It’s almost impossible to be a fan of a boyband without having a favourite member. Ask any fan who their favourite member is, and they’ll promptly reply without any prior thought. It’s second nature. You stake your claim, and you’re prepared to defend him to the death, if need be. He may not be prepared to do the same for you, should he even know who you are, but that’s not the nature of boybands. It’s like Tammy Wynette says: “Stand by your man”. And just like Tammy Wynette, your man is sleeping with someone else.
However, sometimes fans can defend their man to the detriment of another member, often resulting in full-blown war between previously amicable fans. They’re prepared to accept that someone else is not as fond of their favourite song as they are, but should they find out that the same person does not find their man as musically or physically virtuous as they themselves do…
You can practically hear a bell chime while the referee backs cautiously out of the ring.
The fact is, many fans seem to forget that every member is as equally valuable as another, especially as their numbers have dwindled. Gone is the time when a departing member would not announce the end of the band. Three is not a viable number. If any member left, it would be the end.
And no, we should not bring Bryan back and kick someone else out in his place. Every single member is important, every single member is a necessity, and not just because of the numbers game. Every single member plays an equally valuable part in keeping Westlife going, and making Westlife what it is.
First of all, there’s Shane. He sings a lot and he talks the most sense in interviews. But he’s bland, he doesn’t do anything wild, he’s not dangerous. But he has a wife and daughter who he loves very much, thereby providing the guise of stability to the outer public. His voice is pure pop and he never puts a note wrong in concerts. He can also write a brilliant tune. He is very important.
Second, there’s Mark. Mark is tall, dark and handsome, and backs up Shane when they need a high note. Except he has a tendency to forget the words; and apparently the melody, if some of his vocal acrobatics are anything to go by. He’s the nervous, shy one, that talks no sense in interviews, makes all the mums want to mother him and all the boys want to shag him. He also has an incredible gospel voice that is absolutely indispensable to the climax of most of their songs. He is very important.
Third, there’s Nicky. Nicky has a husky, sexy voice that is heard very occasionally. But it’s not his voice that makes him an important member of the team. It’s his personality. He’s funny, he’s an entertainer, he’s confident, and he looks especially good on television and in photos. As far as musicianship is concerned, he’s often off-key and can’t play an instrument or write a song to save his life. But he’s sexy, and he’s a great dancer. He’s the showman. He is very important.
Last, but certainly not least, there’s Kian. Kian has a mind for business, and has A Plan. He’s the frontman, and knows all the dates and all the appearances. He talks to the management and sticks up for everyone else. He’s the driving force behind Westlife, arguably as involved as any of their management is. He answers all the tricky questions with vehement calm and tact. His voice, though not used unaccompanied often, sounds great as a bass line in the melody, and he can play a mean guitar. He is very important.
We need each and every one of them.
Anyway, aren’t there bigger things to worry about? I mean, there might be someone out there that doesn’t like Mark!
I might have to hurt them.