A night of music and stories is in store
rom the Monkees to New Kids on the Block, Take That and the Backstreet Boys (to name just a few), boy bands have always had a place in the music industry. A mix of boyish good looks, harmonies and some shrewd management is a winning formula in terms of chart hits and loyal teenage fans. Irish bands Boyzone and Westlife are cases in point with over 20 UK No.1s between them from the mid 1990s and beyond.
The looks may not be quite so boyish anymore, but Keith Duffy of Boyzone and former Westlife singer Brian McFadden are set to roll back the years when they bring the ‘Boyzlife’ tour to the UAE later this year. The format’s a little different from normal concerts. As well as the hits, sure to include No Matter What, Love Me For A Reason and Flying Without Wings, the boys will be dishing out juicy anecdotes and funny tales about life in the fish bowl of a manufactured pop band.
McFadden explains: “It was all Keith's idea, he was going to do a one-man show by himself, a stage show talking about his career in anecdotes. Then he came to see a solo show I was doing in Dublin. He came back to the dressing room and we were sitting having a pint and he said why don’t we do this together. I thought it was a great idea.
“Keith could write a book but it wouldn't be the same as him telling you the stories as he is so animated. There’s a mix of everything, footage and videos as well as the songs.”
Keith carved out a successful post Boyzone career as an actor in long-running British soap opera Coronation Street while Brian quit Westlife in 2004 to pursue a solo career. He’s since released four albums and forged a new career as a TV presenter. While the rest of Boyzone are behind Keith’s show, it’s not an attitude shared by certain members of Westlife. Kian Egan labelled the show ‘aggravating’ and ‘unfair on fans’.
McFadden says: “I don’t really have the same relationship with the Westlife boys that Keith does with Boyzone, as they still gig together as a band. They are very supportive but I have not really discussed it with any of Westlife.”
The 36-year-old says: “It’s not that we don’t talk. We see each other and say hello if we have something going on, but we've all gone and grown up and have different lives. We move in different circles and live in different places. I guess I view Westlife the same as college - you have great friends but you might not ever see them again when you have that different life once you leave.”
Brian is also philosophical about his treatment by the tabloid press. He’s enjoyed his fair share of column inches in the tabloids thanks to his private life - high profile marriages to British pop star Kerry Katona and Irish DJ Vogue Williams both broken down in the glare of the public eye, as did his engagement with Australian star Delta Goodrem.
He says: “That’s all in the past. We wouldn't have had the same career success without them (the media) and so you have to take the good and bad. If they write something good about you, you accept it. It’s the same with the bad, it’s all part and parcel of the business.
“With a show like this, nothing can be taken out of context. So if people want to hear the stories, they will hear the stories from us and there's no way of twisting that really.”