OH how they rolled back the years in Golden Square on Sunday night, taking the crowd to the halcyon days of Britpop as the Warrington Music Festival came to a thumping finale.

There was Inspiral Carpets' Clint Boon on the decks, warming up the crowd with indie anthems followed by a definite Scouse vibe with headline acts Space and Cast.

It was nostalgia all the way, taking me back to Warrington’s V Festival in '96 and the Hillsborough Justice concert at Anfield '97.

The event had long been sold out (if you can actually sell out a free gig) and if there was any nervousness about being in a big crowd following the tragic events at the Manchester Arena less than a week earlier it didn’t show.

The airport-style security was handled with good humour and even the four armed police officers were viewed with curiosity rather than trepidation.

There was a nice touch from Clint Boon when he finished his DJ set with the Oasis classic Don’t Look Back in Anger which has taken on a new life as Manchester’s unofficial anthem following the arena bombing.

The current band members of Space bear little resemblance to the line-up I saw back in the 1990s in Liverpool and at the Parr Hall.

But the one constant is frontman Tommy Scott and he brought all his old energy opening the set with Charlie M setting the tone for the rest of the night.

Space were wrongly labelled as a Britpop band, they were far too dark, too clever and too over the top for that as the lyrics to Charlie M prove.

By the time the band had rattled though Money, Begin Again and Avenging Angels, Scott had the crowd eating out of his hand.

But it was the Ballad of Tom Jones that really got everyone singing along – who needs Cerys Matthews to duet with when you’ve got 1,500 women singing along.

The set closed with a Tommy Scott tour de force – Female of the Species, You and Me vs The World and Neighbourhood, which contains one of my favourite lyrics of all time: “In 666 there lives a Mr Miller, he’s our local vicar and a serial killer.”

They just don’t write them like that any more.

Noel Gallagher of Oasis is alleged to have described watching Cast live as being like a religious experience and there were plenty of worshippers in the Old Fish Market on Sunday.

Cast famously signed to the Polydor record label and their debut album All Change, released in 1995, became the highest selling debut album of all time for the label.

And it was that record that spawned a raft of hits that cemented Cast’s place in the pantheon of Britpop greats.

But they elected to open Sunday’s set with Further Down the Road from their recently released fifth studio album Kicking Up the Dust.

But fans wanting to hear John Power reprise those hits from All Change didn’t have long to wait with Sandstorm and my personal favourite Finetime, surely the epitome of the perfect guitar band pop song.

You can hardly blame a band with a new album in the shops for playing tracks from it that were perhaps more unfamiliar to the audience but the eponymous title track Kicking Up the Dust, Roar and the slower Paper Chains went down well.

But this was an audience that wanted taking back to its youth, to sing along like it was the summer of '96 again and they weren’t disappointed. Live the Dream and Walkaway took the tempo down but that was just a prelude to the big finish.

Guiding Star got everyone singing along again before everything was ramped up for Free Me segueing into the classic Alright to send everyone home happy.

The last time I saw Cast was at a disastrous Parr Hall gig shortly before they split in 2001.

It wasn’t a great night with the band walking off the stage early, leaving the crowd – including me – a little disgruntled.

But after Sunday, all is forgiven.