Tuesday 15 October 2019

'There were only two people who could get Westlife back out of bed in 2018 - Ed Sheeran was one' - Nicky Byrne

Westlife: Shane Filan,Nicky Byrne,Mark Feehilly and Kian Egan pictured in the Intercontinental Hotel launching their comeback tour.
Westlife: Shane Filan,Nicky Byrne,Mark Feehilly and Kian Egan pictured in the Intercontinental Hotel launching their comeback tour.
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Westlife have revealed how Ed Sheeran came to write their comeback single.

One of the world’s biggest boybands last week announced they were reforming on the band’s 20th anniversary with a new tour and new music, including two Belfast dates and a massive gig at Croke Park.

The Twenty Tour will be the first time they will perform together in seven years and will feature their greatest hits as well as new music, including a song written by Ed Sheeran.

Last year band members Kian Egan, Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, and Nicky Byrne approached long-time Westlife collaborator Steve Mac, who had penned and produced several of their hits including Flying Without Wings and Swear It Again, to write new music.

“He was writing with Ed Sheeran who turned around to him one day in a songwriting session and said, ‘I'd love to write a Westlife style song’, and they went off and wrote a Westlife style song,” revealed Kian.

“We didn’t know any of this was happening and we got back together, behind closed doors, and went to see Steve and he played us a few songs and he was like, ‘This is actually an Ed song that Ed wrote saying he wanted to write a Westlife style song.”

Nicky revealed that he had had a conversation with Kian two years ago about reforming and his concerns about “where Westlife’s music fits into the current market” and not wanting to be simply a “nostalgia” act.

“[I said] we need Ed Sheeran or someone of that ilk.  Little did we know Ed was in the background saying, “I want to write a Westlife tune’,” he said.

“Really there was only two people who could get Westlife back out of bed – Steve Mac and Ed Sheeran, and we’re in that position, thankfully.”

Kian said that fans would be “taken aback” by the new track while Shane added, “it’s exactly where Westlife need to be.”

Tickets for Croke Park go on sale on Thursday October 25 at 9am via Ticketmaster and the band admitted they are nervous about sales even though it will be the fifth time they will play the Dublin stadium.

“We don’t take that lightly,” said Shane.  “The main thing we’ll be thinking about on Thursday morning is probably Croke Park and what the effect of that will be. 

"It will set up an awful lot for us going forward as in what we want to achieve next year.”

Read more: Try not to be cruel and curb the cynicism: Westlife's struggles were our struggles 

Westlife announce upcoming tour dates - and they're set to hit Croke Park 

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