At the weekend I had the most amazing time watching Boyzone – with no toilet mishaps or major stoma problems. I am so grateful for Winnie (my stoma, if you haven’t met her) for allowing me to finally live my life with little to no fear. Ok, I still had a ‘near explosion’ moment while queuing for the loos, but I wasn’t rushing clutching at my stomach in agony up and down a hill to the toilets every five minutes. I was there, and not staring at the back of a toilet door, when the beautiful Ronan Keating swaggered on stage.
Thanks to Winnie I didn’t miss a moment of the stunning Ronan Keating – and if that doesn’t deserve celebrating and prove my life is 100% better with an ostomy, what is?
So, although I’m in danger of becoming a little bit obsessed I had to share this amazing moment with you all. Below is the review of the forest concert I did for the paper, and a short video of a moment that left me giggling like a little girl and wanting to run after the Boyzone tour bus like a crazed maniac.
But, at the end of the day, I want to share this moment with you guys. My life so far has been a roller coaster – but I’m hopefully at the end of my horrendous ride and at the beginning of something very special!!! (argh, cheesy, but I just had to!)
If you don’t see my name in the paper or on the website for the next few weeks, it’s not because I’m on holiday or ill – I’ve sacked it all in to run away with Ronan Keating.
I’m not usually one to become obsessed with a celebrity or a band, but since the fab four strutted out onto the stage in Delamere Forest, and I found myself giggling like a schoolgirl, I’ve decided I’m going to have to make an exception.
They might be performing their 20th anniversary tour but I’m joining the party late and becoming a Boyzone groupie – don’t judge me, some things are just impossible to resist.
It has been two days since I joined thousands of fans to watch as Shane, Keith, Mikey and Ronan treated us to some of their 90s dance moves, cheeky banter and tear-jerking ballads, and I can’t stop humming Picture of You and Words.
Of course I loved Boyzone as a teenager, what young girl didn’t have a poster of Ronan in her room, but I’ve grown-up and am no longer the little girl with giant posters of celebrity heart-throbs plastered on her bedroom walls and “I love Ronan” scrawled across my diary.
So when I walked into the forest on Sunday night, and saw excited fans gathering close to the stage, hoping to get within touching distance of the band, I didn’t expect I would soon be pushing through the crowds to join them – I’m 26 for God’s sake.
But the stunning backdrop of the forest, combined with the cheeky attitude of the band; their ability to laugh at the cheesy dance moves; Shane’s beard; and their attempts to stop swearing on stage created an infectious atmosphere that was hard to resist.
You couldn’t fail to get excited during the build-up to the main event with Kian Egan belting out a range of Westlife hits to warm-up the heaving crowds of people who packed the hillside as far as the eye could see, drinking and picnicking as they basked in the summer sunshine.
And as the moody VTs rolled, showing arty shots of Ronan and the lads talking about the special BZ20 tour, and the band started to play, I felt giddy with excitement and found myself pushing towards the stage in the hope of getting near enough to touch the lads.
The noise when they finally appeared was astounding – you could probably hear the cheers and cat calls in Chester – and it only got louder and more manic as the lads struck up one hit after another.
Ok, among the hits (they’ve still got it by the way), stunningly cheesy dance moves, and great staging there were a few mishaps, the best of which has to be when Ronan forgot where he was and mistook the leafy setting as the capital city, shouting out “Hello London” to a stunned crowd – the dense forest must have reminded him of Hyde Park!
But both he, the lads and the crowd laughed it off and he eventually got it right telling us all we had been “unbelievable”.
For me the best thing about the whole concert was their amazing ability to have a right laugh at themselves. Yes, they knew they were cheesy, and at some points even struggled to sing, breaking down in hysterics as they strutted through horrendous dance routines.
They even had a whole section devoted to the ridiculous beard. But throughout the concert you can’t forget that one piece of Boyzone is missing, in fact there are constant reminders of the late Stephen Gately.
His face is flashed up on the big screen, his influence is in every song, and the fans chant his name and wave banners reading ‘Stevo’.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as they paid tribute to their late bandmate, sharing an intimate moment with the thousands of fans as they spoke about some of their memories of their friend, who tragically died in October 2009.
You could say that the whole night was a tribute to him – a reminder of what was, and possibly what comes next for the 90s band.
Everything about the night was magical. Obviously Ronan stole the show – and I’m not just saying that because he is ridiculously good looking. But the venue was stunning, the atmosphere electric and the concert, the best I’ve ever seen (and that’s saying something).
I would have loved it if they had played Father and Son , but there were more than enough hits to satisfy everyone, and finishing on Life Is A Rollercoaster sent the already ecstatic crowds spiralling into delirium.
Boyzone came to Delamere and they got just the welcome they wanted – although perhaps they didn’t want the sombrero and oversized bra flung through the air at Ronan’s feet.