BOYZLIFE, the Irish superboyband formed by long-time pals Keith Duffy and Brian McFadden, will play York Barbican on October 14 on their 27-city Old School tour.
Boyzone’s Duffy and Westlife’s McFadden will be performing songs from their upcoming studio album of original material, Old School, alongside multiple hits from their Nineties and Noughties’ boybands.
Boyzone have chalked up six UK number one singles and worldwide sales of 25 million records; Westlife have notched 12 UK and Irish number one singles and four chart-topping albums.
Boyzlife’s debut album, Strings Attached, revisited nine Boyzone and Westlife number ones, performed by Duffy and McFadden with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Angel Studios, London.
Released on July 17 2020, it topped both the UK and Irish iTunes and Amazon music charts and peaked at number 12 in the UK Official Album Chart.
Duffy, 47, and McFadden, 41, wrote and recorded Old School in studio sessions in between last year’s tour dates. Giving a glimpse into what fans can expect of the May 6 release, McFadden says: “Keith and I grew up in the ’80s and ’90s; the sound of that era is what made us want to be musicians in the first place.
“When we first started talking about making this record as Boyzlife’s first studio album, we naturally talked about those influences a lot and have loved bringing these familiar sounds into our studio sessions and onto this record and cannot wait to take those songs live.”
Boyzlife add: “Working with our producer Jackson has been an extremely creative process. We went into the studio with lyrics ideas, worked together to find a melodic sound to go with the lyrics and built the songs from there.
“Some things just fit into place and others get chopped and changed until we all agree we are on the right track. We are very excited about this album and can’t wait for people to hear it.”
The track listing will be: Burn For You; first single The One (co-written by McFadden with Guy Chambers); A Little Saving; All This Time; Glory Days; Because I Love Somebody; Coming Back To You; Her; If I Asked You To Love and Distant Sun.
Boyzlife, who made their York Barbican on October 17 2021, say: “We cannot wait to get back on the road and this time play Boyzlife original material alongside all of our music over the last 25 years. The show will be a Rolla-coaster through old and new songs and we cannot wait to take our fans on the ride.”
Boyzlife’s Old School tour will take in further Yorkshire shows at Sheffield City Hall on September 29 and St George’s Hall, Bradford, on October 15. Box office: York, yorkbarbican.co.uk; Sheffield, sheffieldcityhall.co.uk; Bradford, Bradford-theatres.co.uk.
INTERVIEWS done for the day, or so they thought as Brian McFadden and Keith Duffy headed off to The Belfry for a fundraising Parkinson’s Disease golf day, representing Ireland on the morrow.
5pm, Tuesday, no response was forthcoming to CharlesHutchPress’s prearranged phone-call to the Boyzlife boyz.
Messages and phone number left; PR company contacted. No problem, Team Boyzlife would be in touch, and sure enough, at 5.30pm, the interview that had slipped off the bottom of the page was back on, Brian and Keith talking ten to the dozen, voices often overlapping as they travelled towards Sutton Coldfield for the Four Nations tournament.
Apologies for the confusion, they said, offering their explanation, as Team Boyzlife clicked into gear, as they would at The Belfry. “Put the two of us together on the golf course and we become one professional golfer,” jokes Brian.
Likewise, two into one will go on Sunday night at York Barbican in the show where Boyzone and Westlife become one as “the Nineties boyband superstars bring you all of the hits of both bands in one evening”.
Brian, 41, and Keith, 47, first took the Boyzlife show on the road in February and March 2020, selling 35,000 tickets. “But we couldn’t finish the tour because of the first Covid lockdown,” says Brian. “We got through 22 of the 40 shows, and 18 months later we’ve started up again [playing King George’s Hall, Blackburn on October 6].
“For us, it was a break we’d never had before. My fiancée Danielle and I ended up having a baby girl [Ruby, born in May 2021] and starting a family again, and Boyzlife got to write our first original album, which comes out next year. The first single is The One and the second one is ready to go too. We’ve all been fighting which one should go first, so maybe around Christmas for the release.”
Boyzlife have released one album already, July 2020’s Strings Attached, following in the footsteps of the late Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison in being teamed up with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO). One difference, Brian and Keith could provide new vocals to nine songs cherry-picked from the catalogue of 18 number one singles shared between Westlife and Boyzone.
“In actual fact,” says Keith, “it was Brian recording his last solo album [February 2019’s Otis] in a tribute to Otis Redding that led to our album. Some of the producers and engineers on that album had been working with the RPO, and they suggested, ‘why don’t you do an album with the RPO too?’.
“The two of us wanted to write an original album but we realised we needed a closing of the past and those Boyzone and Westlife songs are made for an orchestra. We were very lucky to work with them and very pleased with the results.
“Now, within the live show, we have a special section where we’ve recorded songs with the orchestra and we sing them to playbacks. We’ve done that many times in our careers, but never to the accompaniment of 84 musicians in an orchestra with two idiots out front.”
Brian has released five solo albums since leaving Westlife in March 2004, while Keith has completed Boyzone’s Thank You And Goodnight farewell tour, but how and when did they first work together? “I’ll be completely honest with you. It was kind of just getting into a room with a lot of the show being autobiographical and singing only six or seven songs,” recalls Brian.
“We’d never sung together, never worked together, and we picked the easiest songs to sing. Now, when we’re doing the set list, it comes down to tempo and what songs will go together well, and we have to leave out about seven or eight songs, but we still have options as to what to include.
“But we always have to do the biggest-selling songs, like No Matter What, and whenever we sing that song we can’t help but think of Stephen Gately puckering up to sing it.”
So many choices: World Of Our Own; Mandy; Queen Of My Heart; Picture Of You; Words; No Matter What; Uptown Girl; Flying Without Wings; You Raise Me Up; Going Gets Tough; Swear It Again; Father And Son; Love Me For A Reason and My Love.
“But between us we only had six songs that were uptempo!” says Brian. Why? “I guess, if ain’t broke, why fix it? The proof is in the pudding; all those number ones. Everyone else was making up-tempo records when we were the two bands with slow songs.”
Westlife became well known for singing songs sitting down, in the tradition of fellow Irishman Val Doonican in his rocking chair. “That was my nickname from day one. I was ‘Val’ because I wore a red sweater!” admits Brian.
Look at the tour itinerary and you will see the tour dates are divided into clusters between October 6 and December 14. “That’s the difference with the earlier days,” says Keith. “We’re better able to balance our music and family life.
“We both had children when we were young; I have a 21-year-old daughter, Mia, and 25-year-old son, Jay, [Brian has two teenage daughters, Molly and Lilly, with ex-wife Kerry Katona] but Boyzone didn’t get a lot of time off or holiday time.
“We just had to keep cracking on, going to wherever we were having hits, because we were so successful, but now we have a proper balance where we’ll do two or three shows, have some time off, then do some more shows.”
Boyzlife play York Barbican on October 17, 7.30pm, and Hull City Hall on November 5, 7.30pm. Box office: York, at yorkbarbican.co.uk; Hull, hulltheatres.co.uk.
Did you know?
MUSICIAN, singer, songwriter, actor, dancer, drummer and television presenter Keith Duffy’s full name is Keith Peter Thomas Francis John Duffy.
CANADIAN rocker Bryan Adams is moving his entire ten-date UK outdoor tour from 2021 to the Summer of ’22.
Next year, he will play Scarborough Open Air Theatre on July 1 and Harewood House, near Leeds, on July 10. Tickets remain valid for the new shows.
Adams, 61, will be making his second appearance at the Scarborough arena after his sold-out debut on August 8 2016. Once more, he will do Run To You, Cuts Like A Knife, Summer Of ’69, I Do It For You et al for you.
Prompted by Cuffe and Taylor, this summer’s Scarborough OAT programme bears a much-changed look, with some shows moving to later in the summer, others being put back to 2022, and late additions at the back end of the 2021 season too.
For this year’s diary, UB40 featuring Ali Campbell and Astro, have switched from June 19 to August 28; Snow Patrol, from July 3 to September 10; Duran Duran, from July 7 to September 17; Keane, from July 9 to August 21; Olly Murs, July 10 to August 27, and Kaiser Chiefs, July 11 to August 8.
Westlife’s sold-out show retains its August 17 date; likewise, Nile Rodgers & Chic stick with August 20.
Crowded House, the Australian band re-formed by New Zealander Neil Finn, move from June 8 2021 to June 11 2022; Lionel Richie, from June 12 2021 to July 2 next summer; Ru Paul’s Drag Race: Werq The World, from June 20 to May 29; Lewis Capaldi, from July 25 to July 7. The Beach Boys’ June 20 concert this summer is yet to be rearranged.
Additions to the 2021 calendar are: Stereophonics, July 28; Culture Club, August 14; Anne-Marie, August 2, and James, September 9.
Tickets are on sale at: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.
IRISH grown-up boy band Westlife will play an exclusive north of England outdoor show at Scarborough Open Air Theatre next summer.
The top-selling album band of the 21st century should have played both the Yorkshire coast venue and the inaugural York Festival in 2020, but the Covid lockdown enforced their cancellation.
Instead, Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan and Nicky Byrne will perform in Scarborough four days before their headline show at Wembley Stadium.
Westlife’s official statement reads: “Some exciting news! We are delighted to announce that Scarborough Open Air Theatre have invited us to join next year’s line-up on Tuesday, August 17.
“Given the current circumstances, we really are hopeful to announce more shows in the new year and look forward to being back with you all as soon as we can.
Westlife will perform such hits as Swear It Again, You Raise Me Up, My Love, Flying Without Wings, Uptown Girl, Unbreakable, When You’re Looking Like That and World Of Our Own, as well as picks from their chart-topping tenth album, 2019‘s Spectrum, Hello My Love among them.
Venue programmer Peter Taylor, of Scarborough OAT promoters Cuffe and Taylor, says: “Westlife fans were heartbroken when this summer’s tour was postponed due to the global pandemic, so we are delighted the boys will be coming to Scarborough OAT next summer.
“This is a real exclusive: Westlife’s only outdoor show in the north of England and four days before their headline show at Wembley. It’s going to be a brilliant night here!”
Westlife were booked to play Scarborough OAT on June 17 and York Festival at York Sports Club, Clifton Park, on June 20 as part of their 2020 Summer In The Stadiums tour before summer was scrapped.
Tickets for August 17 will go on sale via scarboroughopenairtheatre.com at 9am on Friday, October 30.
Scarborough Open Air Theatre’s 2021 season so far comprises: June 19, UB40 featuring Ali Campbell and Astro; June 20, RuPaul’s Drag Race: Werq The World; July 9, Keane; July 10, Olly Murs; August 17, Westlife, and August 20, Nile Rodgers & Chic. More concerts will be added; watch this space.
Did you know?
ALL ten of Westlife’s studio albums have reached the top five in the Official UK Albums Chart, five of them peaking at number one. Fourteen of their singles have made the top spot too.
THE inaugural York Festival with Lionel
Richie, Madness and Westlife in June is off. The entire Scarborough Open Air Theatre summer
season has been cancelled too.
The “unavoidable” double blow for
promoters Cuffe and Taylor was confirmed in a brief statement at high noon, enforced
by the grip of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“We are sad to announce both York
Festival and the 2020 programme at Scarborough Open Air Theatre will not go
ahead,” they said. “We did not want to take this step, but it was unavoidable.
The health and safety of concertgoers, artists, staff and community will always
be our top priority.
“We are working with our ticketing
partners and they will contact customers very soon to process refunds. Peace, love, kindness and thanks.”
So, alas, this means goodbye to Hello and Lionel Richie at York Sports Club, Clifton Park, Shipton Road, on June 21, when the American soul legend, now 70, would have been supported by Grammy Award winner Macy Gray and Newcastle soul-pop duo Lighthouse Family.
Camden Town nutty boys Madness were to have headlined the
opening night, June 19, joined by Ian Broudie’s Lightning Seeds, Craig
Charles, for a Funk and Soul Club DJ set, Leeds indie rockers Apollo
Junction and York band Violet Contours.
Irish matured boy band Westlife were booked to top the June 21
bill, backed up All Saints, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Scouting For
Girls and Take That’s Howard Donald for a DJ set.
Over on the East Coast, Cuffe and Taylor had lined up big
hitters galore for Scarborough Open Air Theatre’s 2020 season, opening with
Lionel Richie on June 9, followed by Westlife on June 17.
Further bookings were: Supergrass, June 20; Alfie Boe, June 27; Snow Patrol, July 4; Mixtape, with Marc Almond, Heaven 17 and Living In A Box featuring Kenny Thomas, July 10; Keane, July 17; Little Mix, July 21; McFly, August 14; Louis Tomlinson, August 15, and Nile Rodgers & Chic, August 21. What’s more, further shows were to have been added. Not any more.
Last year,Cuffe and Taylor promoted Rod Stewart’s first ever York concert, erecting a pop-up amphitheatre in the centre of York Racecourse and duly drawing 35,000 people to Knavesmire on June 1. Ah, those were the days.
Earlier this spring, Cuffe and Taylor were given the City of York Council thumbs-up for a licence for their first York Festival, albeit with the proviso that the volume must be turned down. Now, there will only be silence.
THERE’S still life in the boyz! Boyzlife, the supergroup of Irish boy
band graduates Brian McFadden, from Westlife, and Boyzone’s Keith Duffy, will
play York Barbican on October 15.
Their live show is drawn from a joint back catalogue of 18 number one
singles, nine chart-topping albums and combined global record sales of 60
million. Expect to hear World Of Our Own, Mandy, Uptown Girl and Flying Without
Wings among many fan favourites.
First playing together in 2016, Boyzlife embarked on part one of their
2020 travels on February 1 at Hull Bonus Arena, selling more than 35,000
tickets for a 32-date tour that will run until March 28, with limited tickets
still available for Sheffield City Hall on March 24 (box office, 0114 2
789 789 or sheffieldcityhall.co.uk).
Part two of the tour is booked in for September 1 to November 1, taking in
further Yorkshire dates at Victoria Theatre, Halifax, on September 10, The
Dome, Doncaster, October 17, and Scarborough Spa, October 23.
McFadden, 39, featured on all Westlife’s number one singles and albums before
leaving in 2004, since when he has released five albums and 17 singles in a
solo career launched with the UK number one Real To Me in September 2004.
Duffy, 45,finished touring with Boyzone on October 25 last year
on their Thank You And Goodnight Tour after six UK number one singles and five
number one albums in a career where he also has branched out into acting in
Coronation Street, Broken Nation and Fair City.
York tickets go on sale from today on 0203 356 5441, at yorkbarbican.co.uk or in person from the Barbican box office; Halifax, 01422 351158 or victoriatheatre.co.uk; Doncaster, 01302 370777 and 08442 770700 or dcit.co.uk; Scarborough, 01723 821888 or scarbroughspa.co.uk.
YORK Festival, next summer’s three-day music event headlined by Madness,
Westlife and Lionel Richie, wants to raise thousands of pounds for good causes
by supporting York charities.
concert promoters Cuffe and Taylor, are seeking three charity partners, who
will benefit from the June 19 to 21 concerts at York Sports Club, in Clifton
Park, Shipton Road.
Charities in and
around York are asked to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to “find out how
York Festival can help you” and register their interest in becoming a partner.
Cuffe and Taylor director Peter Taylor said: “We are incredibly excited
about York Festival. This is going to be three amazing days of live music in
this wonderful and historic city, headlined by a host of global stars.
“We want to help raise funds and exposure for local good causes. Over the past
decade, we have worked with a number of fantastic charity partners at our
events right across the UK. Through these partnerships we have helped raise
more than £100,000 and we are now looking for charities based in and around
York who we can work with.
“York Festival is going to be something really special. What will make it extra
special is if we can help good causes in the city.”
Cuffe and Taylor promote the summer concert seasons at Scarborough Open Air Theatre,
bringing Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue and Lionel Richie to the Yorkshire coast.
They also staged Rod Stewart’s sold-out York Racecourse concert this year,
drawing 35,000 people to a specially constructed pop-up amphitheatre in the
centre of the Knavesmire course on June 1.
Cuffe and Taylor previously set up Lytham Festival, a Lancashire event
that has worked with various charities over the past decade.
Trinity Hospice and Brian House Children’s Hospice in Blackpool, for
example, have benefited to the tune of £50,000.
Trinity Hospice Community fundraising manager Michelle Lonican
said: “We feel very honoured to have worked with Cuffe and Taylor on a
number of their high-profile events.
“Their support for both Trinity Hospice and Brian House has been
phenomenal, and not only have we been able to raise thousands of pounds, but
also every event has always been a fantastic opportunity for us to increase our
profile and attract new supporters.
“It is great to see Cuffe and Taylor launching a new festival in York
and we would urge charities there to apply to become a partner and get involved
in what will no doubt be a very successful event.”
York Festival’s debut line-up brings together headliners Madness, those Nutty
Boys from Camden Town, Lightning Seeds,funk and soul DJ Craig Charles, Leeds
indie rockers Apollo Junction and York’s Violet Contours on June 19.
Irish boy band Westlife top the Saturday bill – next year’s Summer
Solstice night – as part of their Stadiums In The Summer Tour, joined by All
Saints, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Scouting for Girls and Take That’s Howard
Donald for a DJ set.
The Sunday night focus falls on American soul and funk legend Lionel
Richie for a set of Commodores and solo hits.
For more York Festival information and tickets, go to York-festival.com.
Richie will play two North Yorkshire shows within a fortnight next summer after
adding Scarborough Open Air Theatre on June 9 to his York Festival appearance on
on sale for his Scarborough return on Wednesday at 9am, Richie having made his
sold-out debut there in June 2018 on his All The Hits, All Night Long tour.
“It was a truly wonderful night on the Yorkshire coast in 2018 and I
cannot wait to return to this beautiful part of the UK again,” says the Alabama
soul singer, songwriter and producer. “It’s going to be another night to
remember, so bring you’re dancing shoes.”
Richie, 70, will play Scarborough as part of his Hello!, Hits tour, performing
songs from his Commodores days to the present day, taking in Three Times
Truly, Dancing On The Ceiling, Say You Say Me, Hello and All
Honoured last year with the Ivor Novello PRS for Music Special International
Award, to go with an Oscar, Golden Globe and four Grammy awards and 100 million
album sales, Richie released his latest album, Live From Las Vegas, in the
Festival can be added to such Richie festival headline sets as Bonnaroo, Outside
Lands and Glastonbury, where he drew more than 200,000 to main stage in 2015.
Cuffe and Taylor are promoting both his Scarborough and York gigs. “Lionel
Richie is an undoubted global superstar and we are delighted to be able to
bring him back here to Scarborough,” says director Peter Taylor.
“His 2018 sold-out show was the stuff of legend. It was a brilliant
night in the presence of one of the most successful and celebrated music
artists of all time.”
As well as Richie, Cuffe and Taylor have booked Irish boy band Westlife
to play both locations, Scarborough OAT on June 17 and York Festival, at York Sports
Club, Clifton Park, Shipton Road, on June 20.
Tickets for Scarborough OAT concerts are on sale at scarboroughopenairtheatre,com, on 01723 818111 or 01723 383636, or in person from the venue, in Burniston Road, or the Discover Yorkshire Tourism Bureau, ScarboroughTown Hall, St Nicholas Street.
For York Festival tickets, go to york-festival.com.
AMERICAN soul icon Lionel Richie, British ska legends Madness and Irish pop stars Westlife will headline the first ever York Festival next year.
Mounted by Cuffe and Taylor, the three-day music festival will be held at York Sports Club, Clifton Park, Shipton Road, from June 19 to 21 2020.
Three-day passes, giving access to every night, are available at £129 from
today at york-festival.com. Tickets for each night go on sale at £39.50 at 9am on
Opening-night headliners Madness, the Camden Town Nutty Boys with a music-hall
wit and ska roots, will be joined by Ian Broudie’s Lightning Seeds; BBC radio presenter
Craig Charles, for a funk and soul DJ set; Leeds indie rockers Apollo Junction
and rising York act Violet Contours.
Westlife will play York Festival on the Saturday as part of their Stadiums
In The Summer Tour. Billed as “Britain’s top-selling album group of the 21st century”,
they will combine such hits as Swear It Again, Flying Without Wings and You
Raise Me Up with songs from their November 15 album, Spectrum.
Joining Westlife in the June 20 line-up will be All Saints, Sophie Ellis-Bextor,
indie rock band Scouting For Girls and Take That’s Howard Donald for a DJ set.
On the closing night, Lionel Richie, 70, will be the star attraction as the four-time Grammy Award winner performs both solo and Commodores material.
Promoters Cuffe and
Taylor present the Scarborough Open Air Theatre concert programme each summer,
bringing Lionel Richie, Madness and Westlife to the East Coast in past years,
as well as the likes of Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears, Sir Elton John and Dame Kiri
They also staged Rod
Stewart’s York Racecourse concert on June 1 this summer, drawing 35,000 to a
specially erected amphitheatre in the centre of the Knavesmire course.
Director Peter Taylor
says: “This is the very first York Festival, so we wanted to make this a very
special debut year.
“To have Lionel Richie, Westlife and Madness as headliners – alongside many
other brilliant chart-topping artists – is a real coup. We feel this is the
perfect line-up for the first year of what we hope will become a major annual
event in this wonderful and historic city.
“We cannot wait for Friday, June 19 and opening night. This really is
going to be a weekend to remember.”
York Festival will be staged at York Sports Club, the home of York RUFC, York Cricket Club, York Tennis Club and York Squash Club, where The Best Of York Music Festival was held on May 26, The Big Nineties Festival on October 25 and Oktoberfest on October 26.
Nigel Durham, Trustee of York Sports Club and Chairman of York Cricket
Club, said:“We are delighted to be hosting the first York Festival,
a major new event for the city of York.
“An historic city the size and stature of ours truly deserves a
high-profile music festival like this. And to be attracting such massive stars
as Lionel Richie, Westlife and Madness is just brilliant.
“And with the festival being staged in the heart of the city, right here
at York Sports Club, this really will capture the imagination and be a great
thing for the city, residents, local businesses and visitors.”
Cuffe and Taylor are working closely with City of York Council and Make It
York, whose role is to showcase and promote the city around the world.
Championing the inaugural York Festival, Sean Bullick, managing director
of Make It York, says: “York Festival will be a brilliant addition to the
city’s already busy calendar of summer events for both residents and visitors
“Welcoming such music legends and chart-topping artists, as well as
showcasing local talent, is another step forward for York’s cultural offer and
we are delighted to help spread the word to audiences.”
In addition to three-day passes and day tickets, a range of VIP offers are available. For more information, go to york-festival.com.