ALMOST 2,000 screaming fans packed into the Big Entertainment Tent on Saturday night to watch the return of The Lightning Seeds.
It was the Liverpool band's first gig together in 10 years, but you couldn't tell as frontman Ian Broudie clearly enjoyed playing in front of a live audience once again.
Despite a few technical hiccups the band sounded great as they began their hour and fifteen minute-long set with All I Want.
The Hartlepool crowd – which had a real mix of young and old – were in fine voice with spontaneous cries of Football's Coming Home throughout – in reference to the band's biggest hit Three Lions.
Broudie, who has produced hits for the likes of The Zutons and The Coral in recent years, was also in fine voice and songs Pure and The Life of Riley were given a rousing reception.
As were some of the songs from the new acclaimed album Four Winds, being showcased for the first time.
Fever pitch had been building all day thanks to excellent support bands including Hartlepool's own Lithium Speed Dementia and The Runwells, who won the town's battle of the bands competition, and later by Nine Black Alps and the John Power Band.
At one point the charismatic Broudie told the assembled throng: "You have been such a lovely audience, we would love to take you home."
As the temperature began to rise in the tent so did the crowd's demand for Three Lions and Broudie didn't disappoint.
The song wasn't on the band's original set list, but the roof of the huge tent was almost raised from the ground when Broudie finished the night with an acoustic performance of the 1996 classic.
Hartlepool's biggest gig for 20 years was a resounding success with 1,800 fans singing their songs long into the warm summer night.
The Lightning Seeds are back and look set to stay.