Review: Boyzone

Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham, and Shane Lynch of Boyzone. Picture: Scott Taylor
Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham, and Shane Lynch of Boyzone. Picture: Scott Taylor
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Irish boyband Boyzone brought this summer’s series of Castle Concerts to a close with a show heavy on ballads and sentimentality.

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Castle Esplanade

The last time they appeared at Edinburgh Castle, former member Stephen Gately – who sadly passed away in 2009 – was in their line-up. Therefore, the low-key mood was understandable.

Indeed, the band’s video-led tribute to Gately halfway through was all the more touching given Gately’s family were in the audience. Boyzone even sang a song with their former friend and colleague Gately’s vocals added into the mix.

On the go for 22 years, Saturday night’s concert, however, was something of a career, hits-laden retrospect.

Dressed in purple suits, each song was backed by a projected video to emphasise the tune’s meaning. Boyzone have always been the most blue-eyed of boybands, so it was no surprise the soul-lite feel of Words, When The Going Gets Tough and You Can’t Hurry Love featured the evening’s strongest vocalising.

Ronan Keating even took time out to invite the audience to his impending wedding: “I’m getting married down the road in three weeks, you’re all welcome,” he said, whilst reminding everyone Edinburgh is a special place dear to the band’s hearts.

Shane Lynch soon sent the crowd into delirium, however, when he took a band selfie, the fans cheering on in the background. And while the Irishmen’s half-hearted dance “routines” suggested they were going through the motions a bit, the upbeat, rocky feel of If We Try gave the evening a much-needed shot in the arm.

When they returned for their encore – sporting green tartan kilts no less – the largely female populated crowd were beside themselves. So what better song to send everyone back down the Royal Mile with than Love Me For A Reason?

And love them their fans do, for who could have foreseen Boyzone would still be around today after forming in 1993?

Overall then, a touching if slightly plodding performance. Even if Boyzone hadn’t performed a give-them-what-they-want show, their loyal devotees would have still left the arena smiling, singing and knowing they had an enjoyable night.