Back in the early to mid '90s, there was a right old battle-of-the-bands brewing. Prior to the seemingly-endless string of TV talent-shows and wailing bedroom-wannabees and with the real 'wannabe' girl-group Spice Girls soon to be firmly installed as the feminine alternative to Take That, Ireland's music-mogul Louis Walsh was busy advertising for an Irish male version of the same.
And so, Boyzone were born in 1993, after which unprecedented success followed with millions upon millions of women (and men) losing control of their wallets, hormones and radical senses by propelling Ronan Keating and his chums to #1 on the Singles Chart six times (more in Ireland), just a small chunk of their 200+ weeks spent on the same listings.
They've sold over 20 million releases worldwide and, while not quite the unit-shifters that Take That became, they remain ahead of later arch-rivals, Westlife. All of which translates as an admirable record by anyone's standards, be you a fan or a hater. Keating himself hasn't done too badly with his solo career either, but in 2007 opted to regroup the lads for more shows. Tragedy struck in 2009 after Stephen Gately died suddenly on holiday, but the remaining group-members haven't diminished in spirit.
And that same spirit will be unleashed on a huge autumn 2013 tour! Aptly, the BZ20 tour will begin pretty much where they began - Dublin - on 28th November, followed by Belfast, Cardiff, Bournemouth and most of the key UK cities, before trampling all over Take That's stamping ground, Manchester on 22nd December.
We have available on pre-sale now for all but Dublin and Belfast (on sale Thursday 14th Feb), with prices varying from £35.50 to £37.50. Please note there will be two London shows, one south of the river at the O2 Arena (20th December) and north at Wembley Arena (21st).
Expect to hear "No Matter What", "Words", "A Different Beat", "Love Me For a Reason" and any one of their eighteen Top 10 hits.