TVHits - "WESTLIFE NAKED?"
"Sorry we're late!" grin five cheery irish lads as they arrive at their top secret tour rehearsals.. a little behind schedule! "We had a bit of a clothes crisis this morning" explains Mark. "But its all sorted now!" Oh dear this is all sounding a bit worring. With their tour manager (and some might say 6th member) Anto gone, there's no one getting the lads up in the morning. And are they fighting about everything now - even clothes?
"Nonsense!" Bryan roars when we ask. "There's so much rubbish about us in the papers at the moment please dont believe it!" More of that later. First its time to get on with the business of the day - rehearsing for the Westlife Unbreakable Tour 2003. And what an extravagance it promises to be! "Its only our second day of proper rehearsals, but it gonna be absolutley amazing," smiles Shane - despite the fact that he's suffering some serious toothache. But will he tell us about it? Will he heck! "Aw do i have to tell ya about it? I want it to be a surprise!" he grumbles. But don't worry, the tvhits spies are out in force for ya - and we eventually get the goss outta him. "We'll dance, but not in a Justin kind of way. We haven't got proper dance routines - we're crap at dancing! But don't worry, it'll still be energetic!" he reveals.
Today's the first time the lads have seen their costumes - and they're pretty cool, let us tell ya! The set and the styling have both been designed by super stylist William Baker. Hanging on the rails are lots of black clothes - trousers with loads of military style zips, soft-as-butter leather jackets and very sexy fishnet tops. The lads approve - but then, they've had lots of input into it. "They look cool," grins Mark. "But this is only one outfit. There's gonna be loads more! We all sat down and literally designed what we wanted ourselves - like drawing out the shapes of trousers."
Clothes approved, and the boys take time out to pose for our pics. Shane's clearly the man in charge, telling everyone to shut up and listen to the photographer. The others are a bit distracted - Kian's massaging Mark's shoulders while Bryan sneakily tries to continue a conversation.
It might be a day for a tour rehearsal, but the boys got loads of other bits to fit in. There's an interview for a football TV show - which they love cos it gaves them a chance to go outside for a kick about! Then they do a couple of quick snaps for The Wrong Trousers charity. "It's a cool charity to help kids - we try and do as much of that as we can." reveals Bryan.
The soundtrack of the day is Uptown Girl - all day long! The band is rehearsing in the room next door, getting the song down to perfection. The lads wander through to say hello, and have a quick jam. "Picking the band was easy - we've had the same guys for ages," says Mark.
The main business of today is filming some vedios which will be played on the big screens by the stage on tour. Each of the lads takes it in turns to sit on a stool, which slowly rotates while they film close up to their faces. Sounds simple? It takes ages! Nicky's first, but he's not sure about the outfit he's wearing.
"I look like a plonker with the jumpsuit all done up! Can't I justtie it round my waist?" he begs the stylists. They agree - hurrah! Especially cos it means exposing loads of Nicky chest flesh in his fishnet top!
To keep themselves entertained. Kian plays Mark some CDs he's recently burned. Are these demos of the new Westlife album? They're all up tempo in a Bop Bop Baby style-ee, with a bit of Appleton attitude chucked in.
Finally, all five boys have been filmed and it's time to head next door to rehearse with the band. "See y'all on stage!" they grin as they leave the building.
Ya Sure will!
'Loife crisis 1:
Will They Split Up?
Bryan: We're all gone through stages of being fed up - but we work through it.
Shane: The papers are full of rubbish. We've signed a new five album deal, so we're not going anywhere!
Kian: To be honest, it's just funny to us to read about all this, cos we know that it's all not true. We're very much together!
Mark: I think some journalists just want to be the first with the story, so they'll make it up if it's not true. The only thing that'll stop us is if the fans don't want us!
Nicky: It's so frustrating! How many times do we have to say it's not true before people will believe us?
Bryan: It's all rubbish. I don't understand where it's come from - but it's all not true! We're working on the new album which we'll start recording while we're on tour!
'Loife crisis 2:
Did They Sack Anto?
Kian: Anyone who thinks that the tour manager leaving means the end of a band is a fool!
Bryan: Not being arrogant or anything, but there's onlt five of us. He wasn't up there singing the songs with us! I'll miss him though - he's my Formula One buddy!
Shane: Basically, we just grew apart from him. We needed someone new and fresh, and so did he.
Mark: I still think of him as a really good friend. We all talk to him loads on the phone, and we'll be going to his wedding later this year.
'Loife crisis 3:
Shane: I told a DJ I was annoyed about Bop Bop Baby. Both Bryan and I were mad cos we wrote it and the single sounded so different to the original. And I said we'd never release a rubbish song like Miss You Nights, I don't think Unbreakable is good either.
Kian: I don't think Miss You Nights and Queen Of My Heart are good songs. They're not the best we've done. We can do better.
Bryan: The whole Greatest Hits album was a rush job. There's no way we'll sing Miss You Nights on the tour - it's a rubbish song. I hated it from the first moment I heard Cliff Richard singing it.
'Loife crisis 4:
Kian: All these stories are just funny to us!
Shane: Yeah, all this stuff about Mark and Kian hating each is a load of old you-know-what! They're always the last two in the bar!
Mark: It's funny, sometimes it's not till someone accuses you of hating someone else that you realise just how much you like them - and how close you really are.
Nicky: If anything, all these rumours have made us realise how well we all do get on and just how far away we are from splitting up!
It's quite minimal. You can change the atmosphere with the lighting - it can be a bright funky disco set one minute and then change to an intimate lil' room vibe. It's so cool! --Bryan
There won't be lots of dancers distracting you from us! You can't really dance to our music anyway! But every stop we take on stage will be choreographed. --Kian
You never knew, you might get to see us all naked on this tour! The one thing that I can tell you is that we'll be getting close to absolutely everyone at some point in the show! --Mark
There'll be pyrotechnics, velvety backdrops, huge staircases and big screens. We're not doing proper dance routines though cos we're crap at dancing! --Shane
There'll be a medley too, but we haven't decided on it yet. It's gonna be from a particular era though! People always bet me to run across stage in my boxers - I've done it before! --Nicky
SmashHits - Nicky's Fave Irish Songs For All Time
1. No Frontiers, Mary Black
When I hear this it reminds me of being at home with my family.
2. No Need To Argue, The Cranberries
I'm a Cranberries's fan. Westlife once sung Little Drummer Boy with The Cranberries' singer, Delores, in front of The Pope.
3. Nothing Compares 2 U, Sinead O'Connor
This was written by Prince and was a No1 back in 1990
4. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, U2
I'm a huge U2 fan. I met U2's guitarist, The Edge, at a show in Dublin recently and I bought him a pint.
5. The Town I Love So Well, Phil Coulter
He used to write songs for Cliff Richard, but he's about 60 now.
6. Scorn Not His Simplicity, Luke Kelly
You haven't heard of Luke Kelly? He's massive in Ireland.
7. The Long Goodbye, Paul Brady & Ronan Keating
Ronan is my neighbour in Dublin - he lives 30 seconds away.
8. Brown Eyed Girl, Van Morrison
A classic song.
9. Zombie, The Cranberries
This Cranberries track is pure genius.
10. Sunday Bloody Sunday, U2
This is about the troubles in Northern Ireland.