Fans love Boyzone for a reason

Boyzone are no strangers to Edinburgh Castle. The Irish man band played a sell-out show at the stunning esplanade in the summer of 2008 – and on July 25, they’re back for seconds.
“We have had a wonderful love affair with our Scottish fans over the past 20 years, so we can’t wait to see them all again in the magnificent surrounding of Edinburgh Castle,” says lead singer Ronan Keating.
Mark Mackie, director of Regular Music, who are promoting the series of Castle Concerts this summer, is equally enthused, saying, “Anyone who attended their sold-out concert there in 2008 will know we’re in for a sensational evening.”
Boyzone’s return to the Capital follows the release of their successful BZ20 album and 20th anniversary tour, and the release of Dublin to Detroit last year.
The Capital crowd will be treated to the best of the new album, as well as all the fan favourites from a back catalogue that includes eight albums are more than 13 million record sales – and that means hits galore, including Love Me For A Reason, Baby Can I Hold Your Hand, Words, and, of course, No Matter What.
Granted, they don’t bother the charts as frequently as they did in their heyday, but Keating, Keith Duffy, Shane Lynch and Mickey Graham are still a big enough draw when they play live to fill venues the size of the castle.
At their peak they were famously managed by X Factor judge Louis Walsh, but it’s fair to say their relationship with the music mogul is a fractious one these days.
That said, Keating admits they wouldn’t be where they are without him, and has some regrets about the way things turned out between them.

“We have had a

wonderful love

affair with our

Scottish fans”

“I think it’s obvious we don’t have a great relationship,” says the 38-year-old, who has also enjoyed a successful solo career with chart-toppers like the UK No.1 Life Is A Rollercoaster and When You Say Nothing At All. “Sadly, it was the way it went.
“He was very important to me as a mentor, and I’m grateful for the opportunities he gave me, because I wouldn’t be here without him.
“But there’s only so much you can give back and be so grateful, and for that not to be appreciated or respected,” he adds.
Keating and the rest of the band have been through some highs and lows – notably the tragic death of original member Stephen Gately from an undetected heart condition five years ago while he was on holiday in the Spanish island of Mallorca – but they still love doing what they do.
“Its a really exciting industry to be in,” says Keating, “but it’s also a very hard and tough industry. It’s one thing to make a success of your career in the music business, but it’s another thing to stay on top.”
That is the challenge for Boyzone these days, and they work as hard as they ever did to keep their fans happy with the music they release and the gigs they put on.
Admittedly, though, things are done at a slower pace than when the group first started out as young men.
“We were just young boys, touring only with our manager and our tour manager at that time,” he says. “Now, our wives and children come with us, so touring is family affair. It’s a very different experience now. But once we go on stage, everything remains the same.”
Pausing, he adds, “Well, apart from the fact everybody has gotten a little older – both Boyzone and our fans.”

Boyzone, Edinburgh Castle Esplanade, July 25.

words: Lara Miller