old school  | 

Keith Duffy and Brian McFadden reveal they had to be 'taught to sing' before Boyzlife album released today

'We have spent eight months literally going though vocal coaching and getting myself up to speed'

Keith Duffy and Brian McFadden on Loose Women

Eugene Masterson

BOYZLIFE stars Keith Duffy and Brian McFadden have revealed how they basically had to be taught how to sing before they brought out their new album today.

And Keith discloses his late father Sean – whom their new album ‘Old School’ is dedicated to – used to avoid some Boyzone shows because he was furious his son wasn’t allowed sing on main vocals.

“In the 25 years of Boyzone Louis Walsh had the kind of attitude of ‘if it’s not broken don’t fix it’ and the sound of Boyzone was predominantly Stephen and Ronan,” explains Keith. “And that was the sound of Boyzone. The other three of us were kind of suppressed I suppose.

“Then when you kind of get called up to sing, your confidence is gone, its shattered.”

The pair were not taking any chances with their new album, which is their second having released their debut ‘Strings Attached’ two years ago.

“We have spent eight months literally going though vocal coaching and getting myself up to speed,” confirmed Keith on ITV’s ‘Loose Women’ show today.

“The first album we recorded with the Royal Philharmonic and we took our favourite Westlife songs and our favourite Boyzone songs and we recorded them with the Royal Philharmonic, an 84-piece orchestra and that was kind of like our way of showing our respect and our thanks to our respective bands and now this album is our new sound.

“It was important to us to find out what sound is Boyzlife going to have and we took a while and we decided that we are very influenced by the 80s, with a little twist of today and it’s out there and we are delighted with it.”

Brian adds: “Our album is out today. We wanted to make an album that sounded like an 80s 90s kind of a themed album. Basically, what we said was wanted songs to sound like it could have been on a movie like the Karate Kid or Top Gun or Three men and a Baby. So, we went away and we wrote these songs and they are finally out today.”

Brian acknowledges that Keith has had difficulty in singing in the past.

“For the first couple of gigs and all of a sudden he’s supposed to be singing and I’m looking around ‘what are you doin’. And he’s going ‘I’m waiting for my bit to come in’ and I’m like ‘it is your bit’,” he chuckled.

The pair are best buddies.

“We met back in 98 when Westlife joined Boyzone on tour and I suppose we were looked up as the cheeky chappies. We come from pretty hard-working class backgrounds and to be kind of catapulted into that life,” he notes.

“We were afraid that it happened so quick, it could be taken away so quick, so we were kind of enjoying every moment

“We just enjoyed every moment and we appreciated it and we got a bit of a reputation for being loud.”

Keith reflects that his late Sean was a guiding light for him.

“My dad was a great musician and singer. Myself and Brian would send the demos back to my dad (soundboard). I just lost him to Covid in January,” he sighs.

“I was delighted before he died, we managed to get him the masters of the songs off this album, because we’d send him the demos and he’d go ‘I like that bit, but I don’t like that bit, what are youse trying to do there?’.

“He was our biggest critic and our best advocate. And Brian very kindly suggested that we should dedicate the album to him and that’s actually lovely to me.”

He did have some piece of satisfaction.

“He (Sean) heard the final songs. He was brutally honest and he didn’t hold back. For years in Boyzone he was very disappointed, he wouldn’t come to see some of the shows because he thought it was a crime that the other three of us were suppressed so much, so with Boyzlife he was really proud. It was great that I got the opportunity to show him that before he passed, which is amazing,” he beams.

Brian’s daughter Ruby turns one on Sunday.

“It has been the most amazing year,” he stresses. “You know what the great thing was, because of Covid we had obviously had that forced break to be at home so I got to be with Danielle (his fiancée) and during the pregnancy and I got to spend so much time with her since she was born.

It’s the most amazing experience. I missed all of that all during Molly and Lilly (his daughters with Kerry Katona), because obviously I was in Westlife and back then we didn’t have Facetime and what we have now.

“We obviously went through so much to have Ruby -we had our miscarriages and all the IVF treatment, so when she arrived it was such a miracle when she arrived.

“I kind of didn’t get excited at all until the day she actually came out. It’s so weird, you’re so used to used to watching movies and stuff like that. Actually, when you go to the hospital and the baby comes out with the C section. Basically, the mother stays there and a nurse brings you in, just gives you the baby and ‘I’ll see you later!. They didn’t give me an instruction book or anything. I’m like ‘what do I do now?’.”

He also remembers the drama of Danielle’s waters breaking.

“We were actually playing golf when Danni went into labour,” he recollects.

“We were due to have a C-section on the Sunday and Danni went into labour, and on the 16 th hole her water broke. She finished the game, and then we went to hospital.

“I had nothing packed, I had no nappies. So when she gave me the baby, the nurse said ‘where’s the nappies?’. I said, ‘they’re back in the house’. So, they had to make a nappy out of a towel.”

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