How Boyzone must regret agreeing to go by that name, not knowing that 20 years on they’d still be crooning sincerely in suits under that moniker, subject to many waggish gags about how they should be renamed Menzone. Or, as their new album has it, BZ.
Boyzone - Hydro, Glasgow
At least they don’t have to force themselves through dance routines, since Boyzone’s moves still consist of walking over here, walking over there, going up and down stairs and, of course, clutching the mic-stands in unison.
To fill out the stage there are showgirls, preening behind fans and strutting with cardboard hearts.
But the lack of invention or variety is hardly felt by their still-adoring almost-entirely female audience, which is perfectly happy to hear pleasant melodies, pleasantly performed. With that in mind, this is mostly a greatest hits set, though the few new songs – including gloopy The Hour Before Christmas – and the inevitable cover versions all mulch into one amorphous mass.
But there is one thing lacking: Stephen Gately, who died four years ago and whose sweet goofiness is missed.
An extended section sees them pay tribute to their “brother” – his actual brother is in the crowd tonight, too – by recounting anecdotes around a table before their vocals mix with his on Better.
An incongruous clip of Dylan Thomas’s “rage, rage against the dying of the light”, along with optimistic statements about the next 20 years, suggests that “BZ” may aspire to longevity. But honestly, with little but amiability, they’ve done well to last this far.