Former Westlife singer Shane Filan is coming to Tunbridge Wells’ Assembly Hall on October 21 with his Right Here tour. Eileen Leahy caught up with the Irish singer to find out what he enjoys about life on the road, and whether there are any plans for him and his bandmates to ever reform
Can you tell us a little bit about your new tour?
Well, this is actually the second leg of the Right Here Tour. I started back in February, but then the fans started contacting my promoter and asking for more dates, so we opened it up to them on Twitter to decide where I should visit on this second leg.
Is it mainly new songs, or a mix which includes some of your Westlife classics?
It’s definitely a mixture of both. I think a lot of my fans would be disappointed if I didn’t do some of the Westlife numbers. I do a couple of songs from both my first and second solo albums, and then a few of the big Westlife hits, but there’s also a couple of surprises in there.
What do you enjoy most about being on the road?
I love getting to go out on stage every night and do what I am passionate about for a living. I’m lucky as I just adore singing and I have the best fans in the world who always stick by me and come to every show. I have a great laugh with all the band and crew, so it’s just a really fun thing to be on tour.
Are there any downsides to touring?
Not really. When I’m away in faraway places like Asia I do miss my wife and children, but I’m really lucky when I’m touring around the UK and Ireland because they usually come with me.
The kids love the big tour bus more than anything else! On this second leg it will be a bit harder to bring my children as they will be in school, so they may only come for a weekend.
How long is this leg of the tour, and where will you be going to?
This time it’s about two weeks. There are ten shows, and I’m going all over the UK. On the first leg I played most of the major cities, and this time around I’m going to many other places that I didn’t get a chance to visit last time.
I did actually come to Tunbridge Wells on my first tour back in 2014 and I remember it being a great show, so I can’t wait to come back and see if it lives up to the expectations of last time!
Do you still see your bandmates from Westlife?
Yeah, we do see each other every now and then. I bumped into Mark the other day on the beach in Sligo, where we both live.
Would it ever be likely that you would reform as a band?
I always say ‘never say never’, but I’ll be totally honest with you and say there are absolutely no plans and talk of it now. I think it would be unfair on fans to give them hope that it may happen when it’s not being talked about.
Do you have a particular style of song you enjoy singing?
Not really. I love doing ballads, and I guess it’s what I’m most known for, but I just like performing any great song.
Where’s the most memorable place you’ve performed and why?
I think it was probably when we got to perform in front of the Pope in Rome. We each got to bring one person as a guest and I brought my mother with me. To be able to do something like that is so special and it’s a memory I will always have.
Which artists do you admire and why?
My favourite artists are Garth Brooks, Michael Jackson and Bryan Adams. I admire anyone who has a long career in the music industry because it’s not easy to sustain longevity in this business.
As a performer, what’s left on your Bucket List to do?
I don’t really have one. I’m really happy with where my career is right now. I get to make music and go on tour and perform in front of fans every night, which is such great thing to be able to do, and I will never take it for granted.
Of course I have goals that I want to achieve, but I’m honestly in such a happy place right now and thankful to be where I am.
Shane will be performing from 7.30pm at the Assembly Hall on Friday October 21. Tickets cost from £32.50. To book visit www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk
For more information on Shane and his tour go to www.shanefilan.com