Music review: Boyzone, Hydro, Glasgow

Keith Duffy, Shane Lynch, Mickey Graham and Ronan Keating of Boyzone. Picture: REX/Shutterstock
Keith Duffy, Shane Lynch, Mickey Graham and Ronan Keating of Boyzone. Picture: REX/Shutterstock
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For their final ever Scottish performance, this cleanest-cut of Irish boybands delivered a show that was sentimental but unquestionably engaging, with the surviving quartet seeming to have an awful lot of fun as they prepared to call time on their collective 25-year career. With no great stage trappings beyond a selection of costume changes and a couple of backing singers, Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch hoofed their way through a series of relatively restrained dance routines and the cheesy hits that made them one of Europe’s most successful boy groups.

Boyzone, Hydro, Glasgow ***

Heavy on nostalgia, with videos of their fresh-faced youth playing almost constantly behind them, the songs were interspersed with documentary footage of the group in reflective mood. One of these served as distraction for the four to suddenly appear on a small, island stage in the midst of the audience. Paying tribute with affectionate tales of their lost member, Stephen Gately, who died in 2009 of a congenital heart defect, they sang Dream, a new number featuring demo tracks of his voice, which proved well-judged and genuinely affecting.

Elsewhere, tracks like their by-the-numbers cover of Cat Stevens’ Father and Son and insipid ballads like Words drove the audience to what must still be gratifying shrieks of excitement. Their rendition of Billy Ocean’s When The Going Gets Tough was bouncy, playing to their puppyish harmlessness. And they put plenty of doe-eyed sincerity into No Matter What. Such is the lingering bond between Boyzone and their fans, it’ll be a surprise if this actually was their swansong.

JAY RICHARDSON