Wednesday, February 28, 2007
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
Friday, February 23, 2007
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
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
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 Take40.com!
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
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 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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
GR: Westlife, it has been an absolute pleasure to have you.
Nicky: Thank you
Shane: Cheers, Gerry
Sunday, February 11, 2007
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
GR: Brian can do that. You can’t.
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.
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?
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.
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
Shane: Nah, I probably have if… if I’m…
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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?
Thursday, February 08, 2007
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
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’?
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.
GR: 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
Shane: Like if you asked us earlier on, like was he an eejit, like, or was he stupid to leave Westlife…
GR: He was.
Shane: I think he was mad, in the absolute… rockers. If anyone left Westlife now I think they’d be absolutely stupid.