Boyzone’s Keith Duffy and Westlife’s Brian McFadden are joining forces for a Christmas concert tour, and the next stop is Clapham Grand, writes Laura Burgoine… 

“The show came about by accident. Me and Brian go back years,” Keith told the Weekender. “I was going on the road to do a one-man show, theatre style with an autobiographical feel. I’d been in a play on the West End and didn’t know what to write. I was putting some songs and music in but I started feeling a bit self-conscious –in Boyzone I’d always done back-up vocals not lead,” he continued. “Brian and I mixed our ideas for a joint show and the whole tour sold out in four hours and the show was a huge success.”

Now they’re back for part two. “It’s great fun, and after talking to fans and listening to what they had to say on social media we discovered they wanted more songs so we decided to go old school: 20 of our best songs, minimum talking, more jiving.”

Every song the duo sings has been a Number One. “Westlife started off as a support act for Boyzone, then we broke up, and Westlife kind of took over,” Keith said. “This is exciting, it’s good fun; we have a laugh. We don’t take ourselves too seriously.”

Boyzone reunited in 2008 and did a whole reunion tour. “That was just before Stephen Gately died so those are important memories now –we got two years with him and I’m so grateful for that,” Keith said. “We’re back on the road again next year for our 25th anniversary and Brian is coming with us.”

The band has enjoyed a longevity that’s eluded a great many before them. “It’s about people and being able to get on,” Keith said. “The most important word in the dictionary is compromise, whether it’s in a relationship, marriage, friendship. Everyone has different feelings and you need to be able to get along harmoniously.”

Both bands have toured all over the world but they’ve never played at Clapham Grand. “The ironic thing is we’ve played every theatre in the UK, but not many in London. In London we played arenas; we never did smaller venues so this is the first time. We’re really looking forward to playing in Clapham; it’s such an iconic building.”

After Boyzone, Keith branched into acting, starring in Coronation Street for ten years.

“I was always in am dram as a kid, and when the band broke up, I really didn’t know what to do next,” Keith said. “I was never lead vocal in Boyzone, I’d done a couple of short movies and it was during an interview about one of them that someone from Coronation Street read it and thought it’d be cool to get an Irish guy on the show. So they created a character for me.”

“It was a rollercoaster. The light within the tunnel is you have to have friends in the show, the people you work with because you can be working up to 14 hours a day, six days a week.”

Boyzlife is playing at the Clapham Grand, 21-25 St John’s Hill, SW11 1TT, on December 12 at 7:30pm-11pm. Admission: from £32.50. Phone: 020 7223 6523. claphamgrand.com and boyzlife.seetickets.com