In pictures: Olly Murs rocks Newbury Racecourse
Party in the Paddock at Newbury Racecourse
on Saturday, August 14
Review by DAN COOPER, pictures by PHIL CANNINGS
Even a serious knee injury couldn’t stop Olly Murs thrilling 17,000 racegoers as he returned to Newbury Racecourse for the first time since 2017.
Three weeks ago, Murs had to have surgery after a fragment of bone became lodged in the back of his knee when he jumped into the air during his show at Newmarket Racecourse.
However, Murs, wearing a knee brace over his pink two-piece suit, bounded on to the stage before declaring “It’s ok, I’ve taken some painkillers and I’m here!”
He had pre-warned fans he ‘wouldn’t be running and jumping around like I usually do’, but still managed to put on an energetic 90-minute set featuring a mix of old and new.
Unsurprisingly, it was the cheeky Essex chappie’s best-loved hits including Dear Darlin’ and a brilliant rendition of Heart Skips a Beat that had the crowd up on their feet.
However, he showed he was no one-trick pony by singing a range of covers from reggae to Tina Turner’s What’s Love Got to Do With It.
The most touching moment of the night though came when Murs sang a cover of the Neil Diamond hit Sweet Caroline, which he dedicated to his close friend Caroline Flack.
Flack, who presented The X Factor alongside Murs between 2011 and 2015, took her own life in 2020.
After the song, which became an unofficial anthem for the England team during their Euro 2020 campaign, he looked up to the sky and blew a kiss to the heavens. “Caz would have loved that. She was a bit of a troublemaker,” said Murs as he launched into his number 1 hit Troublemaker.
“After the last 18 months we’ve all had, I think we deserve to have a bit of fun,” he declared afterwards.
“Hug those you love, your friends and family. But don’t go kissing strangers.”
The pandemic is far from over, but seeing a packed racecourse singing, dancing and hugging, it felt like the good times were finally back.
And, as Neil Diamond famously sang, after 18 months of social distancing and lockdowns, the good times have never seemed so good. So good, so good…