IRISH singer songwriter and former Westlife member Brian McFadden will be forever grateful to his fellow countrymen in pop group Boyzone.
“If there was no Boyzone, there wouldn’t have been a Westlife,” McFadden said.
“Their manager Louis Walsh was our manager and Ronan Keating was our manager, so we’ve been in the same stables forever and they were really influential in our careers.
“I remember when Boyzone started in Ireland before they broke anywhere else. Their first single went to number one in Ireland and it was a huge explosion in all the papers with teenagers all over the country going bananas.
“They’re a huge part of Irish culture and our first real pop group.”
Westlife began their career as Boyzone’s support act so it seems only fitting that McFadden is again supporting the lads – Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy, Shane Lynch and Mikey Graham – on their Thank You and Goodnight Farewell tour.
“It’s a bit of a sad ending after 25 years of having Boyzone in your life, but I suppose all good things have to come to an end,” McFadden said.
“It’s a great honour for me and a lovely thing to be able to see out the end of their career.
“I’m very close with Ronan, and Keith and I are best friends and have toured the world together (singing Boyzone and Westlife songs as Boyzlife) so I’m delighted to be part of it.”
McFadden, who now lives near Manchester, said concertgoers would get a mixed set from him, featuring his solo work, some Westlife hits and songs from his newly released album of soul classics, Otis.
“I’ve wanted to do these songs since I was a kid, but coming from a pub career it was hard for me to ever consider it,” he said.
“I think you need life experience and have to have gone through things to record an album like this.
“I’m 38 now and have been through the wringer in my life so I think I can sing these songs from the heart and mean it now.”
McFadden’s most recent experience of reaching the semi-final on Dancing on Ice in the UK certainly sounds like it put him in physical pain.
“I loved learning how to skate and being taught by Torvill and Dean, the greatest ever, was an amazing experience,” he said.
“But I dislocated my shoulder in the dress rehearsal for the first show, so that kept popping out every couple of days.
“I damaged by back on the fourth week, so I had to wear a brace and strap on my back every time I skated, then I damaged both of my knees and I had the biggest bruises on my arse that I’ve ever had in my life.
“Apart from that, it was great.”
What: Boyzone – Thank You and Goodnight Farewell tour
Where: HBF Stadium
When: March 30