Westlife to return for Singapore Indoor Stadium gig in February , Latest Music News - The New Paper

Westlife to return for Singapore Indoor Stadium gig in February

It looks like Westlife cannot get enough of their Singapore fans.

The Irish pop quartet, who took to the Padang stage last Saturday as the Singapore Grand Prix music headliners for the second night, will be back in town for another concert in February.

The group, which comprise Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan and Nicky Byrne, are slated to perform at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. It will be their eighth show here.

Compared with the outdoor F1 gig, which drew a massive crowd of 60,000, the Singapore Indoor Stadium set will be a more “intimate” one for 8,000 fans, the quartet tell The Straits Times in an interview at the Capella Singapore last Saturday afternoon ahead of their F1 performance.

“When it’s indoors, visually, it becomes better because it’s got that darker intimacy. And when it gets smaller, it gets more incredible, we see everybody’s eyes,” says Filan.

Byrne says: “We have history here in Singapore.” He adds that Westlife shot parts of the music video for 2000 hit I Lay My Love On You in Singapore. “We’ve all those memories from the early days.”

Feehily adds that it is the fans that keep them coming back.

”We see everybody sing along to our songs, screaming and having fun, and that’s why we’ve come halfway across the world to be here.  They all know our names, they know our dogs’ name, they know our brothers’ and sisters’ names, they know so much about us. That makes it worthwhile,” he says.

Formed in Dublin, Ireland, in 1998, Westlife rose to prominence the following year through early hits such as Swear It Again and Flying Without Wings from their self-titled debut album.

They went on to score 14 No. 1 singles on the British charts, an achievement surpassed only by music legends The Beatles and Elvis Presley.

Westlife disbanded in 2012 and reunited in 2018, which was followed by their 2019 reunion tour The Twenty Tour.

And while they started out as a boy band, the members are now fathers in their early 40s. Between the four, they have a total of 10 children aged three to 17.

Amid the screams and singalongs to their past hits, their F1 set included a tender moment when Feehily got the audience to sing a birthday song for his daughter, Layla, who turned three last Saturday back in Ireland.

Says Filan, a father of three: “They’ve grown up coming to the concerts for the last number of years, and they find it very exciting, especially when we do big shows in Ireland and they get to bring their friends. They think it’s a pretty cool job that daddy does.

“And it makes us very proud because, at the end of the day, Westlife is our job, it’s our livelihood. Everything we do, we do for our children.”

In the early days of the pandemic in 2020, all four members spent time in lockdown with their families.

“I taught my son how to surf,” says Egan, whose house is near the beach.

And while live performances were suspended during the pandemic, the group took the time to work on new songs. The result was Wild Dreams, their 12th studio album, released in 2021. It includes the single Starlight, which reached the Top 30 in the Irish music charts.

They are happy to be back on tour again, even if it means criss-crossing time zones to perform in countries all over Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Westlife performing on the Padang stage on Saturday. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Byrne says: “After Covid-19, when the world was effectively shut down, everybody wondered, ‘Could we ever get back to any sense of normalcy?’ And it feels like it’s slowly getting back now.

“To be announcing shows in Asia particularly, on the other side of the world, it’s positive and actually shows that we are celebrating again.”

BOOK IT/Westlife The Wild Dreams Tour

Where: Singapore Indoor Stadium, 2 Stadium Walk
When: Feb 16, 8pm
Admission: Tickets from $128 will go on sale from Thursday at noon via Ticketmaster (go to str.sg/wzrj or call 3158-8588) and SingPost outlets.