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EXCLUSIVE: Shane Filan – With Love, Always!

Shane Filan is ready to present to the public the second leg of his ‘Love Always’ tour and bring with him just the right amount of emotion, passion and sentiment.

As the name suggests, Shane’s one-man-show will see the solo star perform an array of love songs, but this doesnt mean the concert will be full of sadness and soppiness. Instead you can expect a mix of powerful ballads and fast-paced numbers that will get you moving as well as crooning.

“I like keeping the show upbeat and making sure the fans are having fun, but of course I will be singing songs like ‘You Raise Me Up’ and ‘Heaven’ because there’s always gonna be the ballads – it’s a nice mix,” Shane told us.

“The show will include famous tracks and Westlife classics as well as some of my newest songs, which will be added to the set-list later on (and will be known by the fans by the time I get to their venue).”

Shane describes ‘Love Always’ as a “tick-the-box” album that he always wanted to do, comprising love songs that hold a special place in his heart.

“It’s been a really big success and being offered to do a second leg of the tour all over the UK was fantastic news,” Shane continued. “I’m really looking forward to getting back out onto the road and performing to everybody.

“I’m very lucky to have a great fan-base; I get a lot of support from my fans in each city we go to so first and foremost I think the success of the tour is down to them.

“There was a lot of excitement for the album when it was released and with the tour I would say it’s my strongest set yet. I have a lot of fun on stage, and for a theatre production it is probably as big as it gets! It’s important for me to put on a really great show.

“We tweak everything from the set-list – even my outfits get changed up from show to show – every tour has its own identity in order to create a new vibe.”

It seems Shane is taking to the solo artist life seamlessly. As a previous member of the chart-topping band Westlife, Shane is now enjoying performing as an individual singer with his own unique sound and readily admits that he has embraced the challenges presented to him.

“I’ve grown up a lot since Westlife. It was comradery as mates on tour, going out for drinks after the shows, but now it’s more chilled and my time is spent relaxing on the tour bus and travelling to each city,” Shane said.

“The Westlife songs are part of my life and they are great songs to sing, so it’s funny because when performing those tracks I don’t even think to myself that that wasn’t my line to sing!

“I thought it would be more of an issue singing all of the lyrics and worried my voice would be tired but it hasn’t affected me really. I look after myself more now on tour so that’s probably why – I don’t really go partying, so in that sense I am protecting my voice.”

Shane’s music has also changed over time: “I think I have experimented more with my voice since Westlife,” he divulged. “My albums have all been pop albums but slightly different – the first was a lot more country-folk, the second was a lot more focused on ballads and challenging myself vocally (every song you sing you find out more about your voice).

“Mark would have been the natural choice for the highest parts but now I am singing it all, but that’s great because it keeps it interesting. When writing songs you have to make sure you can do each part, so it’s challenging.”

Musical developments aside, there is only one method of pre-performance prep that really gets Shane in the right frame of mind.

“I’ve really got into fitness lately and I find if I do more, I enjoy the show more and sleep better at night,” Shane detailed.

“I actually like to skip; I take a skipping rope with me on tour and I do 10 – 15 minutes of skipping before a show. It gets your blood pumping and actually wakes up your voice, so yeah, skipping preparation! It’s a bit random, but I felt really fresh after I did it once, so it’s skipping for me from now on.”

After all that exercise, both physical and vocal, Shane enjoys unwinding after his shows in his tour bus, describing it as a “relaxing way to travel”.

What’s more, this mode of transport is particularly popular with his family – his children are always excited about seeing the tour bus – Shane joked that they are more keen on checking out the bus than watching the show!

Family man and born entertainer Shane isn’t just a musical marvel, he is also a smart guy with words of wisdom to share with the masses. His motto? You’ve only got one life, so live it.

“Enjoy every second of it – don’t look back, always look forward,” he concluded. “You can’t change the past, but you can fix the future.”

Shane’s ‘Love Always’ tour will run throughout 2018 and the deluxe version of the album will be out soon.

> Hannah Montgomery

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