Westlife's Shane Filan excited to be coming to Telford - interview
Westlife singer Shane Filan will be flying solo when he brings his new tour to a theatre in Shropshire later this year.
The Irish singer and songwriter, who made up one fifth of the boy band which sold over 50 million records worldwide, will be making his debut appearance in Telford on October 4.
Hot off the back of announcing his new album Love Always, the 37-year-old has announced a major indoor UK tour, which includes a date at Oakengates Theatre.
Fans can expect to hear love songs from his new album – which is expected to be released this summer – together with hits by Westlife and from his solo career after the bandmates went their separate ways in 2012.
His new album includes both original material and covers of famous love songs – although exactly which ones he is keeping under wraps.
The singer, who says he is looking forward to seeing the sights of Shropshire on his tour, said: "I haven't played the theatre in Telford, although I am excited about coming.
"Going on tour is the best part of my year. You get to have fun, you get to see lots of new faces. It's the best part of being a singer.
"This new album is full of songs people already know – 75 per cent of them are famous songs and there's new original songs as well.
"There's a good mix of different styles of ballads. The famous songs, I wanted to do my version of them."
He said the album had taken a good few months to put together and he may still have one more song to record before it is released.
After Westlife split, Shane admitted it was daunting taking to the stage solo for the first time on his You And Me tour in 2014, but he was overwhelmed by the support from his fans.
"It was very scary and daunting, but I got on stage, I started singing and I was fine," he said.
"I was so used to being in a band, it is a completely different thing.
"It was exciting and I've got loyal followers. The support is incredible."
Shane followed up that success with his own Right Here tour in 2016, which saw fans pleading for another run on the road.
Although the singer has played in front of thousands of people on arena tours in the past, he says he is still a fan of intimate gigs.
He said: "Every venue has a different vibe. The atmosphere is electric because you are so close.
"You get to see the whites of their eyes. You get to have fun with the crowd."
Although fans will have to wait for the release of his new album, he promises it will be well worth the wait.
"I'm excited to bring out this new album," he said.
"Love Always is a collection of some of my favourite classic love songs and it’s an album I’ve wanted to make for a long time.
"It's the most excited I've been about any album coming out."
The UK tour will run throughout September and October.
Tickets for show at Oakengates Theatre cost between £28.50 and £51.
They will go on sale at 9am on Friday.
To book tickets, call the box office on 01952 382382.