Shane Filan stopping by on his solo tour

Shane Filan
Shane Filan

Given Shane Filan used to be in Westlife, you can bet your bottom dollar the shriek volume inside the Opera House on Saturday will be turned up to max.

Millions of women everywhere were in tears when the devastating news came through that Westlife were splitting up.

But fret ye not. Filan (pictured left with the band) has gone it alone and is in Blackpool this weekend as part of his first solo UK tour.

The first question is does he have good memories of the resort.

“Erm,” he says, hesitatingly. “I’ve definitely been there a couple of times. The band did some promo stuff and we did a concert somewhere outside.”

Not the best anecdote about the town but, then again you only have to look at Westlife’s career to understand why Shane’s recollections aren’t the best.

The band were massive. They achieved a total of 26 top ten singles over their 14-year career. They are the first act whose first seven singles at number 1. By 2010, Westlife was listed in the Guinness World Records, as the UK’s top-selling album group of the 21st Century. Westlife are the most frequent winner of The Record of the Year, winning four times, and in 2012, the Official Charts Company listed Westlife 34th among the biggest-selling singles artists in British music history.

Filan’s life during his time in the band was a never-ending stream of plane flights, then a car journey straight to whatever arena they were performing in, departing immediately after the gig to get to the next venue.

In other words it was a whirlwind and that’s why it’s no surprise he doesn’t remember much about the cities and towns he played.

Maybe Filan will learn more about Blackpool on Saturday, when he performs a gig to promote debut album You And Me.

“It is going to be a bit nerve-wracking and very different, but at the same time I’m really excited about it, ” he said. I think I’ve done a really good album but I will be singing some Westlife stuff too – I think the fans would kill me if I didn’t.

“As a solo artist I can’t possibly manage to match the success of Westlife. We sold 47 million albums – you can’t top that.

“I just have to start again, build up a fan base and we’ll see how it goes. If it’s not a success , I can always say well I was in Westlife’ – which isn’t a bad thing to be able to say.”

If you want to try and get last-minute ticket, head to www.blackpoolive.co.uk