Westlife’s Shane Filan has revealed the chart-topping band is “beyond excited” to finally return to the stage for their world tour this July.
He said it will be exactly three years to the week that they last performed a large-scale stadium show for fans – their “Twenty Tour” at Croke Park on July 5 and 6, 2019.
They will kick off their “Wild Dreams” tour in Kent on July 1 and take in dates in Aviva Stadium and Páirc Uí Chaoimh ahead of London’s Wembley Stadium in August and are promising attendees a “big, spectacular show”.
Westlife’s Shane Filan may also play guitar on stage after learning in lockdown.
“It’s been a strange couple of years for everyone and the music industry has definitely been a weird place because the one thing you couldn’t do during the pandemic is have a crowd or perform for someone. So you could never play Aviva or Wembley,” he told the Irish Independent.
“There’s been almost a three-year wait for us. Our last gig was 2019 in Croke Park so it’s actually three years to the week when we performed the last time. The excitement is going to be immense for us.
“We had to cancel Cork twice and had to put off Wembley twice so there’s people who had tickets for the last two years who are still waiting to see us. It’s going to be unbelievable.
“Every time you go on stage, you have to treat it like an FA Cup final and give it your all. You don’t want to just be 90pc in terms of your performance, you want to be 100pc every time.
“It’s going to be as good if not better than the excitement of us coming back the first time in 2019 because the fans have had to wait even longer.”
To date, Westlife have sold more than 55 million records worldwide and are the only band to have their first seven singles enter the UK chart at number one – but they have never played the sprawling London venue.
“I still pinch myself when I think about that. To be one of those names on that list of performers is pretty cool, it’s a bucket-list thing for us,” he said.