AllinLondon.co.uk: Boyzone pay tribute to Stephen Gately

Boyzone pay tribute to Stephen Gately at Wembley

Posted by Celebs In The City on Sunday 27th of February 2011

It’s been almost 18 months since the lovely Stephen Gately passed away. A young, vibrant man – always the life and soul of the party – and with a cheeky face that adorned the walls of millions of teenage girls back in the nineties. Stephen Gately was definitely up there for the award of The Nicest Man In Pop, and he is very clearly greatly missed.

Last night, his fellow band members – Ronan Keating, Mikey Graham, Keith Duffy and Shane Lynch – took to the stage at a packed-out Wembley Arena (giving the doubters the hypothetical finger) to perform their Brother tour. A fab, fun dedication to all things Boyzone from back in the day – but also to mark their biggest challenge to date – taking to the stage without their beloved Stephen.

The night was touching but all sorts of fun – we danced to the old school hits like Picture Of You, When The Going Gets Tough and Love Me For A Reason, belted out to Words and You Needed Me – but it was the new songs, the ones from their latest album (which outsold Tinie Tempah last year, fact fans) that made the biggest impact – fabulous songs like Gave It All Away and Ruby. My absolute favourite of the night was Better (a cover of the Tom Baxter classic http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvRegdR61DU).

The four clearly missed their pal – and had a sweetly dedicated video section where they dicussed him openly, with Shane commenting, “He was the stage master – he gave the energy.”
Keith added, “I talk to him all the time, everytime I say my prayers”.
Ronan finished, “I still see him sitting in the corner, or on the microphone.”
A few tears we shed in the audience, there’s no doubt.

But despite some slight melancholy moments, the night was tremendous fun – taking a girl like me (who wasn’t even a Boyzone fan in the early days) back to her teen years, when troubles were scarce and it was all about dancing with your friends, listening to pop and generally smiling constantly. That’s what this band do to you on stage, take you away to a happier, livelier place where you can have a little dance and sing and leave your every day life behind for a few hours. In fact, they made me forget how close I am to 30 for a while. Well done them!

It’s definitely worth going to see the show, especially if you are a lady of the nineties.

And a word on the picture above – this was taken last year when the lads released their Brother album. I’ve never enjoyed interviewing anyone as much as I enjoyed interviewing them that day – they were a pleasure to speak to and were so funny and open, despite it probably being one of the toughest days they’d ever faced as a band – their first Press Day without Stephen. I have a lot of respect for them.

The Boyz are back in London town on Tuesday 8 March to perform at the 02 arena and there’s still time to get tickets and unleash the inner teen in you. Head to: http://tinyurl.com/6g6tzl4 for more info.

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