When Boyzone blares out that first vintage tune on 16 August at a packed CR&FC grounds, Dilshad Hassan, who heads DCI Events and Entertainment, the event management company responsible for securing such a coup, hopes it will be the start of many such tours.
“The idea is to get someone here to put us on the map. We want to get people from other countries coming here, instead of us going up,” Hassan told Daily FT.
“The process itself is not an easy one, because while they have not shown any indifference to us because we’re Sri Lankans, naturally it’s a very risky thing to come to Sri Lanka. I mean it’s not like we have events every month.
“This in itself will open us up because our name is on the Boyzone World Tour and when it’s there people are going to look and say, ‘Sri Lanka is there’, and then Sri Lanka might be there in the future also.”
Indeed Colombo is the first venue for the start of Boyzone’s Asian leg of their farewell tour, where they will celebrate their 25th anniversary. 25 years that have seen 25 million record sales, seven hit studio albums, six No.1 singles and hundreds of thousands of ticket sales; and even as their journey comes to an end Ronan, Keith, Mikey and Shane are still going stronger than ever in shaping the world of pop music.
Boyzone, the story
From the moment their debut album, ‘Said and Done’, crashed into the UK #1 spot in 1995, the five lads from the North side of Dublin started living a dream – hit albums, world tours, screaming fans, press conferences, TV shows and millions of record sales. The group’s second album, ‘A Different Beat’, was released in 1996 and featured hits including ‘Isn’t It A Wonder’, ‘Picture Of You’, the title track and the band’s first UK #1 single, ‘Words’. Its follow-up, ‘Where We Belong’, was even more successful, with hits such as ‘All That I Need’, ‘Baby Can I Hold You’ and the band’s bestselling single, ‘No Matter What’. With sold-out shows and top selling singles as far afield as Asia and right across Europe, everything Boyzone touched turned to gold.
The Summer of 2009 took them back on the road for the ‘Better Tour’, set off on the next challenge the five Boyz headed into the studio to start work on what would eventually become their fourth studio album, ‘Brother’. On 10 October 2009, however, work came to a grinding halt after the sudden, tragic passing of Stephen Gately. They decided that this was an album that Stephen would have been so very proud of, leaving them all with the unanimous feeling that going ahead and releasing the album would serve as the ultimate tribute to their sadly departed band mate. The album ‘Brother’ was dedicated, fittingly, to Stephen.
In 2013, to mark their twentieth anniversary, there was a new label, a new album and a new tour. ‘BZ20’, released Nov ‘13, was their fifth studio album and first with Warner Music. The album gave us the singles ‘Love Will Save the Day’, ‘Light up the Night!’ and the anthemic ‘Who We Are’. The new tracks were showcased to fans on the BZ20 tour, which saw out 2013 on a high. 2014 saw a change for the lads as they released their first themed album ‘Dublin to Detroit’. This was a compilation of classics with a Boyzone touch that was a treat for the fans that grew up with them.
After almost two and a half decades together, Boyzone have experienced phenomenal success and crushing personal tragedy. It’s only right that 2018 will be a huge celebration of their 25 years of Boyzone with a new album planned along with live shows and tours happening throughout the year.
A part of the celebratory plans includes a series of concerts in Asia. Originally Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore were confirmed on the Asian itinerary. The first show will be in Colombo on 16 August at the CR&FC grounds, showcasing the bands greatest hits. “No matter what” get ready to groove to “A Different Beat”!
The band will be staying at the Colombo Hilton with all travel arrangements handled by Classic Travel. Those who are interested in finding out more information can call the information desk on 071 8 935 935 and those who are looking to purchase their tickets can get them at 444.lk and taktikbook.lk.
“And we look to the show’s producer, Classic Funtime to give us an Unforgettable show like only they can do. DCI Events and Entertainment are the promoters and would be eager to better their last show, Michael Learns to Rock – whichh was a roaring success. Insurance for the whole event would be in the capable hands of Continental Insurance,” added a media release on behalf of the show’s sponsors.
Pix by Sameera Wijesinghe