AS TENS of thousands of people enjoy Britain’s largest outdoor music gathering North Yorkshire has been channelling its own festival vibe with Dalby Forest’s Forest Live 2014 gigs.

The three-night line-up got underway on Thursday with platinum-selling singer James Blunt.

Previously described as “Marmite of the music industry” the former army captain attracted people of all ages to the first UK date in his latest tour for new album Moon Landing.

Support artists Rupert Stroud and Gavin James performed pleasant melodies to entertain the crowd, which had taken the form of a sea of camping chairs and pre-packed picnics earlier in the evening.

With the audience fed and watered they took to their feet as James and his band appeared on stage dressed in space suits; not electrician’s jumpsuits as James later pointed out.

The show featured a welcome mix of hits from all four albums spread across the night, intertwined with dry and self-deprecating humour from James, who talked about the time he spent living in Strensall, his trials as a small man and his love of ukuleles for making him look “bigger”.

With upbeat songs like the summery sounding Postcards there was enough excitement among the crowd to see it through some of the more melancholic numbers, including Goodbye My Lover, for which James took to the piano before immediately upping the pace with a version of Slade’s Coz I Luv You.

With the crowd on their feet dancing James and his band finished the set with an encore including Stay the Night, Bonfire Hearts and 1973. Love him or hate him he certainly kept the crowds entertained at Dalby. If James Blunt is Marmite, pass me the toast.

The Forest Live 2014 line-up continued last night Paul Weller performing to a sell-out audience, while tonight the forest stage will feature Deacon Blue