Boyzone at the London Palladium: A fitting farewell from one of this generation’s defining boybands
With a career spanning over 26 years including 500 weeks in the charts, one split and one devastating loss, it’s safe to say that life has very much been a rollercoaster for Boyzone. A long way on from the pubs and clubs of the early 90s, the band’s Thank You And Goodnight tour culminates in five shows at the London Palladium before saying thank you and goodnight for one last time.
The evening is equal part farewell and celebration, with Keith Duffy insisting on having no sadness in the room, introducing the show by vowing to bring the audience down memory lane and “make you feel 15 again.” Nostalgia fills the Palladium as the Irish band belt out hit after hit, complete with dramatic key changes, cheesy choreography and the old microphone lean. It’s an unsurprising but satisfyingly classic performance from one of this generation’s defining boybands. Many of their most recognisable tracks are in fact covers, but one would never guess given the way crowdpleasers such as Love Me For a Reason, Words and Baby Can I Hold You are performed – to deafening screams. It’s essentially a time machine back to the 90s.
The four-piece reveal that they have pared down their arena tour, and in comparison, the 2000-capacity venue feels like an incredibly intimate end to this journey. There are no fancy special effects, there’s not even a band; instead, fresh-faced music videos are projected alongside simple stair-based staging. Ordinarily, this could be seen as unspectacular and underwhelming, but this isn’t just an ordinary gig. It’s “An Evening with Boyzone”, one for the fans and nobody else. Unusual, uncomplicated, but fitting.
In tune with the evening’s personal setting, fans are additionally treated to a live interview as Ronan Keating’s radio co-host Harriet Scott joined the band on stage. With a lot to cover of the group’s past, present and future, they speak candidly about the pain of losing Stephen Gately, later paying tribute with an emotional One More Song and pointing out that their outfits were adorned with red: his favourite colour. The emotion will undoubtedly roll over to Friday when yet another of the band’s chapters ends (for now).
It may be over a quarter of a century later, but the self-confessed “big kids” are still very clearly enjoying themselves, apparently still waiting for the day they are “found out”. There may be some pitchiness – though Keating’s vocals never cease to impress – and Shane Lynch may well be very ill (impressively soldiering on), but the real magic happens when they perform altogether as a unit, not to mention their refreshingly spirited stage banter. Closing the show with Picture of You, this tour – alongside all the memories the band’s music has created –– will surely be a poignant picture in every audience member’s mind long beyond that final curtain call.
Photos: Nick Bennett
For further information and future events visit Boyzone’s website here.
Watch the video for Picture of You here: