INTERVIEW: Westlife's Shane Filan prepares for Carlisle solo show

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AFTER 50 million singles and 14 successful years together, Irish super group Westlife parted ways. However, Shane Filan didn't hang up his microphone there and then. The singer spoke to LAUREN PAGE about returning to Cumbria on his solo tour and the release of his latest album Love Always.

Shane Filan will head to Carlisle this month
Shane Filan will head to Carlisle this month

Shane has cemented his position as one of the UK’s most popular male solo artists, following phenomenal success with Westlife which grew to be one of the world’s most successful bands of the last few decades and his own hugely successful Right Here Tour in 2016, which saw fans pleading for another run on the road.

No stranger to the Cumbrian music scene, Shane will be returning to Carlisle's The Sands Centre on Sunday September 24 for another night of incredible vocals and well known songs.

"I'm really looking forward getting back to Carlisle. I visited in 2014 with my first solo show and the most important part was that people would leave happy and look forward to the next time I visit, so I'm really looking forward to being back."

Shane found it hard to believe that it has been 10 years since Westlife first visited the county as part of Carlisle's Pop 2 The Park.

"10 years ago? My god. You know what, Carlisle is always a nice reception. There was that many Westlife shows that it is impossible to remember them all but you always remember the little bits. I want to make sure that the audience enjoy it. You get to travel all around the UK in this job and every city is just as important as the next one. Carlisle will be the fourth date on the tour so the first show nerves will be gone and by the time we reach Carlisle it'll be totally polished."

In the last few weeks Shane has been on a mad PR dash across the county following the release of his latest album Love Always which features a collection of his favourite love songs. Taking a step back from his original material, Shane revealed that this album was a long time coming.

"It all started out before my manager Louis loves love songs, even when I was in Westlife he would pitch them. He said from the start that it is an album we have to do and after two original albums, I thought it was the perfect time to do one and my fan base love this kind of genre. So far, the feedback has been excellent and I think we've got it right so far!

"You have to be so careful making an album like this as you don't want to change the memory of many of the songs for fans. Heaven by Bryan Adams is my favourite cover on the album. I was anxious as it is such a Bryan song but when I took my own take on it, it just sounds like another version of the song I didn't want to take that from him. It's my proudest song on the album."

In the five years since Westlife parted ways, the sound of the charts has completely changed. But still having his mark on the music scene, Shane admitted that he isn't too caught up in current artists.

"Looking at stuff these days, I'm like everyone else - love the new Ed Sheeran album he's a gifted man and a poet with a guitar. Other stuff that's coming out - I don't listen to much stuff as I'm always working with music myself. However, I am interested to hear Niall Horan's material. Being Irish I've got to support that! He's got a couple of great songs and he's a really nice guy so I hope he does well."

With the tour only weeks away, the singer is preparing to hit the road once again but this time with different material.

"The tour is going to be brand new and honestly very different to 2014. There is a more visual aspect and it is more contemporary. We've really upped a few gears and the show is quite upbeat even though this album has quite a few ballads. I'm going to throw in a few Westlife songs and other songs the crowd can get up to. Even though you may not be a direct Shane Filan fan, you'll still know all the words to this tour."

Shane Filan will head to Carlisle's The Sands Centre on Sunday September 24

Tickets are available from the box office

Thursday, September 7, 2017 at 12:36PM
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