Ronan Keating will be headlining on day one of the Rose of Lancaster Carnival and ahead of Ronan’s performance, Explore Liverpool music writer, Matt Jacobson interviews the man himself.
In terms of lockdown, you have mentioned life being a rollercoaster, for me, the music industry and the hospitality industry – their rollercoaster seemed to be heading off a cliff – how was it as an artist?
It’s very hard to watch the industry being hit the way it was. But it’s not just how it hit the artists, but the catering companies, the technicians, the truck drivers and security. You know, these are the backbone of the industry and they had to find other work. It was hard for me to watch. It has been a disaster, because the industry was forgotten, so that’s why we can’t wait, not just me, but all of us to get back on the road again. And I can’t wait to see everyone, because I’ve missed them.
Did it give you more time to be creative or did it halt creativity?
I felt I was busier doing other things. I was doing Magic radio, The One Show and I’ve had a baby girl just over a year ago and also we are building our new home with my wife as the project manager. So she’s been out of the house on site and I’ve been at home with the kids. So my music side of my life has been put on hold, I accept that, I’m not bitter, I’m back recording now so I’m back in the studio, so, the music side of things was put on hold as such.
Playing live – is the stage where you belong?
Yeah, I was hosting The One Show last night and Rag ‘N’ Bone Man was performing live and – we’ve had a couple of live performances recently including Ed Sheeran but last night I was quite jealous. For the first time for a long time I felt jealous because he was performing live and I wasn’t.. playing live is what I want to do…
Did you feel it inside, not so much jealousy but frustration?
Yes, I was getting worked up, I just left, I couldn’t stand this any longer, I just wanted to get back to singing and performing live. It’s been a huge part of my life since 16 years of age. And for a while it has been taken away from me.
How would you describe the first ten yards when walking on stage?
I would say, pre-covid, it was just normal, I’d just walk on stage, it felt natural. My manager would walk in the dressing room and say five minutes to go before stage time, I’d finish my vocal warm ups and go out on stage. But come Friday, my thoughts will be different, my anxiety, joy, nerves, excitement will all be there bubbling when I walk out. I’m nervous now, but I’m so excited. It’s also hard to explain as well, but for sure it’s a privilege.
– Photo by Michelle Marshall Ronan Keating and Matt Jacobson
For the gig next week, how will you select the setlist with such a huge back catalogue of songs?
I guess I’m lucky to have so many songs, but you have to give the audience what they want. You have to give the hits and maybe leave the B-sides for another day. So I’ll load up the hits such as ‘
Rollercoaster’, When you say nothing at all, If Tomorrow Never Comes, The Way You Make Me Feel‘ and Boyzone songs and maybe a cover. But It will be just the hits on Friday.
So, after a set, how would you describe the last ten yards of walking off a stage ?
It depends on the gig, and it depends whether you feel you have smashed it or not. Usually it’s euphoric and 9.9 times out of 10 you don’t want the gig to end, you are buzzing. You can’t fall asleep during a gig, you have to stay awake and alive.
Haydock isn’t too far from LIverpool which has a rich history of music – do you enjoy coming here?
I’ve been coming to Liverpool for years and played all over and the Arena a few times. It’s a great city, it has great energy and has a great connection with Ireland. Whether it be supporting Liverpool or Everrton but you also get many Liverpudlians coming over to Dublin – there’s a great connection between the two cities. I’m very familiar with it. The energy and the people they really appreciate good music.
And other than the gig next Friday, what next for Ronan Keating?
I’m touring January, February so I’ll be back in Liverpool. And I’m working on a new album that should be out by Christmas. It’s a concept record and should be out by the end of the year.
Well from myself, and Explore Liverpool – thank you so much and very best wishes.
Thank you Matt, I’ll see you Friday!
Ronan Keating plays Haydock Races – 06/08/2021 BOOK TICKETS HERE
Thanks to Ronan Keating