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Before I start this post I just want to make one thing very, very clear. I love Boyzone. Like love. Really love. More so I have also been madly in love with Keith Duffy for the past 20 years. If he could be cloned, I would marry the clone. These are the greatest loves of my life, obviously besides my child, but including the ex-husband. It’s an unquestionable love and I don’t care what criticism anyone has on the matter. They will remain my greatest loves.
I’m glad we’ve cleared that matter up.
No Matter What
Boyzlife are a combination of the beautiful Keith Duffy of Boyzone and Brian McFadden, a one-time member of Westlife. Don’t get me wrong, I do (did) like Westlife. After all, they were an Irish boyband which would always have me show them favour. But I once had a bad experience at a Westlife concert in Dublin and it put me off them. Although I would say that concert was after Brian left so I’ll not hold that against him. I do even quite like a lot of the earlier Westlife stuff from Brian’s era. Anyway, this unlikely duo has set themselves up and have been touring all over the place for the past couple of years.
So it was to my delight that my darling daughter hatched a plan for my Mum to take me to see them in Manchester for my birthday. VIP. Meet and greet. My mother insisted on coming with me for poor Keith’s protection. She probably wasn’t far wrong there.
Baby Can I Hold You
During my misspent early 20’s, whilst living in Dublin, I used to get to go to a lot of rather swanky events. Film premiere’s, opening of envelopes, that sort of thing. I didn’t really care so long as it involved being able to get dressed up and free alcohol. It was at one of these free champagne events that I first met Keith. The details are vague. That’s what happens when you attempt to drink all of the free drink. But my lasting memory of that night was falling madly in love with Keith Duffy. In my drunken state, I probably told him that. We shall leave that story there.
My mum probably was right in insisting she came along to supervise me. Because at 42 I’m still not fit to be let out unsupervised.
Isn’t It A Wonder
So on a cold, dark, absolutely bloody freezing, snowing night in December off we went to some absolute shit hole in Manchester. With the smelliest toilets you could imagine. A student venue that was about the size of a double garage. But because mother dear had flashed the credit card and got me VIP I got to go in early, get to the front and wait with anticipation. There weren’t that many others there, which although made me feel a little sad that not many others wanted to meet these beautiful humans, I was also glad as it meant I didn’t have to elbow anyone out of my way.
Picture Of You
And then they appeared. All casual and well…………. just adorable. They did one of their sound checks to Mandy, a Westlife number, well originally Barry Manilow but let’s not split hairs. This brought back more drunken Dublin memories so naturally, I had to send a clip to my friend who would also probably have tears running down her face with laughter. Are you seeing a theme of my time in Dublin? It probably is for the best that I came to the UK and stopped drinking.
And then it was meet and greet time and we somehow ended up at the back of the line. Not that the line was very big. My moment with Keith was finally here. And Brian. Sorry Brian, but let’s face it, I’ve been honest, I was there for Keith. A little bit of chit chat and a kiss on the cheek for my birthday (unfortunately I’m not 12 anymore so I did eventually have to wash my cheek) a team photo and a selfie with my man. Just for the record, cheers Ma, it was probably the best birthday present you’ve ever got me. On another note I’ve chopped her out of the team photo because she’d kill me for posting photos of her on here. Hence why there’s also no Brian on the team photo because he was over on that side. Sorry.
We also got a bit of free merchandise. A freshly signed printed photo and a t-shirt.
A Different Beat
I claimed my spot right at the front, spread myself out a bit, nobody was getting in beside me or pushing me out of the way. The girl next to me got with the programme and did the same. She understood that this was our moment. We were literally on the stage and not budging.
The cattle class ticket holders were then allowed in and some warm up act came out. Sorry, I can’t even remember his name now, but he’d been on the X-Factor once over. I didn’t have a clue who he was but some girl behind me thought he was great.
Showtime! There’s something quite amusing about going to watch a band, or collaboration in this case, of a band you used to watch when you were much younger. It was the same when Take That reformed. You end up with all these older women there regressing and reverting back to how they behaved at concerts in their earlier years. And it’s bloody great! There’s something so magical about reliving your youth in your 40’s. Going back to a time of no kids, no mortgage, fun times and this concert was exactly that. And the small venue just made it even better.
Everyone was there because they’d been long-term fans. Well apart from my Mum who is a recent convert after I made her come with me to a Boyzone concert in Liverpool 4 years ago. But, like I said, this was a room full of women with a shared long-term love.
Love You Anyway
Don’t get me wrong, Keith Duffy openly admits there’s a reason he was never allowed to do lead vocals in Boyzone. There were several suspect notes and a few forgotten words. Honestly, I couldn’t care less. I’ve probably heard tribute acts sound better, but that wasn’t the point. The stage presence of Keith and Brian is fantastic. They engage the audience from the start. Both obviously genuinely enjoy what they do and that comes across by the bucket load. They sing all the hits of Boyzone and Westlife, get the audience to join in and have this double act down to a tee.
The moment that Keith leapt from the stage and landed on my head, groin in my face, whilst he got the ones behind me to sing along, will probably be a lifetime memory. The old one behind me who asked where Ronan Keating was. I don’t think she understood the concept. And the really drunk, old enough to be his grandmother, woman, who at the end was trying to push through to try and get a grip of poor Brian to ask where they were going afterwards. Like I said, older women regressing is the best craic.
I Love The Way You Love Me
The freezing cold night, the snow blizzard on the way home, the fly-infested venue, the horrific toilets, none of it mattered. What they provided was a great night’s entertainment. I genuinely went home delighted that I’d gone. Naturally, I’ve also told everyone I know how good it was and I can’t wait to go again. The epic Dad dancing from the pair is worth the ticket money alone.
Can you guess how delighted I was when they announced more tour dates for this year and, deep breath, they are coming to Preston!!!!! I’m putting it down to after 20 years Keith finally feels the need to track me down. What?!?! You think there’s another reason!
When The Going Gets Tough
Ok serious bit now. I appreciate that Irish boybands aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. But if you want a cracking girls night out and you have a vague liking of the great Irish duo, then I can honestly say you will love this gig. Just don’t take it too seriously, sing your heart out, behave like you’re 21 again and you’ll have a ball.
It did make me a teeny bit sad that there weren’t more people there and that for other gigs tickets were still available. After all, these were bands, Boyzone and Westlife, that I’d watched in big arenas for years. Because I’m obsessed with all things marketing I had a good stalk of what they were doing and well, it could be better. And yes, that is a subtle hint to hire me to market the living shit out of it and get the venues sold out. Ok, perhaps not so subtle.
To get yourself tickets here’s a link and hopefully, they will be at a venue near you later this year https://www.seetickets.com/tour/boyzlife
And if you need a little reminder of days gone by and what to expect here’s a video I found of Boyzlife performing live in Manila. And if you want to see my videos there’s a pinned highlight on my Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/sociallysam/
Damn, I really should have click baited the headline.
Oh btw, Brian is lovely too. I’ve never made a secret of my love for Irish boybands and now I have a new love. Boyzlife!
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