Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Westlife = Murderers?

Whoever knew those nice Oirish boys could do something so wicked? In the past week they've been accused of two murders, once by the authorities involved and once by the press.

Because Westlife, you see, have killed music.

In one of the most pathetic slinging matches of the year, Westlife have beaten Oasis, U2 and The Beatles to the top of the UK album charts with The Love Album.

Everybody took a side... Elton was pro-Westlife (mostly because he chucked a tantrum when a Gallagher offended him) and Gary Barlow (Take That) was anti-Westlife. There were a few Gallagher tantrums, too, one involving a church and the proclamation that 'there is not god'.

Then there was Victoria Newton, columnist for The Sun, who made the accusation of murder. She sent an impassioned plea to readers, imploring them to please prevent the unholiest of events: The Day The Music Died. She branded them 'Pestlife', and informed us that she was 'afraid De Loife will be crowned No1 - thereby sounding the death knell for British music as we know it.'

Needless to say, and probably with some unintentional promotional help from good old Victoria, 'Pestlife' kicked the arses of those irritating Gallaghers. Music... is dead.

But not content with bringing about the downfall of British music, Westlife went one further. Yes, they have murdered... Record Of The Year.

In Heat, Vernon Kay, last year's host, told us Record Of The Year will not be taking place because 'it wasn't really fair that Westlife always won just because they've got the biggest fanbase.'

While I do agree that Westlife fans will vote for a song regardless of its quality, this comes across as a pretty petty argument. An award voted by the public will always go to the most popular candidate, not necessarily the most deserving. That's how it worked before Westlife were around, and that's how it will work afterwards. And yes, Westlife do have the bigger fanbase, but that's because more people like them, making them entirely deserving of such an award.

Not that it matters anymore. Westlife have committed a double-murder, so they're probably off to jail.

Good thing. They won't be able to run for Record Of The Year if they're incarcerated, so it can be reinstated. It's okay if some uber-popular band wins... as long as it isn't Westlife.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Love Album Chart Position

Westlife's The Love Album is at #11 on the Motorola Aria Charts after their week promoting in Australia.

Congratulations lads, and great job!

The boys are now back in Ireland, where their album is at #1, beating Oasis, U2, and The Beatles, which were all released on the same date.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Pictures From Last Tuesday!

FINALLY got the pictures uploaded, even though it's almost a week later. (a week! I can't believe it!)


Friday, November 24, 2006

Little Miss Sunshine

To some, beauty pagaents are the bane and embarrassment of Western society, especially when they focus on children. A breeding ground for paedophiles, a proliferation of the value of looks over substance in little girls, and a massive investment of time, emotion and money for the families involved.

Little Miss Sunshine sticks two fingers up in the face of organised catwalking for minors, taking the family of seven-year-old pagaent contestant Olive Hoover (Abigail Breslin, Signs) on a journey that is by all accounts revelatory, emotional, and hilariously funny.

Michael Arndt's blacker than black script is handled with surprising flair by directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (better known for music videos than films) as Olive, her self-obsessed self-help author father (Greg Kinnear), unsatisfied but supportive mother (Toni Collette), Nietzsche-wannabe silent brother (Paul Dano), sex-obsessed druggie grandfather (Alan Arkin), and suicidal gay professor uncle (Steve Carrell, in a surprisingly brilliant dramatic turn) drive from Albuquerque to California for the Little Miss Sunshine pagaent.

Each character is a finely crafted and non-stereotypical persona, each with their own goals and fears. Rather than develop as a triumph of one character over the oppression of their family situation, it is the rare moments of collective understanding and support that provide the most victory, and the wry sense of hope you leave the theatre with is testament to the understated and realistic filmmaking.

That is not to say that the film is without comedy - it is both pitch black and uproarious, infused with a realism that avoids the outrageous for the most part. Even the parts of the movie that push the boundaries of believability are carried through on the strength of the characters and the actors. The relationship between Dwayne (Dano) and Frank (Carrell) is especially poignant and hilarious, and one of the many high points of the film. And without giving too much away, the finale is of such brilliant satirical worth it should be shown to every mother thinking of entering her daughter in a pagaent.

One of the best films of the year.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Westlife In Brisbane!

Yesterday I saw Westlife at their promotional signing and performances in Brisbane.

I arrived in the Queen Street Mall at 8am and was first in line, so I was front row centre for the performances. We were a bit worried that not many people would show up - SonyBMG Australia are completely inept - but by noon it was completely packed out.

Speaking of inept, the occasion was sponsored by the good old B105 breakfast crew, who didn't know Westlife's names, didn't do any promotion, and put up no posters except for ones emblazoned with 'B105'. They also told us that Westlife had 13 number ones (queue a roar of 'FOURTEEN!' from the crowd).

But once the lads got on stage, none of that mattered.

They arrived straight from their hotel across the street, flanked by security and good old Dave 'Lasty' Last who could probably roll a semi-trailer without doing his back in, and stepped onto stage. Nicky informed us all that it was a hot day, even though it was only 28 degrees (gotta love those delicate Irishmen) and they performed World Of Our Own, The Rose, and Easy, followed by You Raise Me Up, which they performed sitting down with their famous 'stand up at the key change'. A short interview followed, and again, totally inept, stupid questions from the B105 gang.

The signing followed. They were all in a great mood and seemed really excited about being in Australia, even if they were slightly jetlagged and tired.

Shane was first, followed by Kian (on great form - he's redeemed his pratty behaviour from last time I met him), then Nicky. I congratulated Nicky on Georgina's pregnancy and he was very excited about it, asking me for a bet on the sex of the baby and looking triumphant when I said 'boy'. Mark was next, and I finally got the chance to tell him how much I love Imaginary Diva (written and sung by the man himself, for the non-fans), and got a photo with him.

Last night was the Ashes To Ashes at QPAC which was a very boring affair for a non-cricket fan like myself. They sang Easy again and, while it wasn't as good as the earlier performance (and they looked very very short in their suits) it was still class.

Again my photos don't seem to be working, but if you go here you can see them all.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Review #8: The Love Album

Released: 18 November 2006

The album: It was with a mix of excitement and trepidation that I had my first listen of Westlife’s The Love Album (aka The Shag Album) – a mix of eleven of the ‘most memorable and romantic love songs ever written’ (quote: Westlife's official website, no less). Much to my surprise and relief, it was a victorious foray into the world of themed albums, with very few disappointments and quite a number of out-and-out triumphs. The songs were well-chosen and executed, with the requisite amount of emotion to assure us that this was not just a karaoke album in the making. It’s rather adventurous, with Westlife showing a flair for country, and bringing in a couple of less well-known songs to round out the anthems.

The only drawback is the lack of Nicky and Kian, and it’s both scary and ironic that Delta sings more than they do. Especially when there are so many songs that would have benefited from their voices, and from a bit of variety. But no matter, we’ve lost hope on that front and it’s best to move on, think of them as guest vocalists, and enjoy the wonderful fluff of this, Westlife’s eighth album

The Rose (Bette Midler):
Like a mishmash of all their other big-hitters, this one is not a low point on the album but it gets tired after a few listens. The usual Steve Mac production is there, but there are really only so many times we can have a big key change and massive production values before everything starts sounding the same.

Total Eclipse Of The Heart (Bonnie Tyler):
A very strange choice, and that’s what actually lets them pull this one off. Bonnie Tyler should be a no-go – something that’s such a scary prospect no-one should ever attempt it without being sure they won’t get death threats for butchering a classic. And the lads certainly won’t. Every note is pitch perfect, the production big and loud, triumphantly treading the middle-ground between homage and standalone.

All Out Of Love (Air Supply):
Ah, the Delta song. Putting my Delta-prejudice aside for the moment, I still maintain that it would have been better without her. Her voice doesn’t quite gel with theirs; in fact, strangely enough, her voice isn’t quite strong enough. The song feels as if it’s dipping and weaving between the different voices, and it lacks consistency. That said, it’s a decent enough adaptation, not becoming long and boring like other covers of the same song.

You Light Up My Life (Debbie Boone):
Considering it’s one of the most vomit-inducing songs of all time, it’s not a bad version. It’s still saccharine and sickly, but the revolting chorus is so over-run with gospel production that you forget how awful the lyrics are and notice that the verses are not that bad. Shane and Mark are both on top form, Mark’s gospel/soul voice used to perfection. You might throw up in your mouth, but at least it won’t spray all over the carpet.

Easy (The Commodores):
This one should have been a duet, and like the Diana Ross one (which shall not be named) it’s almost identical to the original. But Lionel Richie pulled out at the last minute so we’re left with this cobbled-together boredom. It’s more karaoke than a Saturday night at the RSL.

You Are So Beautiful (Joe Cocker):
Another one that should inspire projectile vomiting, yet… it doesn’t. It’s handled delicately, with skill and precision, every note judged and executed flawlessly. The simple lyrics are the perfect showcase for Mark and Shane’s talent, the subtle string section offsetting the slight growl in their voices. Wonderful. Just wonderful.

Have You Ever Been In Love (Leo Sayer):
Easily the best song on the album, owing immensely to its obscurity. Rather than fall into the karaoke-trap many of the other songs skate around, it feels almost like a new song, which is what we all want anyway. Not to mention it’s a fantastic song in its own right. The lyrics are thoughtful and heartfelt, as is the execution. Not a note is put wrong, the arrangement is perfection. This is what a Westlife song should be. It’s just too bad it’s not an original.

Love Can Build A Bridge (The Judds):
Another victory from the lads. They should do country more often, if this is any indication of their talents. And here’s the big hitter… there’s FOUR people in the band for this song! Can you believe it? Nicky and Kian appear only briefly, and again it begs the question ‘why do they not sing more?’. Apart from that, the swaying, waltzing rhythm complements their voices wonderfully. The schmaltzy chorus is unashamedly sentimental, the verses emotional perfection. If only they did originals like this.

The Dance (Garth Brooks):
A big hit on tour this year, and long recognised as a trademark Westlife song, it was a foregone conclusion that this one end up on the album. Country seem to be the ideal direction for Westlife at the moment (much better than that embarrassing Rat Pack thing, anyway). The only drawback is that Nicky and Kian are not used more, as their voices have a distinctive country quality that would be far more appropriate than Shane and Mark’s vocal stylings, though Shane and Mark are hardly insufficient.

All Or Nothing (O-Town):
Originally meant for Westlife, the song went to O-Town instead, and the lads are finally getting a crack at it. It’s good, but it doesn’t quite beat the definitive version, though extra points for making it an acoustic. It would benefit from a bit more vocal variety.

You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling (Righteous Brothers):
Bring me some rusty nails, I want to hammer them into my eardrums. Shane simply cannot cope with notes that low – he sounds crackly, forced, and fake, as though he’s doing a bad impression of the Righteous Brothers. Bring Kian in to show him how a decent low-note’s done. Mark is a delight, however, tackling his parts with an awesome whimsy and glee. He saves the second half. Avoid the first half entirely.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Westlife's The Love Album will be released tomorrow.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Saw 3

The grotesquery has broken out of its face-cage for the third instalment of the Saw franchise, and it’s a beautiful bloodbath.

Loosely picking up where Saw 2 left off, Aussie boys James Wan and Leigh Whannell return to spin a new yarn about the sadistic – but revoltingly fair – Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) and his partner-in-gore Amanda (Shawnee Smith, Becker)

But all is not peachy in Jigsaw's twisted lair. On his death bed, he is training Amanda to take over, and looking for one last hurrah before he succumbs. And that means one last victim...

It carries on the franchise admirably, continuing the tradition of stomach-churning, unflinching torture, mixed with a tight, compelling plot. Even though the violence is hardcore, it doesn’t fall into the trap of being superfluous – every movement made by every character seeks to further the already intricate plot, and for the most part, this is a success.

The characters, however, fail to entirely convince on a personal level. While the plights of Jigsaw’s latest victims are horrible situations, there seem to be far too many characters to gain a real empathy with any of them, and once the spillover characters from Saw 1 and 2 are dealt with, there’s too much going on.

Which would be okay, except for the fact that it's overcompensated for by the end when the patented 'twist' is revealed. It's as though someone is poking you repeatedly while chanting 'do you get it now? Let me show you that again, just in case you don't get it. Are you sure you got it? We could show you one more time.'

Likewise, the extra plot runs hand-in-hand with extra gore, and some of the traps seem unrealistically detailed and technological for two people to construct, despite how magnificent they may be.

Still, the Saw franchise has always based its appeal on spectacle, and there it certainly delivers.

It may not quite live up to the standards of its predecessors, but as a standalone film it is certainly a must-see for the more intelligent legions of horror fans.

Updated Aussie Schedule

Tuesday November 21
Queen Street Mall (12.30pm)
Performing two big tunes from The Love Album, incl The Rose
Signing album copes in-store
Screening for the Ashes Cricket Show, Westlife performing All Or Nothing live

Thursday November 23
Martin Place
Performing The Rose live on Channel Seven's Sunrise
Signing copies of the album
Television broadcasting: 7:50

TV Performances on:
Mornings with Kerri-Anne
A Current Affair
Video Hits
The Sunday Show

All over your radios as Australia says a big hello to the UK's no. 1 sensations.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Get Ready To Be Amazed Australia:

Guinness World Record Holders Westlife Hit Oz Next Week!

Fresh from scoring the Guinness World Record for the most singles to debut straight in at #1 (14 to be sure, to be sure), lovable Irish superstars Westlife land on our shores next week for a five day trip to promote their new album 'The Love Album' (in stores this Saturday) and 'Live At Wembley' DVD. Fans can catch the guys everywhere next week, including performing on the upcoming Ashes TV special, plus at in-store signings in Brissy and Sydney.

Having just topped the single charts in the UK this week with 'The Rose' and landing themselves another Guinness World Record for the most singles to debut straight in at #1 ('The Rose' is their 14th!), Ireland's pop megastars Westlife will hit Australia next week for a whirlwind five day promo trip!

Here in support of their new release 'The Love Album', in stores this Saturday, November 18, and their new DVD 'Live At Wembley' (coming on December 2), the guys will chat to loads of media about their new material and upcoming tour of Australia next February, while also treating fans to some very special appearances.

Brisbane fans can catch them on Tuesday, November 21 at 12.30pm at Queen St Mall where they will perform two big tunes from 'The Love Album' including the excellent first single 'The Rose', before signing album copies in-store.

On Thursday November 23, Sydney fans will also be able to glimpse them in Martin Place when they will perform 'The Rose' live on Channel Seven's brekkie show 'Sunrise' then sign copies of the album too! If you're not gonna be to make it, tune in from 7.50am to catch all the action.

But that's not all... with the Ashes cricket season about to explode between the Poms and the Aussies, the Irish lads will treat us to a performance of their new tune 'All Or Nothing' on the special 'Ashes Cricket Show' to be screened live on Tuesday, November 21.

Keep an eye out for them performing on 'Mornings With Kerri-Anne', 'A Current Affair', 'Video Hits', 'The Sunday Show', and all over your radios as Australia says a big hello to the UK's newest #1 sensations!

'The Love Album' album in stores Saturday November 17
'Live At Wembley' DVD available Saturday, December 2

Westlife Promo Tour In-Stores And Performances
Tuesday, November 21 - In-store Appearance and Performance, Queen Street, Brisbane, 12.30pm
Thursday November 23 - In-store Appearance and Performance, Martin Place, Sydney

Monday, November 13, 2006

Run For Cover

Their 21st single, the Rose is also their 14th number one.

And it's not difficult to see why. The song sticks to the old formula, in fact you'd be forgiven for thinking that the intro was going to lead into a rousing rendition of You Raise Me Up. Play them side by side, and there'll be eight Westlifers standing up for the key change together. Not to mention the harmony seems to have disappeared. Were Nicky and Kian even in the recording studio that day?

But you've heard my opinions on that song before, so let's move on.

Check out the cover, first of all. There are two covers for this, one black and one white. In this one, Nicky's jerking Mark off, except it appears the head of Mark's cock has swollen red and the shaft has shrivelled to a green stick...

Oh right. Sorry, that's a flower of some kind. No idea what kind, of course. I'm not much of a florist, me.

That was, of course sarcasm. Could there be a more cliched cover for this single? Certainly no more cliched than the video, but you've heard my ranting on that before.

The b-sides are like a continuum of quality. There's the good, the average, and the dead awful. The new BMW goes to If (originally by Bread), which is a delicately produced triumph that has the requisite emotion, but is beautifully understated. Nicky's vocals are stunning, sweet and sexy, and Mark's notes are perfection. Shane trembles a little, but we're getting used to the effects of his smoking, and it doesn't grate.

The Encyclopaedia Brittanica goes to Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You, a George Benson cover and mid-tempo ballad that's good for a wistful smile and a bit of a foot-tap. The only drawback is that it goes on far too long, especially for a song that has no bridge and has an unusually long chorus. The repetition is forgivable, however, if only for the fact that they let Kian sing as well, this time, and he and Nicky are the highlight of this piece, bringing up once again the question: 'Why don't they get to sing more?' Shane and Mark are also on top form.

And then the golden dog-turd goes to Solitaire. It shouldn't be surprising - it is, after all, a Neil Sedaka song - rather it's disappointing that Westlife would stoop to such sugar-coated rat vomit. It's boring, long, and a walking (or singing) cliche. The lads sound creaky and a little squawky - the vocals should be played back to them in ten years time when they've all lost their larynxes to throat cancer - and the emotion is forced and fake. They might have been falling asleep while recording it. I was certainly doing so while listening to it.

In short, it's a take-or-leave affair, the taking of which should only be half-based on the strength of the title track.

Westlife Get 14th Number One!

For the people who haven't heard yet... yes it's true. Last night, Westlife nabbed their 14th UK number one for The Rose, beating out the Green Day/U2 collaboration. They were number two in Ireland, beaten by the same UK runner-up.

They now equal Cliff Richard for the 3rd most UK number ones of all time, beaten only by the Beatles (17) and Elvis Presley (21).

But there's a strange sort of excitement surrounding the single. It's a decent song, yes, and it's very exciting that Westlife have managed another number one, but if you read the comments from fans, there's an opinion that seems to pop up a lot.

"I don't really like the song, but I'm so glad they've gone number one! They deserve it!"

It's an odd sort of mentality, to be supporting a song you really don't like all that much. Of course, it's the Westlife-factor that does it. Support your band to the end, regardless of what they release, but if you don't agree with the covers direction and don't really like the song, should you be supporting it at all? And what's with this 'deserving' thing? It seems that releasing a single at all is enough to deserve a number one, for some fans.

I know I bought the single. I quite like The Rose, but admittedly I was much more interested in hearing the b-sides. Which I could have downloaded from the internet for free and still not offered my support. I hate that they're turning into a covers band, I don't really want to support it, but I still bought the single.

But if a single isn't successful they do learn from the experience. Look at Hey Whatever. One of the most exciting, fun, GOOD songs they've ever released, it was a semi-cover (same music, different lyric to de-gayify it) of a Relish! song that Mark found, and was recorded on the proviso that if it didn't go to number one, the next song they'd release would be Mandy, a saccharine Barry Manilow cover.

It went to number 4. They released Mandy.

And they've not looked back from covers since.

So what would happen, then, if their covers started to fail? If the original, interesting stuff was doing better than the covers?

Well, one option would be that they'd stop recording them and start looking up the aforementioned original, interesting stuff. The other option would be that maybe - just maybe - they'd lose heart and stop recording at all.

And I think that's what frightens a lot of fans. It's the theory that if we do not offer our undying, militant support to every single, the lads will think we don't like them anymore. Ridiculous, yes (they didn't stop when Hey Whatever went number four, did they?), but it's a fear a lot of fans seem to hold. Or maybe, like me, they're just extremely anally retentive when it comes to single buying. Either way, we've reached a stalemate. They won't stop releasing covers, and we won't do anything about it.

Which one affects the other? Do we not do anything because they wouldn't stop? Or do they not stop because we're not doing anything? Either way, they still have our money in their pockets.

Or maybe it's hope that this is just a phase they'll grow out of, and next time we'll get this 'original album' they've been promising.

If we don't, we'll still eat it up with a giant spoon.

But there's always a point where you get full. When you get sick of reheated leftovers and go looking for some fresh fruit.

Not yet, apparently.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Mark: "Hiding It Was Harder...!"

Before you read the article:

I find it simply hilarious that they used the phrase 'first gay encounter'. It was his first relationship, that doesn't mean he wasn't having all sorts of casual sex before he met Kevin. He was 24 when he met him - what 24 year old bloke wouldn't have gotten his end in by then if he had the kind of access Mark has? Mark's probably been Slut-man for years!

This is not a Mills & Boone. This is real life. Does it make everyone more comfortable with him being a fag if he's being a good, clean, pure fag who never has sex and acts like Jack on Will & Grace?

In the words of a friend of mine... "STOP TRYING TO DESEXUALISE HIM!"

On with the article:

* * *

WESTLIFE star Mark Feehily has revealed how hiding his sexuality from fans was harder than admitting he was gay.

The Sligo millionaire dropped a bombshell last year when he "came out" amid a blaze of publicity.

But the 26-year-old singer said the real challenge was keeping it under wraps secret for six years.

Mark told the Irish Daily Mirror: "The really scary thing was trying to keep it all a secret - that's what I found really tough.

"I was worried that something would leak out before I had the chance to say it myself.

"I wasn't at all worried when it came to the point that I actually announced I was gay - because that was nothing compared to the pressure of keeping it all a secret.

"When it all finally came out and hit the headlines it was a huge weight off my shoulders because I didn't have to live a lie in that respect.

"People often say to me that my biggest test in Westlife must have been coming out, but it was actually keeping it a secret that was the real problem." Mark has been in a long-term relationship with former boy band singer Kevin McDaid, 22.

He revealed it was his first gay encounter and is still going strong. Mark added: "Kevin was my first relationship and the whole thing was a learning experience.

"We didn't know what to expect and how the public would view the whole thing. But to be honest it's been amazing.

"We're just a normal couple who enjoy spending time together.

"Because I'm on tour so much we have to really make the most of our time off together."

And he said he has no plans to adopt children at this stage.

He added: "It's something I haven't even thought about if I'm being completely honest.

"I don't have any big desire to have kids yet but of course you can never predict what will happen in the future.

"It would be something you couldn't rush in to because the laws for same-sex couples are so restrictive."

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Aussie Promo Announced!

From Sony

Westlife Lay On The Love With Forthcoming Album

With seven chart-busting albums under their belt and a record breaking 13 #1 UK hits, Westlife will deliver their brand new release 'The Love Album' on November 18.

Hand picked by the band themselves, these 11 memorable love songs include a duet with none other than Aussie's own Delta Goodrem and a cover of Bette Midler's 1980s classic, 'The Rose'. Watch the video here and stay tuned for when the boys touch down later this month for their very special five-day promo tour....

With their 2007 Australian tour getting closer, Westlife are giving you another reason to feel the love with the November 18 release of their brand new collection 'The Love Album'. With all 11 tracks hand-picked by Nicky, Kian, Mark, and Shane, this eighth album from the Irish sensation is sure to be a hit with the fans with favourites such as 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling', 'You Are So Beautiful', 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart' and an excellent duet with Australian golden girl Delta Goodrem on the Air Supply classic 'All Out Of Love'.

The band also cover the 1980s Bette Midler favourite 'The Rose'.

'The Love Album' will be produced by Westlife's long-time producer Paul Mac, who has taken the band to the staggering heights of 13 UK #1 hits and over 35 million albums sold worldwide.

Grab your tix now to feel the love when Westlife hit Oz this February for their highly anticipated Australian tour, and keep your eyes peeled when the boys touch down later this month for their very special five day promo tour starting November 21! More news to follow...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Nicky and Georgina are Expecting

The Irish Taoiseach’s eldest daughter Georgina is expecting a baby with her husband, Westlife singer Nicky Byrne, it was confirmed today.

In a one-line statement, a spokesperson said the new arrival is due next summer. It will the first grandchild of Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and his separated wife, Miriam Kelly. Their youngest daughter Cecelia is a best-selling author.

Today’s statement said: “Nicky and Georgina Byrne are delighted to announce that they are expecting their first child next summer.”

The couple wed at Wicklow Registry Office, Co Wicklow in August 2003 and their union was blessed four days later at the Roman Catholic Church of St Pierre et St Paul in Gallardon, Eure-et-Loir, France.

The couple attended the Ard Fheis (annual conference) of Taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s ruling Fianna Fail party in Dublin last night.

Georgina, 27 and Nicky, 28, appeared briefly on RTE television as they hugged Mr Ahern at the back of the Citywest Hotel hall before he made his televised address.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Public Service Announcement!

Tomorrow morning Rage will screen the video for The Rose between 5am and 5:30am.

On Sunday morning it will be aired on Video Hits.

Westlife Front Woolies' Christmas Campaign


Westlife are the stars of a new £25 million Christmas campaign for Woolworths.

The chart-topping Irish boy band will appear in a new TV ad singing White Christmas.

The ad, set in a fantasy Woolies store, will be broadcast from Wednesday.

Woolworths marketing director Stephen Robertson said: "We love Westlife at Woolies."

"With 13 number one singles they are one of the biggest bands ever and they connect very well with our customers."

"On set they had a lot of fun and were naturals when it came to acting."

The band follows in the footsteps of X Factor winner Shayne Ward, who was the star of the store's Easter TV campaign.


First of all (for the people who haven't figured it out), this is of course the UK Woolworths and not the Aussie version. That's why they have Westlife and Shayne Ward, and we do not. Because Aussie Woolworths can't even get Lisa McCune.

Second of all, I have to laugh at the use of the word 'acting', considering the amount of time they actually spend on screen. Somehow I doubt it's that difficult to mime one line of a song (badly) and throw snowballs at a puppet. But I'm not a trained actor - what do I know?

Thirdly, and I've saved the funniest for last... WHITE CHRISTMAS?! No, seriously, WHITE CHRISTMAS?! I do realise that it's one of the most famous popular Christmas songs of all time, but does that mean Westlife do (or have ever done) a good version of it? Of course not. In fact, anyone who's heard the song will know that it's one of the most boring, trite, embarrasing songs Westlife have ever released, and that includes When You Tell Me That You Love Me.

Rumour is it'll be released as a single to coincide with the advertising campaign. If that's the case, the Woolies marketing exec needs to be strung up in a dungeon and made to listen to the song five times in a row. Only then will he have repented for his mistake. But I do see where he was coming from - it's much easier to get a boyband to mime to a song than to record two lines of a new one.

Anyway, check out the ad. It's actually not that bad, for all my ranting and raving, and you get to see Westlife throw snowballs. Which is a lot more amusing than it actually sounds.

For me, anyway.