Thursday, August 30, 2007


Believe it or not, there is news!

Westlife's new video is being filmed in LA at the moment, but here's the big, amazing part!:

It's another cover.

Not that we didn't see it coming - even on studio albums, the boys do tend to stick to the covers as nice, safe bets on the singles chart, especially when their songs are being released around Christmas, when misty nostalgia is thick in the air like a misty, nostalgic fog. They've also booked themselves a spot on the Late Late Show for a Westlife-only Christmas special (Dec 21... coincidentally the day Nicky's sis-in-law's first movie - 'PS I Love You' gets released) to showcase the new song and talk about how modest and down-to-earth they are.

The song is 'Home'. By Michael Buble.

Aside from the fact that they already HAVE a song called 'Home' and it was on the Turnaround album (oh, but that was the tumultuous 'Brian is leaving' album, so we're contractually obliged to forget about it, even though it was one of their most ambitious albums), and aside from the fact that we'd all thought they'd passed out of that unfortunate swing phase with only tiny side-effects to their hair, and aside from the fact that it's another cover...

Okay, it could be alright. Sure, Buble's version was amazingly wonderfully brilliant, but so was Josh Groban's version of You Raise Me Up, and I doubted them then as well. And then look what we got: 12th number one and breaking into Australia and Asia. And a pretty good song.

So, even though I'm once again doubtful of their song choice, I'll let this one lie until I have more definitive proof of its crapness (or lack of).

Who knows? The boys might surprise us for once.

But I'd be more surprised if they released an original song.

Friday, August 03, 2007

New Westlife Album!

Finally there is news! Yeehah!

From the official website:

We’ve got very exciting news: the band are in the studio right now recording their next album!
It’s going to be a brand new studio album, and the guys have been working with a whole host of top producers including Steve Mac, Quiz/Larossi, Per + David, Jorgen Elofsson and Maratone (Rami, Antor + Savan).

Once the recording has finished at the end of August, the boys will be heading to a secret overseas location to shoot the video for the first single, as well as some fantastic new promotional pictures.

Stay tuned for more info…

Friday, July 06, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to SHANE!

He's 28... yesterday

(Sorry Shane)

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to SHANE!

He's 28... yesterday.

(Sorry Shane)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Anyone For Juice

Yes, I know, there has not been a single update, but there hasn't been a single bit of news since the babies were born. Damn these Westlife boys and their insistence on having a holiday. How could they?!

As for holiday stuff, the only thing we've heard from Kian is that's he's opened a juice bar called 'Monkey Tree' in Strandhill, and was seen in there painting the walls with everyone else. That's so nice of him, seeing as he's a Popstar God (caps necessary). Oh, and he and Jodi were seen at the Fantastic Four premiere. Wow! Now that's a breaking story!

Also, Rocco and Jay are being christened... sometime in the next month.

Apart from that, no news.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

First Photo of Rocco and Jay


This one's from the Star, I believe (correct me if I'm wrong, someone). Rocco's in Nicky's arms, and Jay's with Georgina.

And I repeat: Awwwwwwwwwwww...!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Happy Birthday to Mark!

Happy Birthday to our young Mark Feehily who, even though he's the baby of the band, is getting on in years!

Happy 27th, Marky!

Mark shares his birthday with Kylie Minogue, Gladys Knight, and... erm... Jesse Bradford.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Rocco & Jay Welcomed Home

But no snaps before granda's big day

AFTER more than a month in hospital, the Taoiseach's grandchildren Rocco and Jay have finally made their way home.

While little Jay made his first trip home early last week, new parents Georgina Ahern and Nicky Byrne got an unexpected present yesterday when doctors gave the go-ahead for Rocco to join them too.

Last night, the twins were said to be "safe and sound" at home with their parents in Malahide, Co Dublin.

They had been cared for at the National Maternity Hospital in Holles Street since their birth there - six weeks premature - on April 20.

Both babies weighed around three pounds when delivered by cesarean section. However, since then the tots have been "piling on the weight".

Jay was first to be allowed home by doctors last Tuesday and Georgina and Nicky were not expecting to bring their second son home until later this week.

However, not to be outdone, Rocco ensured he was hot on his brother's heels.

"Rocco went home today. It was completely unexpected. Georgina and Nicky were expecting to bring him home later in the week. This is the best present they could have got," said the couple's spokesperson.

And while there is still no set date for the country's most famous babies' public debut, it will not be before polling day on Thursday.

The couple are going to discuss the release of the babies' first photographs with their families but have already decided grandfather Bertie Ahern has to get the election over with first.

Instead, the photograph is expected to be made public in the next two weeks.

In the days following the twins' birth, Nicky and Georgina turned down million euro offers for the first photographs.

Irish Independent

Monday, May 21, 2007

Byrne Baby Goes Home

Just an announcement that one of Nicky and Georgina's twins - Jay - has been allowed to go home, though Rocco is still in the hospital.

The babies are now one month old, and Rocco should be released in the next week... as soon as he reaches 5 pounds, as the babies are still quite underweight because of being premature.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Clear As Mud

Brian's got a new single! Brian's got a new single!

Okay, so he had one almost a month ago, but it took ages for my copy to arrive in the post. But it DID go to number one in the UK, so I can forgive him a little bit for being too busy to deliver my late copy directly to my doorstep.

It's called Like Only A Woman Can, and the title alone conjures up all sorts of weird, hetero-erotic images, but it's actually not a bad song. Very pretty, in an acoustic sort of way, and even if he did write it for Delta, at least we don't have to listen to her. And lyrically, it's very sweet and non-threatening without being sickly and poppy. Okay, it's a little sickly. But his voice is still raspily gorgeous and carries the song with enough emotion for it not to matter

The b-side, on the other hand, is another little ripper from Mr McFadden. Musically it's kind of an upbeat version of Walking Into Walls. A bit sad, but uplifting at the same time, and the lyrics are fantastically surreal. I'm actually not sure what he's singing about, and the title - Mud In Your Eye - doesn't really help. I'll take a wild guess and say it's about how much he hates the music industry. Again. Not that it really matters, because it's a great little pop-rock-kinda-folky ballad that progresses from bittersweet to weirdly uplifting in the space of four minutes and twenty-three seconds

Good old Brian. I can't wait for the new album, if this is any indication of its quality.

Mika to Pen Song For Westlife

That's the new rumour going about, anyway, and everyone seems to be reporting on it, so maybe it's not just a silly paper with nothing else to do but make up things.

Of course, everyone said they were making a movie and duetting with Michael Jackson, and those both happened, didn't they?

Yes, that was sarcasm. Nobody panic.

Anyway, super-camp Mika writes all sorts of yummy pop songs, and hopefully this means that Westlife might actually be doing something original. Which would be nice of them.

Good god, they might actually do something in a slightly different style!

The puritans are going to be running for cover again. Or not... cos it won't be a cover. See what I did there? It was a pun. Haha.


Thursday, May 03, 2007

There Will Be No DVD

I repeat: there will be no DVD for this year's tour.


Monday, April 30, 2007

Happy Birthday Kian!

I didn't forget, I just haven't been home!

Happy 27th to Kian for yesterday.

May he not get balder than he already is.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Middle Names of the Twins:

The twins' middle names have been revealed:

Rocco Bertie Byrne (after Georgina's dad)

Jay Nicky Byrne (after Nicky's dad)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Congrats to Nicky & Gina!

I know it's two days late but I haven't been home since Wednesday and only just got the news!

On Saturday the 21st at 9:55am, Georgina gave birth to twin boys.

So welcome to the first baby boys in the Westlife camp - Rocco Byrne (5 pounds 11 ounces) and Jay Byrne (4 pounds 8 ounces).

The twins are non-indentical and were born 7 weeks early - they're still in incubators and receiving special care at the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin.

There are no photos so far (obviously), just a few floating about of Nicky leaving the hospital, looking very pleased with himself.

So you should, lad

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Brian Updates

First of all, I can't believe I forgot to wish Brian a happy birthday for the 12th. That's really bloody slack of me. I know he'll never read this, nor care if some random fan remembers his birthday, but seeing as I remembered all the partner's birthday's up until this point except for Delta's (who I don't like, but still felt bad about) I thought I owed it to him.

Ah well, happy birthday for last thursday, Bri. Love ya.

In other news, Brian did his online webchat thingy the other day. To summarise:

1) Album should be released in the US later this year (what about Australia, Bri?)

2) No official video has been made for Only A Woman Can - there will be one when it's released worldwide

3) The new album will be more positive than Irish Son

4) A fan once offered him $50,000 to have breakfast with her, but he said no... he'd already eaten.

5) The collaboration with Mark that was mentioned is a song they wrote together, but which only Brian will be singing. He doesn't yet know if it will make the album.

Hero Brian

SINGER Brian McFadden was hailed a hero last night after saving a boy from drowning while on holiday.

The former Westlife star leapt into a lake at Dubai's plush Jabel Ali Golf Resort when the 10-year-old fell in.

Members of the EUR200-a-round course watched in terror as Brian frantically battled to pull him to safety.

The 26-year-old star told the Irish Daily Mirror last night: "It was pretty scary. The kid was gasping for air when I got him out of the lake.

"My instant reaction was just to jump in. Anyone else would have done the same.

"I had no idea how deep the water was until I jumped in - the kid could have drowned."

The boy is believed to have been trying to fish out balls from the lake and sell them to golfers.

He fell down a steep bank and his friend screamed for help. But within seconds the child had disappeared under the water.

Brian was enjoying a week in the sunshine resort before launching his new single in Ireland. A pal of Brian's added: "He was in shock for about three hours after saving the boy. Brian feared the worst had happened initially.

"There are signs warning how deep the water is but the child hadn't paid attention. Brian was completely drenched and gasping for air when he got out. A course official took him back to the spa complex where he had a shower and was given a change of clothes.

"All the golfers were hailing him as a hero and patting him on the back.

"The child could hardly speak a word of English but he gave Brian a big hug."

Brian paid around EUR2,000 to play unlimited golf and enjoy the facilities at the Jabel Ali resort during the trip with his girlfriend Delta Goodrem.

The five-star complex boasts an 800-metre private beach, a sea water pool and 80-berth marina.

Brian was hoping for a drama-free break as he prepares to relaunch his pop career with a tour of Ireland. His new single Only A Woman Can is released next Friday.

He will be appearing at radio stations and record shops at venues including Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway.

The Mirror

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

PS, We Love It

For those of you not in the know, chick-lit author Cecilia Ahern is Nicky's sister-in-law, and her first book - PS, I Love You - is about to be released as a movie. Of course they're Americanising it, with Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Harry Connick Jr, Lisa Kudrow, Kathy Bates... arh, just check out the imdb page here.

In Westlife-related news, an article appeared in Sunday World about the movie, talking about the test audience's reactions, the upcoming premiere and the usual crap about how she's related to Nicky and her dad's the prime minister.

With that, however, was a bit about how a Westlife song might appear on the soundtrack, seeing as, you know, her brother-in-law's in the band and everything.

While it seems a bit creepy and hanger-on for the lads to be putting their song in a relative's movie, it's about bloody time the lads did something decent to get themselves recognised in the U. S. of A. And I don't mean that the US is some big beacon of golden light that leads to immortalisation in the musical hearts of everyone they come across - they are a boyband after all - it's just that, after all their apparent desperation, their attempts have been a bit...

...well, a bit half-arsed.

And now, especially with kids restricting how much time they can spend buggering off overseas with their wild dreams, this might just be the ticket they need.

But let's wait and see.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Mark's Diary From the Road

Yes, yes, I know it's been ages since I'e posted, but bloody nothing's been happening in Westlife world. Such is the joy of tour-time - they perform, they sleep, they perform, they sleep... you get the picture.

So, in that spirit, here's a rather bland official diary from Mark:

Hi there

Hope you all had a brilliant Easter and ate loads of chocolate, like us! We had a day off on Monday, which was great after another three concerts back-to-back.

The tour is still going fantastically well and even though we’ve played so many dates already, we’re still loving every single show, which is mostly down to the energy and enthusiasm we get from you lot in the audience.

Looking forward to Aberdeen tonight and tomorrow, then another day off before we jump on a plane – Belfast here we come!

Take care

Mark x

Friday, March 30, 2007

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile - I've had more assignments than I could ever think possible, plus life has been uber-busy lately. Yuck.

Anyway, breaking news at the moment is that Westlife MAY not have a DVD come out this year.

A fan from the Committed (Dawn) spoke to their production manager, Steve Levitt, and the planned filming for Belfast has been scrapped. No word yet on if it has been rescheduled, or if it's been scrapped altogether.

It's a real disappointment if they do scrap it, as they've changed the songlist around so many times it would be nice to see some of the songs performed live, especially Love Takes Two.

I'll try to bring more information as I hear it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Brian To Collaborate with Mark!

Well, I'm bloody excited, anyway! It'll be great to hear my two boys singing together again. I wouldn't want him back in Westlife, but a Brian/Mark duet sounds gorgeous!


Press Release from Brian's Official MySpace:

April 20th marks the release of the new single from Ireland’s most controversial pop star, Brian McFadden. Having spent much of the past year in the dark of the studio, but never far from the limelight, Brian’s self-penned song is the first track from his second solo album.

“Like Only A Woman Can” is an open and frank love-song to someone who has helped the writer find redemption. ‘It is a song about Delta’, explains Brian, ‘but equally it’s me admitting the mistakes of my past, while looking forward to the future’.

In recent months Brian has collaborated with numerous luminaries including Paul Barry (Enrique Inglesias/Cher) and Phil Thornalley (Natalie Imruglia/The Cure). The net result is a more mature artist than we have previously known. Brian claims that he has never been happier and more focussed. “Right now is the best place I’ve been in my life. I’m really enjoying writing and recording the album and personally things have never been better!”

Apart from his success as a recording artist McFadden can feel justifiably proud of his achievements as a songwriter. With solo records reaching Number 1 in UK, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Holland Belgium and Australia, he has also been critically recognised with his song ‘Demons’ being featured in the U.S. TV series ‘Lost’. In addition, Brian has also written songs for artists as diverse as Il Divo and Girls Aloud, as well as the theme for the Theme for the Commonwealth Games.

Future projects include further writing with Delta Goodrem, a collaboration with Westlife’s Mark Feehily as well as the completion of the new solo album and the development of the BMF label internationally. “I admire artists like George Michael who had the guts to establish their own identity in the business and that’s what I aspire to do”.

Although McFadden’s name appears on over 50 million CDs throughout the world, he stresses that this release means most to him. “I am proud of my past, but I’m really excited about my future”.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Guess What?

I now have a second blog because I'm, like, so special.

Nah, it's actually just to save space and make things a bit neater, seeing as this blog was becoming a hodgepodge of movie stuff, westlife stuff, and the occasional random post.

So, now I have a blog just for movies/entertainment stuff, while this blog will stay Westlife-specific.

You can access the new blog, wittily titled Chooken Snaps' Bogus Filmventure, through my profile. All the old reviews are in there, and that's where I'll be putting all new ones in future, plus any random movie news of interest, because now I have room for it. Things breed faster when they have more space - that's biology for you.

I (don't) Want Candy

Westlife have released The Love Album for the Asian market. It's basically the same as the old one, except they've bunged a few b-sides onto a second disc.

The new disc also includes a new song - a cover, obviously - Butterfly Kisses. It's a Bob Carlisle song about daddy's little girl, and it's like cutting your wrists open with sugar razorblades while pouring a bucket of treacle down your throat.

The boys handle it well, surprisingly enough, for a song that's so irredeemably sickly-sweet. The instrumental is more understated than the original and allows the boys' voices to shine. And when I say boys, I mean boys... plural. Yep, they actually let all four of them sing, and it again raises the question of why it doesn't happen more often.

Nicky especially handles his vocals with touching ability, not a note put wrong, and infused with the requisite passion, managing to make his lyrics not sound like sugar napalm. Kian, as well, is a standout, though his vocals aren't nearly as affecting and memorable as Nicky's. Mark and Shane do their usual job. As usual.

So, in summary: great vocals, nice instrumental, but a shame you can't sing along without gagging.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer

Of all the senses, it is the sense of smell that has least been explored in the realm of the silver screen. And with good reason. How do you possibly translate a sense so limitlessly varying and so personal an experience into one that can be encapsulated with sound and images?

Director Tom Twyker takes on the onerous task of translate the olfactory to the audiovisual, in his film Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer. Adapted from German author Patrick Süskind’s ‘Das Parfum’, it tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Ben Whishaw), born in the stench of eighteenth century Paris, who possesses a unique and powerful sense of smell.

Whishaw’s Grenouille is a striking character, though whether he can be considered a character is debatable. He is rather a state of mind, an anthropomorphic quest to find the world’s greatest aroma through any means necessary, his permanently mystified gaze a testament to the skill of the actor at manipulating his character’s emotion with subtle strength.

Through the brilliant uses of colour, sound, and cinematography, it becomes astoundingly easy to follow Grenouille’s olfactory expedition. Every scent is laid bare in a way that is astonishing in its ingenuity, and even for those not blessed with a sympathetic sense of smell, the film is a visual masterpiece.

However in the story it falls short. The narrative is excellent, an intriguing tale of murder and desire, yet the characters struggle to elect a protagonist. At times it is the tormented Grenouille we align with, yet just as quickly we can become immersed in hatred for him, and sympathy for his victims. While this could have been used to great effect, the transition is not as seamless as it needs to be, lending a feeling of unwelcome disconcertion.

Still, with flawless acting (Alan Rickman and Rachel Evan-Wood are outstanding, though it is Dustin Hoffman who runs off with his portion of the show), and with a delicate use of his audiovisual facilities, Twyker’s film is a superb example of the power cinema can wield in the right hands. A definite must-see, if only for the rare chance to see something truly different and breathtaking.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to Kevin McDaid! His birthday was actually on the 7th, but my computer was being stubborn. Sorry Kevin! I know you've been devastated, wondering if I'd missed it.

Hope he had a lovely day with that spunky boyfriend of his.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Shane's Diary From The Road

Hi everyone

I’m writing this on our way to Port Elizabeth, where we’re playing our next gig. We’ve had an amazing time in South Africa so far, the fans have been fantastic and we’ve really enjoyed travelling around this beautiful country.

We’d also like to pass on our thanks to all the Australian fans who came to see our shows – we were completely blown away by you and couldn’t have asked for a better start to our tour. It’s impossible to pick a favourite gig as we enjoyed every single night and the reaction from you lot was incredible. Australia’s amazing!

Am going to try and grab some sleep now, like the other lads are doing – we’re all pretty tired, but loving every minute of it.

Catch you soon


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Boyband Love

Sydney Star Observer


SUNNY BURNS: How are you finding Australia?

MARK FEEHILY: Australia has been great so far. We went to Perth and had a few days off in the sun, but we have been skipping from place to place for the last few gigs.

SB You came out two years ago. Was it a big step?

MF It was enormous at the time. I’m lucky that I had the support of all my family, band members and fans. Since then it has all died down, which to be honest is what I want. I wanted to say it and then for it to go away. The less deal made about it the better. I want the message to be that it’s no big deal being gay.

SB So what made you come out?

MF It was an issue that I needed to sort out and I didn’t want to hide it any more. My entire life wasn’t a depression or anything like that. There were some elements that were really hard and at times I didn’t have time to think about it because I was so busy in the band. When the band slowed down, I realised that some part of my life was missing.

SB Did your family and band know beforehand?

MF My family and friends already knew. I also told the band a long time before I came out to the public. They are fine with it.

SB Do you have a boyfriend?

MF I met my boyfriend Kevin McDavid two years ago. He was also in a boy band called V.

SB Was he also a reason for you to come out?

MF Yes, I didn’t want to be going to the cinema or restaurants with hats on and worrying about people seeing me. That’s not me at all. So, I nipped it in the bud and started a relationship and came out. It has worked really well.

SB How did you meet Kevin?

MF We met at a charity gig in Dublin. Neither of us was publicly gay at the time and we didn’t know that each other was gay. It was really funny. We just connected and have excellent chemistry.

SB How is the relationship going?

MF It’s going fantastic. We just had a two-year anniversary at the end of January. We went to the charity concert where we first met and partied all that night. The next day I hired out a penthouse and got a dog as well. We just spent the entire day lounging around watching TV and getting room service. It was really nice. We also have a place in London together. He is just a missing piece of me that I haven’t had for so long and something I always longed to have and now I have it. It’s better than I thought it would be.

SB Are you doing anything for Mardi Gras?

MF No, because we have gigs in Melbourne and Brisbane. I was here last year, practically for the whole event. I saw the parade. It was one of the best nights of my entire life. This time we are just missing it by the skin of our teeth. I was really disappointed. I’m jealous that you all get to go to Mardi Gras.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Westlife in Brisbane (TOUR SPOILERS!)

The boys used Australia as a dress-rehearsal this year, kicking off the tour in Perth before heading to Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and, tonight, Brisbane.

For the most part, it was a success. The song choices were the usual bland hits mixed with a few of the covers from the love album, but sung with such novel passion that they were instantly gratifying. It probably helps that it's only been a week, and they haven't gotten sick of the songs yet. They were all sung with infectious enthusiasm.

The medley was fantastic; a tribute to boybands heralded by a voiceover suggesting that once upon a time, four boys (I'm not even going to start on what's wrong with that number) spent their time in their bedrooms, copying the moves of their idols, before becoming the successes they are today. And so followed a raging party of boyband hits, including New Kids On The Block, Boyzone, Take That, Backstreet Boys, and Bros, danced with carbon-copy moves that managed to be delightfully cheeky, rather than cheesy and contrived.

Some song choices, though, were baffling. The performance of You Are So Beautiful, during which only Shane and Mark graced the stage, and Nicky and Kian were nowhere to be seen, was jarring. Not to mention, rather insulting to the missing boys and more evidence of the fact that Westlife has become vastly asymmetrical over recent years.

But the songs that worked went down a storm. When You're Looking Like That, Amazing, My Love, and plenty of the other usual songs were performed with passion and fun, and the newer covers from The Love Album, Easy and Total Eclipse of the Heart were great new additions to round out the old standards. If only they hadn't cut Love Can Build A Bridge after the second show.

Also, it's too bad the show didn't go on longer, the running time feeling just slightly too brief at one hour and twenty minutes.

So, on the whole, a great night and a worthy addition to the Westlife tour catalogue, but not one of their best. It mostly holds itself on the strength of the medley, and on the spirit of the boys whom, after eight years, show no sign of faltering.

On a personal note, you'd think people would know that they're going to a concert by a boyband, and not get cranky because teenage girls are standing, dancing and screaming. Thankyou Mr Security Man for informing Mr and Mrs Crankypants of their mistake. If he would like any help, I can give them a map to the nearest bowls club, library, or RSL. They can sit down there, instead of ruining the first two songs for me by complaining.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Westlife On Sunrise

Tune into Sunrise tomorrow morning on Channel Seven to check out Westlife performing 'Easy', from their latest album, 'The Love Album'!


Friday, February 23, 2007

Nicky's Diary From The Road

So, we have done our first concert of the tour and let me say it was phenomenal! It's always so nice to perform all around the world and get such an amazing reception, so thanks to everyone who was there to support us.

I don't want to give too much away about the show to those coming to the other dates, but I hope those that were there on Wednesday will agree all our hard work rehearsing has paid off. We are having such a ball on the road and can’t wait to continue touring this amazing country.

See you in next week's update

Love Nicky

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Westlife Touch Down In Oz! Tune in for Interviews Everywhere!

Irish boys Westlife touched down in Australia on Sunday for their five show tour and we're stoked to welcome them back to our shores to perform with our very own Anthony Callea! If you don't already have tix, they?re still available so grab yours and listen out on your TVs and radios for interviews with the lads (details here), as well as their brand new tune 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart'.

Australia, show your love! Nicky, Kian, Shane and Mark, aka Westlife, arrived in Perth on Sunday for the first leg of their Aussie tour and we're sure you're as excited as we are to have them back on our shores.

Set to kick off tomorrow night, Wednesday, February 21 at Perth's Challenge Stadium, the foursome will then continue through Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane and are sure to bring you some pretty amazing performances.

Speaking to us last time they were here, the boys said they liked to mix it up a little in their live shows with some old favourites and new tracks from their latest release 'The Love Album' including the new single 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart' (listen out for it now on your radios now).

Either way, they're guaranteed have you all on your feet, so expect the unexpected!

And as a super-special bonus, don't forget to get to the shows early, as the boys will be performing with none other than Aussie favourite Anthony Callea who will no doubt knock your socks off with his latest tunes from his new album 'A New Chapter'.

Tickets are still available for all five shows - see details below - grabs yours now and don't miss the #1 UK band chatting to media in exclusive interviews on NOVA 969, Hot 30 radio, Video Hits, and!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

'Total Eclipse' No Longer New Single

Lou, from the official messageboards, posted this this morning:

Westlife will no longer be releasing ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’ as a single. Although the band love the song, their touring commitments mean that they wouldn’t be able to give the single release the full attention it deserves. Thanks to everyone who has given the song such positive feedback – the boys are very much looking forward to performing it at their live shows.

First of all, I'd like to commend most of the fans on their reaction toward the news - they've treated it with dignity and sensitivity. However, as usual, there's abeen a few fans getting uppity about it for their own selfish reasons.

But really, I've got to agree that this was the best course of action. With Nicky's twins being born in June and with all the constraints that being in Australia will place upon promotion, I'd rather they take it a bit easier than having to run from country to country, tiring themselves out. This happened before with Bop Bop Baby - they released it mid-tour and ended up nearly running themselves into the ground, and the single only went to #5 anyway because they couldn't do all the promotion they wanted to.

So fair play to you lads. I'm glad you took the honest route, rather than killing yourselfs promoting something that, really, is just a cover that's on the album anyway.

The lads start their tour tomorrow night in Perth. Best of luck to them, and I can't wait til next Wenesday in Brisbane!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Kian's Diary From The Road

Hello there

Kian here. It’s been another full week of rehearsals for us. We’ve been working incredibly hard and we’re all quite tired, but the show’s come together really well and we’re incredibly proud of it. None of us can quite believe the tour starts next week though!

Flying to Australia today, so that gives us chance for a bit of a rest. We’ve got one final day of rehearsals on Tuesday, and then we’re live on stage in Perth on Thursday!

Catch you soon

Monday, February 12, 2007

Ryan Confidential Transcript (Part 6)

The last part of the Gerry Ryan interview. The lads talk about what would happen if their partners ever asked them to leave the band.


Gerry Ryan: Can I ask you all then this question: how do your partners feel about being part of the public persona?

Shane: They don’t like it, I think, is… is the right answer. But they… they know that it’s part of what…

GR: Now, Shane, when you say ‘they don’t like it’, do you mean ‘they really don’t like it and this is something I’m gonna have to end up dealing with’?

Shane: Well they’d rather not be in the spotlight. They’d rather not, y’know, have to… have to worry about things if they’re going… if y’know, we’re on holidays and some of us have got pictures before on holidays and stuff like that and they’re never gonna be flattering photographs. They don’t like that side of it, if you like. The fact that we bring attention to them that they don’t need to have, if you know what I mean.

GR: Have you had the conversation, have you had the ‘look, what about the car, what about the helicopter, what about the villa…?’

Shane: No no no, not in that way.

GR: ‘…don’t be giving out to me.’

Shane: No they don’t give out about it. They don’t… it’s not like that. They don’t give out about it. They know…

GR: Not ‘they’. Your missus.

Shane: Yeah, Gillian, she understands what… what it is, y’know, she understands that that’s part of my life. She’s understood from the very start.

GR: What if she said to you: ‘I can’t handle this anymore, you have to leave Westlife.’

Kian: A person that loves you will never put that demand on you.

Shane: Yeah.

GR: That’s an amazing response. ‘A person that loves you will never say that to you.’

Kian: No. A person that loves you will never demand that off you, for you to give up your passion. For you to give up the thing that you…

GR: But what about their passion?

Kian: But that’s…

Nicky: I’d be gone if Georgina said that to me.

GR: Alright, let’s… okay, we’ve gone…

Shane: It’s grand, I’m happy enough, we’ve had enough.

GR: You’re happy out.

Shane: Yep.

GR: Okay.

Kian: I’d be happy out at this stage. I’d say… I’d say goodbye to Westlife at this stage. Because of the last eight years. If she said it to me at the start of the band, I’d say ‘no way, forget about it’. But she would never, ever, ever ask me to do that. And neither would Georgina, and neither would Gillian, and neither would Kevin. And that’s why we’re with them people.

GR: You don’t know that.

Kian: We do know that, because we wouldn’t be with them if they did.

GR: Sorry, hold on, guys, you actually don’t know that.

Shane: Yeah, but you can’t tell the future.

GR: You don’t know what the futures gonna hold for you.

Shane: Why do you think we’d… they’d ever want us to leave?

Kian: Unless something drastic happened…

GR: I’ll tell you why I think this, right. Because I think that one of the most challenging things for anybody is to be associated with somebody who’s famous, is in the public eye, and who becomes iconic. All of which you four guys are. And you don’t realise it.

Kian: The only person who might not do that in probably that respect is Nicky because of… of…

GR: So when your partners say, like ‘I can’t take it anymore, I can’t take it anymore’, you’re all going to slip.

Mark: No no, I don’t think it’s a thing of just someone turning around and going ‘right, that’s it’, like as in it’s their decision, ‘I’m gonna call it a day for you in Westlife, right, you can come home to me.’

GR: But that’s what happens in relationships

Mark: Mm.

Shane: I can never see it happening. I can honestly never see that happening. I could never see any…

GR: Now now now hold on, bear with me, right? This happens in relationships. If it happens to you… if it happens to you (Nicky), you’ll slip.

Nicky: I think I’m not naïve to think that something like that couldn’t happen, especially if the way we’re planning Westlife to go for the next ten years, now we’re signing new contracts and stuff.

GR: Yep.

Nicky: And I think if one of our spouses was to crack under pressure, with kids and school, with you away all the time and around the world.

Shane: Yeah.

Nicky: And if it… I’m not saying it’ll happen over dinner one night, she’ll say ‘you have to leave’, you’re like ‘alright lads, I’m gone’.

GR: That’s exactly the way it happens.

Nicky: Yeah, no but I’m not saying I’d make that decision, I’d like… I would say I’d ring the lads and explain it like that. Obviously it’s not a decision that you would just make in twenty-four hours. I would try talk things around, see if we can make things better in the situation. But if it was the last straw… I would go. Absolutely!

GR: You’d go. What would you do?

Kian: In that scenario I’d go, yeah.

Shane: Go, definitely. Without a doubt.

Mark: Honestly he would never say that. He wouldn’t say ‘it’s me or the band’, there’d be like massive reasons. Probably if it did happen – touch wood it never will – you’d have to be going through months and months of problems in the relationship. It’d be a last resort.

Shane: It’d have to be something, it’d be either problems within the relationship, or problems with kids, or problems with school or something like that. That’s the only way I can see it.

GR: Isn’t it fantastic that we’re all suffering from the same delusion?

Mark: (laugh)

GR: Westlife, it has been an absolute pleasure to have you.

Nicky: Thank you

Shane: Cheers, Gerry

Kian: Cheers

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ryan Confidential Transcript (Part 5)

The second last part of the Gerry Ryan interview! The lads talk more about their relationships, and get into a bit of a tiff with each other over the tour buses.


Gerry Ryan: So what happens in your life when your missus is looking after the child and you’re going out and touring? Does she get pissed off?

Shane: Well obviously she’s at home a lot more. She’s at home a lot more, she’s dealing with Nicole on a… on a more basis than obviously I am. Cos I’m… I’m going to work and doing concert tours and whatever. But she is a stay-at-home mum and she’s getting used to that fact now. She’s…

GR: What does she think about that?

Shane: She loves it, but…

GR: So you go out and tour, go to the nightclubs, record the albums…

Shane: No no no no no…

GR: …and she stays at home and watches the child.

Shane: Not at all. Not at all! Jesus, no way.

GR: Okay, well redefine that.

Shane: Well… I definitely obviously go on tour, but she comes with me, she be backstage with me so Nicole… I go onstage, I come back, I take Nicole in my arms, I go home.

GR: That’s how you survive. What about you? Have you…? What are you gonna do? Is she coming on tour with you, with the baby?

Nicky: Well no exactly, no all of the above.

GR: Precious on tour?

Nicky: Well, yeah funny you should say that. We had an argument among the four of us about the tour bus.

Shane: We need a new tour bus, eh…

Nicky: Yeah, this is about three weeks ago. And I knew obviously…

Kian: You’ll be paying for it, you’ve got kids!

GR: He’s not gonna put up with this, he’s gonna have his own separate bus!

Nicky: Yeah, he’ll be paying for it himself.

GR: (laughs) Clock that

Nicky: No no, I knew Georgina was pregnant and we were talking about tour buses and then we actually… Shane and Kian… or Mark and Kian went up north of… of England…

Mark: When I heard you were pregnant I was like ‘that’s why he was asking about a second tour bus!’

Nicky: Was actually Shane said it to me.

GR: A second tour bus! He needs a second tour bus?

Nicky: No no no, Gerry listen, listen.

Mark: We’re all on one at the minute.

Nicky: Listen, we’re all on one, right? And for a long time Mark didn’t have… a boyfriend or a girlfriend at the time, and then when he… when he obviously met Kevin and everything came out, Kevin now travels with us. That’s one more person. We obviously have people on the road that travel with us, Shane has Nicole, Kian has Jodi, I have Georgina, Kian now brings his little puppy around…

Kian: It sits in my lap about this size, y’know, so…

GR: That’s your own business.

Nicky: (laugh)

GR: You need your own separate tour bus, do ya?

Nicky: No absolutely not.

Kian: No, for them two to share a bus and…

Shane: For us to have a tour bus, a family tour bus with babies on it, and a bus with the lads for the rock and roll, drinking… (laugh)

GR: That sounds pretty good. So that’s what we’ll have. We’ll have the rock and roll tour bus for Westlife…

Nicky: Well I don’t see any other option!

GR: Headed up by you (Kian)… by the way, who else would be in it?

Kian: Me, Jodi, Mark and Kevin, and all our mates.

GR: And your (Shane and Nicky) tour bus will be sponsored by Pampers.

Shane: Yeah

Nicky: Yeah. With Fianna Fail logo on the side (laugh)

Kian: I’m definitely not getting on that bus.

GR: Will that be the thing that eventually decides it all, will it?

Kian: Well, I mean, I argue against the tour bus because I said there’s no way in the world we’re spending a… uh x amount of money on a second tour bus, it’s completely stupid and completely irrational.

GR: This is the Larry Mullen of Westlife speaking.

Kian: Why in the world… why in the world would we… would we spend that much money, y’know, if you wanna spend it, off you go but you ain’t taking my cut out of it. That was my ar… my attitude towards it.

Nicky: And now you’ll go backtracking, you’ll have to…

Kian: No no, I, no, I’m not gonna backtrack on anything. Because…

Nicky: You’re gonna have to.

Kian: Why?

Nicky: Well what are we gonna do now?

Kian: But that’s up to you! You have the kids, not me.

Nicky: Yeah, but you’ve the dog as well, and the…

Kian: The dog’s sits on my lap…

Nicky: Well have to talk about it, Gerry.

Shane: But see, for us to be in the band and prolong the life of the band, which benefits you and you as well, we’d have to accommodate.

Kian: No, we’ll sit down and argue this in our own time.

Shane: It’s true, though

Nicky: We’ll argue it now, if you like.

Shane: It all helps. It all helps.

GR: Sort it out now, is what I say. Everybody’s got to be happy, don’t they? So if being happy means two tour buses…

Nicky: That’s my point, exactly.

Young Divas Pull Out Of Gig

Herald Sun

TOP-SELLING pop group The Young Divas have pulled out of the Westlife tour.

The group -- which contains Ricki-Lee Coultier, Emily Williams, Paulini Curuenavuli and Kate DeAraugo -- had been booked to support the Irish boy band when they tour Australia later this month.

But the girls have stepped down from the tour and been replaced by Anthony Callea.

The Westlife tour was initially booked for the Rod Laver Arena last September, but was rescheduled for the Vodafone Arena on February 26.

The support act reshuffle comes at a time when the group has been weathering speculation that Coultier is set to leave the quartet permanently, amid rumours of rampant egos and personality clashes.

Coultier filmed the video clip for the Diva's next single during the week and has headed overseas for six weeks to work on her solo album.

Lavina Williams, the sister of Diva Emily and also an Idol graduate, will stand in for Coultier while she is overseas.

Diva's manager David Champion tipped cold water on the red hot rumour that Coultier was planning to quit the group.

He said she would be promoting the girls' new single and would record the Divas' next album. "The Young Divas' success has surprised everybody," Champion said.

"It has been a rollercoaster of highs and lows, but the Divas are intent on going forward and continuing on this whirlwind of a ride.

"They are disappointed they won't be sharing the stage with Westlife, but are looking forward to headlining their own tour later this year."

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Ryan Confidential Transcript (Part 4)

The next part of the Gerry Ryan interview. In this part, all four lads talk about their relationships.


Nicky: I might cross my T’s and dot my I’s a little bit more than I would of if I wasn’t married to her. But I think I would be the kind of person I am if I wasn’t married to her anyway, in terms of y’know, I wouldn’t be this mad druglord or this mad, y’know, alcoholic or… I don’t… you know what I mean, I’m not whiter than white just because I’m married to the Taoiseach’s daughter. Put it this way: I’d never want to bring shame on… on the family, but I’d never want to bring shame on my mam and dad, on my own family just as much.

Gerry Ryan: So for instance, what Brian did wandering up Baggett Street which was at a strange time in his life, and do you know what? I’ve been there. You want to take your trousers down and fart in the face of Ireland, right.
All: (laughter)

GR: Brian can do that. You can’t.

Nicky: No.

GR: Of all of us here at the table. Of all of us here at the table. You can’t.

Nicky: I know. But I wouldn’t want to. And that’s the truth. That’s the truth.

GR: Is he that together, Kian?

Kian: It’s not in his personality to do something like that anyways.

Nicky: Well I’ve never…

GR: Is he the most together?

Kian: I don’t know, I think we’re all pretty together when it comes to things like that. But what I think Nicky is saying is he’s not the type of person… it’s not in his genes anyways. It’s in Bryan’s to go take his trousers down and show his arse to Baggett Street, you know what I mean? Whereas it’s not actually in Nicky’s personality. You know, like I mean, the odd… if I was extremely drunk and young enough I might have done it, and Mark probably would have done it as well and it’s not in Shane’s personality. D’you know what I mean? You… you know who’s like that and who’s not.

GR: Shane looks like he likes the idea though.

Shane: (laughs)

Kian: He probably does like the idea. But he wouldn’t do it.

GR: So you’re the most measured person at this table then, I think.

Nicky: No, I wouldn’t say that, no. It’s not a chore, it’s… it’s the way I am. You know what I mean. I’ve never… I was a footballer before Westlife so I never did drugs from a young age. I’ve never done drugs in my life. Ehm… I didn’t really drink that heavily until I was… til I met all them! (laughs)

Kian: Til you met the culchies.

Nicky: Yeah. And ehm… and then I s’pose I watched… I mean, listen, of course I watched myself a little bit. Sometimes it can be a little bit harder, y’know, I s’pose the odd time, but nothing major.


GR: What was the last bit of advice, what was the last slap you got?

Shane: Um…Um…

Kian: She packs a good slap, Gillian.

Mark: Oh yeah.

Shane: Yeah, Gillian’s the boss…

GR: They’re all in agreement on that!

Mark: No, I… I crack my knuckles sometimes and she hates it and she literally thumps the head off me, like.

Shane: Yep. Ehm… the last bit of advice I got was probably to do with… like being out late, drinking and making a show of myself.

All: (laughs)

Shane: It probably was, like… but it probably was!

Mark: Probably, yeah.

Shane: I’m gonna be honest about it. If I’m out at a club and I’m having a good laugh, I don’t wanna go home. I’m going like ‘oh come on!’

GR: So you say (slurring) ‘you go home… I’ll follow you…’

Shane: ‘I’ll follow you’, yeah

Kian: Shane goes… Shane goes (slurring) ‘everybody! There’s a party at my house! Come on! Let’s go! Everybody… my house… party!’

Shane: And Gillian go round telling everyone ‘there’s no party, we’re going home to bed. Shane’s going home to bed.’ So that’s… that’s probably the only that really… y’know, that might annoy her. I’m sure there’s loads of things.

GR: Have you ever been put out of the bedroom?

Shane: Ehm… I’m sure I have, yeah. I probably have, yeah, once or twice, yeah.

Kian: Ooh, I’ve never been put out of the bedroom.

GR: (Kian impersonation) Ooh, I’ve never been put out of the bedroom

All: (laughter)

Shane: Nah, I probably have if… if I’m…

GR: Honest?

Shane: No no, (laugh) no. If I’m… no, I’m being honest. If I was… if I was drinking… If I came home and I was drunk and I’d had to much to drink or whatever, and I’d be like…

GR: Come on scenario, scenario.

Shane: I’d be talking in my sleep and the baby was in the cot she’d say ‘come on, go out.’


Kian: She’s giving me grief. She’s like ‘when are you gonna make an honest woman out of me?’

GR: You want to get married, do you?

Kian: Um… I do want to get married! Yeah, definitely. I… I…

GR: Now be careful what you say. Careful what you wish for.

Kian: Ah, don’t worry. I’ve no problems. I definitely wanna marry her and I will definitely marry her.

GR: Why?

Kian: Because I love her and I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I see her as the perfect person to… for us to have babies together and to live the rest of our lives together, y’know.

GR: Yeah.

Kian: Stop analysing me. I can see you sitting there…

GR: (to Mark) You can’t get married just yet because… or maybe…

Mark: I s’pose I could. Not in Ireland but I could if I wanted.

GR: Are you interested?

Mark: That’s not really a question that I can even answer because it’s not…

GR: Can the hetero guys just tell you something? Stick with them, love them, be with them. You’re not gonna have babies, I don’t know if you really need to get married.

Mark: What, so you’re saying… we’re saying the only reason you want to get married is cos… cos straight relationships…

GR: Actually, that’s a good question. Why are any of us married? Why are you married?

Shane: Well I think… I disagree with that though… cos I think... No, I disagree with what you’re saying. No, like, you have your fair point obviously but, y’know, he doesn’t necessarily, obviously… obviously they’re never gonna have babies but he can marry the guy if… if he wants to have that same commitment, let’s say that me and Nicky have…

Nicky: (spits drink with laughter)

Shane: …to our wives, not to each other, and that Kian wants to have, he can have that as well. But just in a different way.

GR: And do you care about that? Would you like the marriage ceremony to be part of your experience? The commitment?

Mark: Yeah, I mean if… the same as when Shane and Gillian got to the point in their relationship where they want to get married, if and when I get to that point in my relationship then I certainly would, absolutely would get married.

GR: And you’re not at that point yet.

Mark: No, I… I’m literally, kind of…it’s early days in my first serious relationship and it’s just simply not something that I’m thinking about, y’know? It’s not like… y’know, and I don’t know when I will think about it yet, it’s not like…

Kian: I think what Mark is saying is fair enough because… it’s the same with me, like, y’know I’m with Jodi three-and-a-half years and everyone’s going ‘when are you getting married, when are you getting married’.

GR: Have you asked her to marry you?

Kian: No, no. I’m… like, y’know, we’re not there yet, as far as I’m concerned. Y’know, it’s like as much as we’re there, you wouldn’t… a normal couple that are together three-and-a-half years don’t run out and get married. It’s only because I’m in the public eye that people are going…

Shane: The minute that you were going out with her people were asking…

Kian: ‘When are you getting married, when are you getting married?’

Shane: And then once you get married ‘when are you having babies, when are you having babies?’ Then when you have a baby ‘when are you having another baby, when are you having another baby?’ It’s literally like…

Kian: I want to get married when I have time to enjoy being married. When I can turn round to her and say ‘right babe, let’s go off, let’s travel the world for six months, let’s leave all this behind, this mad life that we’ve been living behind for awhile, and enjoy each other’s company’, y’know? Rather than have to go straight back in to work and do another tour and do another album and all that type of stuff.

GR: That will… that’s unlikely to happen, you’ll have to do it in the summertime.

Kian: No, it will, it will. It’ll happen in the next few years because, you know, Westlife will start taking a year out here and another year…

GR: Do you look at him (Shane) and go, do you see him arriving here today with the child…

Kian: I think that’s beautiful. But… you know, I think that’s fantastic. But I don’t think it’s for me yet.

GR: Do you look at this and go ‘Jesus, the lads are getting married, they’re having the babies…’

Kian: Well, I mean, I’m looking at it going ‘the lads are having the babies, fair play to them, I’m glad it’s not me.’

Friday, February 09, 2007

Tenacious D: The Pick Of Destiny

Tenacious D: The Pick Of Destiny is pretty much what you’d expect. A singularly rocksome affair, filled with laughs, silliness, Jack Black’s usual face-pulling, and rocking tunes. Oh, and Satan.

Teaming the writing talents of ‘The D’ (Jack Black and Kyle Gass) with Liam Lynch (the United States Of Whatever guy), this was always going to be a fun ride, hellbent on being as ridiculous and puerile as possible (listen to D classic Fuck Her Gently and you’ll get the idea). And in that it delivers, creating something so unashamedly juvenile it’s more than a guilty pleasure.

The story: two overweight, face-pulling wannabe rock stars go on the road to find the ‘pick of destiny’, a legendary guitar pick made from Satan’s tooth, so they can win an open-mic contest and pay the rent, is nothing short of genius, and just what we’d come to expect. It’s full of sight-gags, general slapstick, and cocksucking jokes, but they’re given such a vibrantly fresh feel it’s impossible to compare this with other crass comedies (Epic Movie, anyone?).

Not only is it a fun dig at just about everyone crossing the D’s path to glory, it’s also a great game of ‘spot the celeb’, with hilariously memorable cameos from Meatloaf, Dave Grohl, John C Reilly and Ben Stiller. But it’s Tim Robbin’s momentary role that steals the whole show.

Not for everyone, of course. The uninitiated will be left scratching their heads and wondering why Shallow Hal is swearing so much. But for the Tenacious D fans out there, it’s a must-see.

Ryan Confidential Transcript (Part 3)

Here's the third part of the Ryan Confidential interview. In this part, Mark talks about coming out and how his relationship with Kevin has affected him, and that decision. (Yes, Mark actually SPEAKS in this interview... though it's with the usual Feehily incoherency. Y'know, or whatever, basically.)


Gerry Ryan: When did you decide ‘I’m not like the rest of them’

Mark: Oh well I suppose I knew that I wasn’t like the rest of them, anyway… nothing with being gay, or nothing like that

All: (laughter)

GR: And… and when did you tell them?

Mark: Erm… probably about… was it about four years ago?

Shane: About four years ago. In my apartment, wasn’t it?

Nicky: I think we probably all had our suspicions at the time. It wasn’t like, breaking news to us.

Shane: It wasn’t like… (gasp!)

Mark: It was more like I confirmed something they already knew to them as opposed to telling them this big thing, shock them, y’know? Ehm…

GR: But what did you say? It’s such a personal thing…

Mark: I guess we just got a bit drunk and… I was like this was the perfect moment. Actually I think Nicky and Shane… I was… I’d been out drinking with Nicky and Shane in London in a pub and ehm we went back to Shane’s and we were just whatever, watching DVDs and stuff like that and we were continuing to have a few drinks or whatever and I was like right, there’s nobody else around, it’s just us, it was very rare that that happens, there’s always somebody else around, y’know. So I just said it to them, there and then, and then I think that weekend…

Kian: And then… one hundred questions! (laughs)

Nicky: I think it was good cos it was kinda of a… y’know, we’re so happy for you that you can confide in us now and we can, y’know, continue on, y’know, and… and you can be happier I s’pose. That was it, wasn’t it?

GR: Did you for a minute think ‘I don’t know how this is gonna pan out…’

Nicky: With the fans? Not for one single second and that’s the god’s honest truth, may I be struck down now. If that was gonna finish the band there and then, well that was just… that was just meant to be.

GR: Was there any negative at all?

Mark: Zero. Honestly, nothing like.

GR: I don’t think there would…

Mark: Absolutely not one. I mean, I don’t know what… if people kinda said things to themselves when I’m not around or whatever, but erm, which I don’t think they do but...

Shane: We talk about you behind your back all the time.

GR: They do

Mark: They do

GR: I can tell

Mark: That’s okay cos I do it to them as well, so don’t worry about it.

Nicky: (laughs)

Mark: Ehm… I’ve certainly heard not even the smallest amount of negativity, y’know, not anything at all. Which is great, y’know, because I don’t kinda know what to expect. I kind of…

GR: What did you think…?

Mark: I assumed there would be a very small amount. I didn’t… I wasn’t scared that…

GR: But what did you think was going to happen?

Mark: Honestly… honestly I don’t really know. I knew people… I knew it was gonna be a big deal for a day or two, d’ya know what I mean? Not a big deal, but I knew it was gonna be in the papers for a day or two and stuff like that. Cos it’s not really…

GR: What drove you to that moment? What made you…

Mark: I suppose ultimately just being happy. Being in a relationship and sort of that was the final nail to tell me, like, why the hell wouldn’t I tell everyone, y’know? Y’know, I’m living this happy life just like all the rest of the guys in the band, just like some of my friends are, and why the hell wouldn’t I just… celebrate it and tell everyone just like anyone else would, y’know? And I mean I kinda felt like it’s a disgrace that anyone would think this is something that I would, hide, I mean, it’s something that I…

GR: But you had hidden it. So that kinda says a lot about the world that we live in.

Mark: I’d been in the relationship a good while before it all came out and everything and I didn’t want to, like, y’know, I wanted to live in the relationship, y’know for a while before it all kind of came out in the public because I didn’t want all of that crap, y’know, to affect, y’know, me and Kevin if you like.

GR: And are you happy?

Mark: Very happy! But, y’know…

GR: But you obviously didn’t fancy any of these guys anyway, what’s wrong with them?

Mark: I couldn’t even if I tried, to be honest.

GR: Could you not have kept it in the band?

All: (laughter)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Diaries From The Road

Here's Mark's official diary for this week. Following it is Shane's, which was up on the officials last week but which I didn't post. Oops. Sorry.


Hey guys,

During the last week we've been in Sligo doing dance rehearsals for the tour. It's been hard work and we're all aching but it doesn't take long to get back into he swing of it. We think you'll be very happy with the things we've worked on so far.

We've still got a lot of rehearsing to do and the next few weeks will be a tough slog, but believe me it'll be worth it. We can't wait!

Catch you next week for another update.



Hey there
Hope you’re all very well. We’ve been enjoying a few weeks off since Christmas, relaxing and grabbing a bit of peace and quiet, which has been really great, and now we’re back in the swing of things, gearing up to release ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’ next month.

Last week we were busy doing interviews and shoots for various magazines and radio stations, as well as performing at the Childline Concert in Dublin on Sunday, which was a really special show for us – was great to see lots of familiar faces in the crowd.

This week we’re in Sligo rehearsing for the tour. We had some amazing feedback from you guys on the new stuff we tried out for last year’s tour, and we think you’re going to be really impressed with what we’ve got up our sleeves for this one!

Catch you soon


Ryan Confidential Transcript (Part 2)

Here's the second part of the Gerry Ryan interview. In this part, the lads talk about Louis, breaking up, and their tendency to record covers.


Nicky: We’ve grown up with Louis, we’ve become…

Gerry Ryan: But you control Louis, he doesn’t control you

Nicky: Well no, I wouldn’t necessarily agree with that, no. I think, ehm…

Kian: He has a lot of control

Nicky: I think, I think, we’re… It’s almost like he’s a…

GR: Okay, can I just say something? I don’t believe that. I believe you call the shots.

Nicky: No, well then… you’re not right there, Gerry, you’re not… I think it’s ehm…

Mark: Together. It’s like he’s a fifth member, or…

Nicky: That’s what I’m saying, he’s like a fifth member of the band

Mark: He’s got as much input as any of us, as anyone…

Kian: If something doesn’t happen that Louis wants to happen…

Shane: Really wants to happen

Kian: …really wants to happen, he will make it happen. And he will make it happen by constantly badgering us, to the extent…

Shane: Badgering you. And then you badgering us.

Kian: …badgering me, and then badgering all of them…

GR: So him first (points to Kian)

Kian: Badgering me and then I badger the others.

Nicky: What he has with us that he said he didn’t have with Boyzone, which we’ll never know obviously, we weren’t there. We’ll have it out with Louis. D’ya know what I mean? We have the relationship with Louis where if he’s been… if we feel he’s been a little bit too harsh or whatever, you’ll say it to him. And he’ll give us just as much of a bollocking as we’ll… as we’ll give him. And every single one of us sitting at this table have sworn, shouted and… y’know, fallen out with him, might not have spoken to him for a week or two, but what the good thing about us is you don’t read about that. Louis doesn’t say those things and we don’t say those things.

Shane: I honestly don’t know what it is but I think he has a genuine love for Westlife, I think… I think he has a genuine respect for each of us individually for different reasons. Honestly, I think… I dunno

GR: (shakes head)

Nicky: Well what do you think it is?

GR: I’ll tell you what it is. You’re in charge, you’re on top, you’re more mature than anybody else he’s every worked with, you’re making money, he won’t go round with you.

Kian: Maybe.

Nicky: I don’t necessarily agree with that. If Louis wants to… to really get to us, he knows how to do it.

Kian: And he won’t be shy about it.

Mark: And I think maybe other people may have let him do it, but he knows also we… we wouldn’t let him away with doing that.

Kian: I also think that the biggest…

GR: Did you hear that? ‘We wouldn’t let him away with doing that’.

Shane: No but it’s true, though

Mark: No but if he said something we wouldn’t…

GR: Isn’t that what you just said?

Mark: No but he wouldn’t let us away with it as well. It’s like he’s the…

GR: No but all I’m saying is that I think you’re in charge of your own destiny.

Nicky: I think we’re more in charge than probably the other artists he said those things about, maybe. But he won’t say it about us. He might say it about us when we’re finished. But then we’ll say things back and…

GR: When you’re finished…

Kian: Well everyone goes ‘when are you breaking up’, well I mean I don’t ever see Westlife breaking up.

Nicky: We’re breaking up on the 22nd of December…

Shane: We’ll always be a member of Westlife. As in… we’ll always… we’ll never say… we’ll never have that press conference.

Kian: We’ll never say it’s over.

Shane: It’s over. We might take two years out or three years out sometime but… we’ll probably always make another album until we… just don’t make one anymore. People are still waiting for a very long time.

Kian: We will get to a point in our lives where we will turn around to each other, whether it’s public or not, we’ll turn around to each other and say ‘lads, is that it? Are we gonna make another album, are we gonna make another thing’, and it’ll get to a point where everybody goes ‘nah, we should let it go now, lads’


Nicky: Everytime we go to make an album we always want to make studio songs, you know, original songs. That’s the first thing. First and foremost.

GR: Why, though?

Nicky: Well…

GR: And this is an argument that lots of websites have. I want more original songs from them. I want more original songs and one or two covers.

Nicky: You know, we don’t have the luxury of writing our songs.

GR: Do you suffer from not doing that?

Shane: Not at all, not at all. We haven’t, at all. It’s… that’s one thing that’s…

Nicky: I think what it does do, not that we care about this, by the way, I suppose an element of us deep down inside of us cares. But it would stop you from… being recognised and winning certain award shows.

Shane: It’s not that we have to do it, it’s just that every now and then we’d like to do it. We’d like to have a song that nobody else has done before, and literally that’s the only reason. Just for our own sake. Just for us to feel like this is the first song… that this is the first time anyone in the world is gonna hear this song, and it’s gonna be from Westlife.


Stay tuned! Tomorrow: Mark talks about coming out.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Ryan Confidential Transcript (Part 1)

Last week Westlife's interview on Ryan Confidential was finally aired, and I thought it was such a cracking, honest interview it was worth posting here. I'll post a little bit of the transcript each day, as I finish typing it up.

I haven't bothered typing up the little flashback, video cut sections, but just the interview parts.

Anyway, here's the first part, where they talk about Bryan and what happened when he left.


Gerry Ryan: Can you describe when he told you?

Nicky: Yeah, he was actually in Clontarf, I was at home in Malahide, and we were, ehm, we were about three weeks away from our first… er, from our fourth tour. And he said… we were actually at the Meteor awards about two days before that and we’d won best pop act. We went on into the press room to talk about best… y’know to talk to all the journalists and stuff.

GR: And he was roaming around drinking a bottle of vodka…

Nicky: He was having a few drinks but we didn’t… that was Bryan, it could’ve been me the night before, it could’ve been any of the lads…

GR: By the way I’m not taking the moral high ground.

Nicky: No no, it wasn’t it, it was, y’know we were having fun, we were at the Meteor awards, we went home. And we did all the press interviews and there was a bit of a… there was a bit of a disagreement because all the press interviews were directed towards Bryan about Kerry because she’d won the Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. And then Bryan on that night said he was going but, y’know we’d had a few drinks, we didn’t think too much about it. And then the next day he continued to…

GR: But what did he do? Did he bring you all into a room and say…?

Shane: He did, he called, erm…

GR: Is this like when your wife says to you ‘we need to talk’?

Nicky: (laughs)

Shane: No it wasn’t at all. We never thought he’d leave the band, like. You know what I mean.

GR: What did you think he was gonna talk to you about?

Shane: Uh… (sigh) We hadn’t a clue because there was something wrong with him, we knew there was something wrong with him for a few months. We knew that he wasn’t fully happy in the band. But he didn’t tell us why or didn’t… we didn’t know if there was something going on, or…

GR: Two weeks before that he’d been on the radio with me, with Samantha Mumba, saying that, y’know, that he’d been at the party with her and he was out of his mind, he’d been found wondering up the…

Shane: Baggett Street, I heard about that, yeah.

And do you know, you were just going: ‘Jesus Mary and Joseph, what’s the next step?’ So…

Kian: He went wild for awhile. There’s no two doubts about that. But I think he got to a stage in his life where he was with Kerry and he was in Westlife and whether… which one wasn’t working out, he wasn’t sure. So he went the Westlife route first. And he decided ‘my life isn’t the way I want my life to be so I gotta get rid of something in my life that controls. So I think that’s what he did. So he left Westlife. And then when he realised that still didn’t fix problems, he ended up leaving Kerry.

Nicky: But that’s the wonderful thing about hindsight. We know now that the Kerry thing was obviously a bigger issue than what we imagined it to be at the time.

GR: So when you guys… he comes to the flats, right, and he tells you guys ‘I’m outta here’.

Shane: No he didn’t really. He sat down first and we were all kinda smirking. We were all just chatting and stuff like that. There was kind of a funny vibe in the room. We didn’t know what he was gonna say. We hadn’t a clue what he was gonna come out with. And he goes ‘lads, um… I’m hanging up me boots’. And Nicky straight away was like “wha…?” He goes ‘yeah lads, no honestly, I just… I wanna leave it. I’m not happy’ or whatever. We thought it was a joke. We thought we were being like Punk’d.

Nicky: We’d had five years of a bond. That’s what I think in the aftermath of it slightly probably angered us slightly. And I think the press were jumping cos they wanted us to all out but we were determined that we had too much in common with Bryan, too much kinda good love for Bryan, let’s say, to fall out. And I think he had it for us too. In fact, I know he did. But it was very hard as Shane said, in nineteen days, to not be a little bit kinda… yeah.

GR: But what a wake up call, what a wake up call. ‘Okay I’m sorry I’ve got to leave, I’ve got to… I’m sorry about that’ then suddenly you go ‘do we actually need this guy?’

Kian: That was Louis’ kinda moment there. We rang Louis and it was like ‘right, Bryan’s after leaving the band, this is crisis, what are we gonna do?’ He was like (bad Louis impression) ‘relax guys, relax, I’m coming…’

Shane: (bad Louis impression) ‘I’m on the way… I’m on the way… I’m about to go through a red light’

Nicky: He goes, he said to me (bad Louis impression) ‘Nicky, you’ll have to meet me cos I don’t know where I’m going, I’m on the north side of Dublin’, so we met him in Fairview and then I got lost in Contarf, trying… cos my head was in a tizzy.

Kian: And then he came into the room and he was like ‘what are you… what are you talking about?’ And this is in no disrespect to Bryan, he’s not a lead singer, he doesn’t carry the band, he’s not the – shall we say – he’s not the Ronan Keating of the group. He’s not the Gary Barlow of the Take That, or whatever. Y’know, this band can go on with… as a four piece. So we all, five minutes later, we’re like ‘yeah! We can!’

GR: So within five minutes it was ‘Bryan, we don’t need him anymore, we like you, you’re a lovely guy’.

Nicky: There was a few tears amongst us, cos we were kinda sad…

Kian: Cos I thought the band was over…

Shane: Kian… Kian, I remember Kian was slumped on the couch and I stood up and I… I kinda got angry more than anything. I kinda stopped and said ‘lads… let him leave. Y’know, fuck it, like, whatever. If he wants to leave that’s his business’. D’ya know what I mean? And Kian was like (fake-crying) ‘what are we gonna do, like, he’s leaving the band, we got a tour in nineteen days…’ And we was like ‘you know, we’ll get it together. Don’t worry about it. It’s gonna be alright, like.’ And that’s when kinda Louis came in then and put everyone’s minds a bit at rest.

Kian: But it… it made us a better band, without a shadow of a doubt…

Nicky: It made us realise how fickle it was.

Kian: Yeah. We… we had gotten to a stage where we were… after doing our Greatest Hits album, we had something like 18 million, 20 million albums sold, y’know, we had egos at that stage. We were like ‘yeah, we’re Westlife, you know, fuck you, whatever’ You know, not in a big way, but we had it about us to a certain extent. And then we just got knocked right back down to earth. Straight away, like that, and then the next day we got up and the four of us went into dance rehearsals. And we were ‘right lads, let’s make this the best concert we have ever done’

GR: Well I think really the outcome is that he lost, you won, basically. That’s my analysis.

Kian: I don’t like to look at it like that, but yeah

GR: Yeah.

Kian: (laughs)

Shane: Like if you asked us earlier on, like was he an eejit, like, or was he stupid to leave Westlife…

GR: He was.

I think he was mad, in the absolute… rockers. If anyone left Westlife now I think they’d be absolutely stupid.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Stranger Than Fiction

If movies were soft drink, Stranger Than Fiction would be Diet Kaufman.

It has the imaginative plot, the touches of the surreal, the wry comedy of the Charlie Kaufman school of film-making, yet Marc Forster’s dramatically black comedy is missing that extra bit of punch.

The concept is genius – writer Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson, wearing no make-up) is suffering from a severe case of writer’s block in the matter of killing off her main character, not realising that said character is a real person – Harold Crick (Will Ferrell). And here’s the kicker – he can hear her narration in his head.

Yet the film is riddled with too many plot holes. How do we account for the events that Eiffel is not narrating? Why on earth would Maggie Gyllenhaal’s socially defiant baker fall for an IRS auditor that looks like Will Ferrell?

These, and other questions, are not answered in the quest for finding some sort of human truth that tugs at the heartstrings and makes us laugh. Yet neither of these are done in adequate measure.

That’s not to say it’s a bad film – it’s entertaining and has quite a number of brilliant moments; the acting is outstanding (Dustin Hoffman’s literary professor, especially, is wonderful) – but there’s just something missing. Something that could have moved this experience from the cautiously engaging into the truly rousing.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Hunky Westlife!

Congratulations to Westlife, who were voted #75 in The Sun's list of the Top 100 Hunks.

Only #75, you say? How can that be? Is one of those lovely boys bringing down the average?

I doubt it. In fact, I doubt the legitimacy of the poll in general.

When Gary Barlow and pals can come in at Number One (ahead of Johnny Depp (#3) and Jake Gyllanhaal (#5)!), you know something's wrong. Not that Take That don't have lovely harmonies, but I'd rather do Robbie Williams (#9) over his fat, wrinkly ex-bandmates.

Check out the full list here

(and yes, I know the photo is old, but isn't it dishy?)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Westlife: Live At Wembley

Westlife’s sixth tour was an exuberant, exhilarating presentation. Frenetic dance moves, amazing light shows, some very entertaining moments, and fantastic singing made it one of Westlife’s best concerts.

It’s too bad that the DVD doesn’t show any of this.

Starting remarkably downkey, the boys descended from the ceiling to open the show, delivering a stirring rendition of Flying Without Wings before storming into the uptempo stuff. But it’s hard to focus on this when the camera is switching between extra-extreme long shots and claustrophobic close-ups. And it continues this way the whole concert.

Rather than enjoy the great dance moves, we’re treated to shots that seem to focus on the pores on the boy’s noses than anything (especially disappointing during the medley). Rather than enjoy the expressions on the boys’ faces, we have to squint to see them, as the camera tracks its way along the very back of Wembley arena.

Apart from the camera work, the editing itself is distracting. Ours barely have time to focus before they have to focus on something new, the choppy effect more conducive to vertigo and motion sickness than enjoyment.

But that’s not to say the DVD doesn’t have some great points. The concert itself is fabulous, even if it’s butchered by the editing. All the boys are on top form, belting out the lyrics and shaking their booties like pros. If only the cameras would focus on Mark or Nicky for once – it seems to be Shane and Kian who get all the screen time. The song choices are outstanding (Pussycat Dolls’ Dontcha especially), their presentation dazzling (Titanic-inspired Queen Of My Heart is heartrendingly naff), and they throw in a few cheeky extras (a striptease; Shane’s handstand).

If you can get past the editing, it’s a delight. If you can’t… bring the sick bucket.

Extras: A short documentary chronicling the photo shoot for The Love Album, and Kian's parachute jump earlier in the year; You Raise Me Up and Amazing video clips; a 'jukebox' where you can reorganise the performances of the show into the order you'd like to see them.

NOTE: check out the photo work on the cover - those are taken by Mark's boyfriend, Kevin McDaid.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

For F*** Sakes...

McFly To Apologise To Westlife
12 January 2007

POP band McFly have been ordered to apologise to Westlife when they meet at the Childline Concert.

They ignited a feud with the Irish group last month by attacking them for releasing an album of cover versions.

Singer Danny Jones said: "We would never do what Westlife did.

"We want to be a real band like Oasis," But now the groups will come face to face at the Point in Dublin on January 28 in one of the biggest concerts of the year.

A show source revealed McFly's management have ordered them to say sorry to Westlife.

The insider added: "At the end of the day Westlife are one of the most successful pop bands of all time and they deserve some respect."

Westlife's Kian Egan said: "We respect everyone else in the music business. "You can't survive long in this game by getting into silly arguments with people."


Does anyone else think this is completely ridiculous?

McFly don't want to do covers!? What an affront!

It's like if Westlife said they didn't want to pursue a career in death metal... Slipknot would be devastated!

McFly should apologise. I mean, if they don't, Westlife might cry.

Another kitty litter liner from the tabloids.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth

1944, rural Spain. Such is the backdrop for Guillermo del Toro’s Labyrinthian effort, a dark and twisted fantasy set beside a dark and twisted reality.

Both fantasy and reality tell the story of Ofelia (Ivana Baquero), a pre-teen sent to live on an army base with her pregnant mother (Ariadna Gil) and new stepfather (Sergo López), the latter a brutal and unhinged army captain with a penchant for torture and impulsive murder.

Obsessed with fairytales, Ofelia creates fantasy in her own mind until she comes across a faun, Pan, (Doug Jones) in a dilapidated stone maze on the base grounds.

Though it may sound like earlier fantasy incarnations such as Wizard of Oz or the similarly titled Labyrinth, this is not a movie for children. The majority of the film focuses on conflict: between the army and the rebels, between the main characters (including Maribel Verdú’s stunning performance as sympathetic servant Mercedes), between fantasy and reality. The violence is unflinching, visceral to the point of disturbing, and the dark, overcast tones are almost as unsettling.

Then there’s the fantasy. The creatures are fantastical, certainly, but carry with them the sort of darkness one should always associate with the grimmest of fairytales. Disney this ain’t, more a reflection of a mind so consumed and surrounded by atrocity.

But even though the frames are painted with the darkest brush, it’s not all doom and gloom. In Ofelia, a sense of innocence is found. Reality is not black and white, rather a state of mind consumed by adulthood.
There are very few drawbacks. Some of the symbolism is inspired, the costume and set design are artistic masterpieces, yet retain their staunch realism. But though the reality aspect of the film is explored to the fullest and most effective, some of the fantasy sequences feel short and lack sufficient build-up (especially a scene involving a giant toad). This is a minor draback, however, and cannot diminish the impact of what is a brilliantly visual, emotional, and psychological journey.

And if you don’t like the symbolic stuff, there’s some pretty cool monsters.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Personal Announcement

I've set up my own slash site, where I'm hosting all my fics. All fics will still be posted at StoryLoife, but now there's an archive solely for my own fics.

It's not quite complete - there are still some fics I need to update. But most of them are there (the best ones, at least).

Check it out:

Friday, January 05, 2007

My Apologies...

...there was in fact some news from last week.

Westlife have the biggest-selling UK album of 2006, with The Love Album.

Let's all be proud of them. Awww...

Hi Folks!

Just got back from a week in Sydney, so I honestly don't know what the hell's going on with Westlife this week. There doesn't seem to be anything major happening, because I would have gotten a few hysterical emails by now.

Except for the one thing I did find out, now that I'm back:

Bloody Brian McFadden's been in Sydney all week. As have I. And I didn't know, so I had no opportunity to stalk and/or be vigilant. Oh well.

Apart from that, I've got nothing else to say, really. Sydney was good. I got five new DVDs, and I forgot to take many photos, so unless you want to see photos of elephants rooting, I wouldn't ask me about them.

Actually, elephants rooting is funny. Who wants to see?

And now I'm gonna go away, because this blog is at risk of turning into some lame-arse livejournal where dickheads talk about how much they like socks.

Bad, post. Bad.

Enjoy the elephants.