We’ll never get over losing Stephen says Newmarket-bound Boyzone’s Shane Lynch

Boyzone play Newmarket Racecourse this Friday

Boyzone play Newmarket Racecourse this Friday - Credit: Archant

Boyzone’s Shane Lynch speaks to entertainment writer Wayne Savage ahead of the group’s visit to Newmarket.

Mikey Graham, Keith Duffy, Ronan Keating and Shane Lynch

Mikey Graham, Keith Duffy, Ronan Keating and Shane Lynch - Credit: Archant

Nearly six years have passed since Stephen Gately died, aged just 33. But he’s still there in spirit everytime Boyzone step on stage.

“It’s always going to be hard. We stand on stage as a four-piece, that’s what the crowd or people watching the TV see. To us, there are always five of us, we’ll always be a five-piece. I don’t think we’ll ever get over it. It’s not like he left the band and decided not to come back... It’s not like Westlife and Brian McFadden. We don’t have that opportunity, that luck. It’s over in that respect,” says Lynch.

“You miss those tones, that sound, the particular verses Stevo used to sing; I guess Boyzone had a particular sound because of his distinct voice and we always miss that definitely.”

Having sold more than 25million records worldwide, Lynch, Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham and Ronan Keating are one of Ireland and the UK’s biggest boybands. Known for hits including Love Me For A Reason, Words, No Matter What and When The Going Gets Tough they have had 18 UK top 10 singles; six of which hit the number one spot.

Nearly six years on from Stephen Gately's death, the band still consider themselves a five-piece as

Nearly six years on from Stephen Gately's death, the band still consider themselves a five-piece as they know he's there in spirit - Credit: Archant

Celebrating 20 years together, they released their sixth studio album From Dublin to Detroit last year, featuring their best loved songs from the Motown era.

The band are among the most popular acts to play The July Course at Newmarket. Their July 24 gig is their fourth visit.

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“It’s due to popular demand (so) yeah, we’re really pleased about that. Newmarket has always been a great gig, it’s always been electric. People are up for a good time. You’ve got an hour-and-a-half and you’re pretty much going to know every single record that’s played.”

The teenage girls who followed the band back in the day are now grown up and bringing their own daughters to gigs; much to the band’s delight.

“Twenty years later you’ve got mums, their daughters and (sometimes) even their daughters and that’s pretty cool for us guys; there’s a definite tri-generation thing going on,” says Lynch. He puts that down to their back catalogue of hits.

“We’ve had the pleasure of covering music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tracy Chapman, The Osmonds, songs written for us, our own stuff... We were lucky and got it right, I guess that’s why 20 something years later we’re still playing and those records are still big.”

Sometimes, he adds, it definitely feels like 20 years have passed. Other times, he can’t believe it.

“I was 17 when I got into the band with the world ahead of me. I didn’t quite know or understand what to expect. I’m still here, we’re still doing it. I feel like the same person but when you talk to folk who were one when we first got together who have their own businesses, are getting married and have children that’s pretty crazy.”

There’s a particular vibe or emotion running through the music industry; one Lynch says that can very quickly can grab hold of you and then spit you out confused and mixed up if you let it.

“I thought coming back into the music in 2007, after we took that break, I thought ‘yeah I’m a different person, I’m a much more grounded guy’. When I got back into music I realised that wasn’t the case, the industry has its own feel to it and it felt exactly as it did back in the 1990s. You have to be a bit careful, you’ve just got to grab hold of it and not let it run away with you - don’t ever let the ball drop, stay strong, stay focused.”

Boyzone are enjoying life right now. Having released a couple of albums (BZ20 and From Dublin to Detroit) close together, they’re letting fans digest them before starting work on another.

“A year seems like a long time but it’s really not. Now we’re back on the road we’ve had the opportunity to play a lot of those records, those live records From Dublin to Detroit, and are quite looking forward to getting that out there and mixing them in with our set. A new album may be another year away again.”

Thankfull for the success he’s had, Lynch feels it’s important to give back. Earlier this year he released the charity single One More For The Road for The Simon Community which helps the homeless and those on the verge of losing their homes.

“I think it’s important that those who have a bit more going for them lend a hand to those who are struggling. That doesn’t necessarily money, that means time, conversation, anything... It wasn’t about doing well or having a number one; everyone involved are all past that idea of music now. It’s raised a fair bit of money which is great and hopefully it continues to do so.”

Boyzone can’t wait to return to Newmarket.

“It’s great to be back and we can’t wait to see you guys because I know it’s (going to be) a loud, awesome crowd. Bring your dancing shoes and your singing voices and we’re going to have a party,” says Lynch.