IRISH pop supergroup Boyzlife is gearing up to begin their second European tour next month, with a hotly anticipated date at Cork’s Opera House on May 5.
The tour brings Boyzone and Westlife stars, Keith Duffy and Brian McFadden, together again, as they share more stories from their time in two of Europe’s biggest bands, as well as performances of their greatest hits.
Speaking yesterday, Keith Duffy explained that the concept of Boyzlife came from his passion for theatre, and an initial desire to create an autobiographical one-man show focussing on his formative years in Boyzone. After watching Brian play a gig in Whelan’s in Dublin, he asked him to get involved, and the sell-out idea was born.
“It's been a bit of a white-knuckle rollercoaster ride for the past 18 months,” Duffy admits.
“We toured the whole of the UK and various parts of Europe and the Middle East.
“It's been very successful in the UK and we'll be doing a full month of the show there before we come home.” While many of their audience members are original fans keen to relive their youth, Duffy says that the demographics are wide, with a whole new generation becoming exposed to their music.
“It is predominantly a female audience still but you've got three different generations of the same family coming along to our shows.
“Grannies and daughters and mammies and nieces, gangs of girls from the office.
“It's a great show because we're all so long in the game, we know how to hold an audience and have some fun."
A key to the show’s success, besides the catchy hits, is the unbreakable bond between the two showmen, who understand all the ups and downs of beginning phenomenal careers while still only in their teens.
“I remember in the first year of Westlife three of us weren't even old enough to drink,” Brian recalls.
“We'd be playing all these nightclubs and bars and only Nicky and Shane could have a pint.
“Keith was 26 when Boyzone first stopped, most people are only starting their career at that age. I was 24 when I left Westlife.
“I guess it's nice for us now to be back here again a little bit older, a little bit wiser, and able to enjoy it a bit more.” No matter what, McFadden says that Boyzlife is about fun.
“It's different to anything we've ever done before from doing Westlife, Boyzone, solo stuff or even plays, but there's just something fun about this,” McFadden says.
“We don't take ourselves too seriously.
“We enjoy going out on stage and it doesn't seem like work anymore so I think we're pretty happy to do this for a while.”
The five-week tour, beginning April 2, will take the pair from coast to coast, with shows booked across the UK, Denmark and at home in Ireland. Duffy says that he is particularly looking forward to performing in Cork.
“The Opera House has always been good to me.
“I played here in 1994 and we came back again in 1998, and as an actor I've been back.
"I'm hoping that people buy into this and come and enjoy a great night out."
Tickets are now available from www.corkoperahouse.ie.