Part 1:  How it all began.

Those of you who know Jac (my big sis) and I, will be aware of our general liking of all things Westlife. Yes you heard it hear folks.  We think Westlife pretty darn awesome!

It all began a long long time ago, back in 1999 when Westlife were a bunch of pastie faced Irish pretty boys, dressed up in matching clothes – shiney suits and muscle singlets (akk).  Back when they were still perfecting the moves that they are now recognised for the world over… the step slide, the pat pat the air, and the grab a handful of air and let it go.  Even if you’re interest in Westlife is limited, you will probably recognise the classic boyband moves that when performed live can make grown women scream.  or faint.  Or scream then faint.  One girl fainted before Westlife even got on the stage at Croke Park, I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt and say it was from the heat rather than the impending closeness of Kian, Nicky, Shane and Mark … but we’ll never know for sure.

Here’s some classic westlife from 1999…

Going back to the year 2000, remember back then when everyone thought the clocks would tick over at midnight and computers would crash and aeroplanes would drop from the sky? Yeah, well that did not happen.  But what did happen, was that I may or may not have arrived home from  Asia (arguably the area more in love with boybands than anywhere else on the planet) with a bootleg copy of a Westlife album, which I may or may not have purchased for around about $2.00.
It was a present for my big sister, and we spent many happy summer afternoons, lolling about on the postage stamp of grass in her backyard, shorts pulled up, singlet straps pulled down, singing along to our favourites… swear it again, if I let you go…Ah, the good old days.

go on…

Now that was back when Brian Mcfadden was still a member of Westlife, and I insisted he was the only good looking one.  They went through a terrible stage of sporting designer bowl cuts.. argh!  I might be a little judgmental but as far as I’m concerned, a bowl cut on anyone over the age of about 8 years old, just isn’t good.

So fast forward 10 years.  Westlife and Brian had gone their separate ways and the remaining 4 lads had improved their hair, had a few bazillion more hit singles, and they were coming to New Zealand.

We may not have given Westlife much of a second thought for a few years – have to admit we got a bit side tracked and had a bit of a love affair with Robbie Williams – especially his swing album *swoon*.

But in February 2008, it was with great excitement that we dropped the kids at their respective schools and kindy, put the littlest one to bed for his morning nap, and gathered ourselves in front of the computer on the dot of 9am.  Approximately 2 minutes later we had 2 tickets to Westlife.  ‘Live in concert’.


I think that’s what we said. There may have been a bit of excited dancing around the computer.

So on May 9th 2008, Jac and I headed out into the bitter cold southerly (it’s winter in Welly’s, what did you expect?) for Westlife’s Back Home concert.

A spot of dinner at One Red Dog, then a spot of queuing, which was entertainment in itself.  The number of women out there in singlets and teeny tiny skirts, their skin an interesting shade of blue / purple… I’ll call it blurple in reference to the blue & purple mixed up coloured “polar pop” iceblocks that were popular when I was a young lass, and which accurately describe the colour of skin around me.

Now this is not a phenomenon that only applies to Westlife concerts.  The Robbie Williams concert a few years earlier – similar conditions of a blustery southerly with a windchill of about -2 degrees, produced the same lack of clothing.  Even with concert goers knowing they would be sitting OUTSIDE at the Westpac Stadium.. brrrrrrrr… followed by the simplest of questions. WHY?

Now I’m not for a second saying you shouldn’t be allowed to wear what ever makes you feel good – and sexy and happy – or what ever you so desire… bring it on I say (I am of course the woman who doesn’t do “going out”  without the fake boobie bra)… but I am suggesting, for your health and well being, you use some common sense.  Bring a jacket, or a scarf, or put some tights on… anything people.  I mean perhaps having a young baby had heightened my maternal instinct but I was fighting hard against the urge to get my phone out and speed dial in a large order of snuggies to wrap the poor blurples up in.

(Actually – someone should talk to Westlife about the snuggie… they could make Westlife ones and I bet they would be snapped up in a jiffy!!). How would I get my hands on giant flasks of warm milo?  Would Mitre 10 deliver 40 or so large patio heaters at short notice?  Soup… anyone got a big vat of soup handy?  Nana’s of the world unite!… we need you to knit some scarves and hats as quick as youcan…anything to warm up the poor blurples!!

Oh, sorry.  I’ve gone a bit off topic.  Back to Westlife.  Well once we got inside, and past the boring sitting around waiting bit, it was blardey brilliant!  The bowl cuts were gone, as was Brian, but I have to say there was no gap left.  They were awesome, they were funny.  Their speeches and jokes may have been pre-planned, but they were genuine and honest and their performance was entertaining (even with the annoyingly crap sound at the TSB Arena in Wellington).

They interacted with the audience, they joked with each other, they appeared to be enjoying it as much as the audience, which after performing the same show night after night, is pretty awesome in my books.

It had been years since I had experienced that feeling of fun and excitement and genuine boogie down, sing along – don’t care who can hear you enjoyment. Yes  – it was Westlife live in concert.  Maybe you are more of a Metalica fan, or you love Green Day or Phil Collins or maybe Donny Osmond or Cliff Richard is more your thing.  If you’ve seen them live, and let your hair down and enjoyed that moment – you’ll know where I’m coming from.  Where 2 hours feels like 10 minutes and suddenly it’s the last song and the lights are up and you’re thinking NOOOO, I don’t want to go home yet.

It’s awesome.  So awesome infact, that you just want to do it again.

So we did.