Shane Filan back for intimate show

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - “Doing a concert is what I love best. To perform in front of the fans is the most amazing feeling in the world.”

This is Shane Filan sharing with The STAR his thoughts on his upcoming World Trade Center concert titled You & Me Tour Live In Manila set on Oct. 1 at 8 p.m.

The former Westlife vocalist has been charting the solo-career territory since last year with the promotion of his Everything to Me EP. The Manila showcase, without musical comrades and collaborators Kian Egan, Mark Feehily, Nicky Byrne and Brian McFadden, is Shane’s major performance and third visit in the country.

Filipino fans first saw Shane as a soloist and heard his music in The Voice Philippines Final Four. They also met him in the promo shows in September of last year and another promo tour in June. This time around, Filaners, Shane’s army of fans, and Westlifers, Westlife followers, will have a longer musical date with the then Irish boy band’s lead vocalist.

“I’m very good, very excited,” says Shane in a brief phone interview. “It’s been a year since my first single came out. It’s been great (going solo). I travel the world. I’ve done so much in one year. I came to the Philippines. And I’ll be back there (soon). I’m really excited.”

Shane’s You & Me show is part of his Asian tour that kicked off in Indonesia and went to Vietnam, Taiwan and China and will culminate in Manila. Then, he will return to UK and Ireland for another series of shows.

Asked what has kept him busy from the time he guest-performed in The Voice Phl last year, Shane replies, “I got back to UK and Ireland to launch my album. Then, I went on tour. I’ve been promoting my concerts.”

In fact, Shane had squeezed in time to write an autobiography titled My Side of Life, which will be released on Oct. 9 and is available on a pre-order arrangement, on top of his singing engagements and recording commitments.

The book will give fans a peek into their idol’s world on and off stage and take them down on his memory lane “as a young man growing up in Ireland” and his musical pursuits with Westlife. “There’s a lot of detail about my personal life — my family, myself, the financial (crisis) that happened to me. It describes in detail how it happened and why it happened. I wanna get the fans the truth, my side of the story. It is quite detailed. It is an interesting read. It is a very positive story as well.”

Anyone who goes through the same problem and plight in life can relate to Shane’s story as it gives him the how-to’s in dealing with “a tough time (like) how you go through it.” Shane uses the power of printed words to evoke emotions from the usual music he has been associated with Westlife — and now with his music in You & Me.

“A lot of the songs are about my wife Gillian and my life with her,” Shane says of his debut album, which is full of “positive songs and a lot of (them) are love songs” that fans will enjoy. They can be likened to love letters being sung instead of read. The music is upbeat and one can easily sing along with track after track. Shane does not only showcase his clear, distinct voice in the album, but also his being a storyteller, who gives all his attention to the listener. “It’s a very personal album,” says Shane, who also dedicates it to his fans.

Listening to the entire album, everyone is one in saying that Shane has come to his own — as a solo performer and his confidence as an artist is apparent. “It’s a bit scary,” he says. “You can only hope for the best.”

Shane is aware of the challenges of singing alone. “I think it’s more difficult because people will remember you from being (part of) the band… The better your songs are, the more successful you’re gonna be. You have to have great songs.” So far, Shane’s songs are really good. That‘s why he keeps on raising the bar. “I want my songs to be better for the fans. You have to keep pushing yourself harder. You  have to get better and better.”

Thus, Shane is ready to perform before his Pinoy fans who have been supporting him since his band entered the international recording scene in 1998.

“It’s really a good show,” he says. “I’ll do a lot of Westlife songs which, I think, are important for the fans. Fifty-percent of my show will be my Westlife songs. I’ll do some songs from my album as well. I’ll do covers. It’s gonna be a great show.”

In another statement, Shane says he has prepared a list of songs that will make followers “sing, dance and fall in love again.” There’s also a possibility of him whipping a mash-up. Whether he is going to have Filipino artists as front acts or not, it remains to be seen.

At the rate his solo career is going, Shane has definitely gotten off to a good start.

(Shane’s You & Me Tour Live in Manila 2014 is presented by Midas Promotions with FOX and Star World as co-presentors. Tickets are available at www.smtickets.com, www.ticketnet.com.ph or www.ticketworld.com.ph and priced at P4,500 [Platinum Seated], P3,000 [Gold Standing] and P2,000 [Silver Standing]. For details, call 470-2222, 911-5555 or 891-9999.)












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