: "Boss, you won't believe it: they're wearing short pants out there."
But he promised to keep the crowd warm with hits All Night Long before launching into Easy... Like Sunday Morning.
Lionel's special guest performer Corinne Bailey Rae proved to be the perfect warm-up for the sodden crowd.
She performed hits from her new album The Heart Speaks in Whispers and opened her set with Paris Night, New York Woman which received a raucous cheer.
Corinne was particularly impressed with the devotion of one fan who sang along word for word with all of her songs.
She was joined by 10,000 more when she performed Put Your Record On, her stand-out hit from her eponymous debut album.
But the night was all about Lionel for the vast majority, half of whom were wearing ponchos as protection from the incessant rain
Clockwise from left to right, support act Corinne Bailey Rae; a fan sings along to Lionel Richie at Parc Eirias; Lionel posing with a Colwyn Bay FC shirt shortly after arriving by helicopter and Lionel on stage last night PICTURES: ROBERT PARRY JONES