Jul 21 2011 by Leona Greenan, Hamilton Advertiser
IRISH pop sensation Westlife will wow a 10,000 strong crowd in Hamilton this weekend – and the band’s Kian Egan can’t wait to entertain their Lanarkshire fans.
Along with his bandmates Nicky Byrne, Mark Feehily and Shane Filan, Kian will take to the stage at Hamilton racecourse on Saturday night to perform an outdoor gig.
The four-piece band, who have had 14 number ones and sold 44 million records worldwide, searched the country for the best venue to reach out to their Scots fans and Kian said Hamilton was “the perfect setting” for this open air concert.
He told the Advertiser this week: “We absolutely love coming to Scotland. The fans are always amazing, giving us a great response.
“It’s a very special place for us. Last year we played the SECC as part of our tour and it was mental – just brilliant.”
The fresh-faced 31-year-old star admitted choosing Hamilton as the venue for this concert was no easy task and said the band wanted to perform somewhere that no-one would expect them to play.
“He added: “Every year Westlife get together and discuss possible venues to perform, and so this year was no different.
“But we always try to find places that we’ve not necessarily visited or played at before.
“We’ve been to Scotland a lot over the years and this year we’d heard about the racecourse and its up-and-coming status as a concert venue and thought, yeah, let’s do it, it’s perfect for us.
“It’s a place that people wouldn’t necessarily expect us to come and play as they may think we’re all about big stadium gigs, but it’s nice to go somewhere like Hamilton and really reach out to our fans in a different venue.
“We’re very much looking forward to Saturday’s concert.”
Aside from Westlife, Kian is working tirelessly with music mogul Louis Walsh as a co-manager of the new girl group Wonderland, which his wife Jodi Albert – formerly of Hollyoaks fame – is a member of.
And while he is still very much involved with Westlife he admits managing a band was an opportunity he couldn’t resist.
He said: “Westlife’s schedule isn’t as hectic as it used to be. We’ll maybe have four or five weeks at a time when things are really mad and then we’ll have a lot of time to ourselves where we all concentrate on our own things.
“I never thought I’d end up co-managing a band but the opportunity came to me and it was something that I thought about and couldn’t pass up. It’s a great opportunity and I’m really excited to be part of it.”
Managing Wonderland certainly does not spell the end of Westlife however, with the band due to release their second greatest hits album in November.
Kian said: “Our greatest hits album is out soon, and we’ve worked so hard to put together four or five new tracks for the album. The new songs are great and we’re all really pleased with them. We think the fans will love them too.”
Two acts will warm up the stage for the Irish supergroup next Saturday night.
Hot new girl group Parade and emerging Irish singer-songwriter Glen Cal have now been confirmed as the support acts for Westlife's live concert.
Kian added: “There was some confusion as to who was supporting us at Hamilton and it was thought that Wonderland were the support act, but that is not the case as the girls are busy in Ireland at the weekend.”
Westlife’s concert is the second gig of the weekend at the Lanarkshire venue with The Wanted the headline act 24 hours earlier.
Vivien Kyles, chief executive of Hamilton Park Racecourse, said: “It's fantastic to be adding such talented acts to our line-up for what promises to be an amazing weekend of live music at Hamilton Park. Parade and Glen Cal will be great additions to Westlife and the perfect follow-up to The Wanted and Fanfair.”
For tickets for any of the above of these events visit www.hamilton-park.co.uk or call 01698 283 806.