Westlife: We are coming ‘home’23/07/2011 07:40
Playing in Scotland is like coming home, say Westlife, who are preparing for tomorrow’s outdoor gig at Hamilton Park Racecourse.
The Irish heart-throbs say their screaming Scottish fans remind them of the crazy reception they get whenever to return to the Emerald Isle.
Mark Feehily, said: “We’re looking forward to it. We love it. We’ve been to Scotland millions of times.
“I feel similar to when we go back to Ireland. It’s somewhere we feel very comfortable and at home.
“The fans have got the same sort of passion and energy as the Irish crowd.”
Fans can expect all the hits – as well as some well-known tunes by other pop acts.
Mark, 31, said: “It’s a slightly adapted version of our arena tour.
“We sing all our hits and a couple of up-tempo covers which is the most exciting part of the gig.
“We always do current hits – we don’t want to give the game away but everyone knows who’s big at the minute – people like Lady Gaga and Rhianna.”
However the band say they were devastated by the recent storm surrounding their manager and X Factor judge Louis Walsh, 58.
Dancer Leonard Watters, 24, claimed Louis molested him in a Dublin nightclub toilet after a Westlife concert.
But the claims were dropped and Watters has been arrested.
Mark says Louis is now throwing himself into his work to try to get over it.
Mark said: “I’ve spoken to Louis quite a few times over the past few weeks and he’s just focusing on the X Factor.
“He loves his job and it’s fantastic he has that as it aids him moving on and putting everything behind him.
“Honestly I’m not in a position to say anything about it as it’s a legal matter but we love Louis, and he’s nothing but goodness.
“He’s a very nice man and he’s taught us everything we know. It’s devastating, but the devastating thing is its on such a public level.”
Westlife is made up of Mark and bandmates Nicky Byrne, Kian Egan and Shane Filan. Brian McFadden left in 2004.
After nearly 14 years together, they trail behind only superstars Elvis and The Beatles in their amount of number one hits, a total of 14.
Favourites have included Flying Without Wings, Mandy and Uptown Girl, and they were the biggest selling band of the last decade in the UK
And Mark says even the band, which is preparing a new greatest hits album to be released in September, can’t believe the statistics.
He said: “Somebody said to me on Twitter the other day we’ve had 24 top 10 songs, 14 number ones and seven number one albums.
“I was reading these facts and I thought, that’s amazing. We get a warm feeling to think what we’ve achieved.
“This next record is going to be a celebration of that success and we’re going to have some new songs as well.”
Westlife has millions of dedicated fans around the world, but Mark says sometimes they can go a bit too far.
He says his family has been bothered by girls who just want to get close to them.
He said: “All of us have had a few scary moments with fans. The lads always say to me I attract the proper mad ones. It’s more obsessed.
“We’ve got millions of fans, I’m talking about a few people. It makes you feel uncomfortable. They’re just like an obsession gone too far.
“You might have to make a call and say this girl needs to have a look at herself, and I don’t know if her mum knows what she’s doing.”
Westlife will be supported by Parade, and Glen Cal.
Tickets start at £40 from www.hamilton-park.co.uk or by calling 01698 283 806. Gates open at 4pm.