Shane Filan - York Barbican
Graham Clark, Features Writer
Until tonight I had never heard of Guy Sebastian. Apparently he won the Australian version of the X Factor in 2003 and has been a judge on the show in recent years as well as being a huge artist in Australia.
How it must feel for him to be starting all over again in the UK is open to question, but getting the support slot on the Shane Filan tour can only do him good.
With only his guitarist with him on stage he impressed in his 30 minute slot: a soulful voice with songs that you could imagine Bruno Mars singing, he won over many new fans with tracks such as Set In Stone and his new single High on Me. If radio take to the song he could find that his Australian success is replicated here and deservedly so.
Shane Filan knows what his audience wants: his new album has the type of slow ballads and cover versions you associate with him. His live show is a well rehearsed gig - perfectly paced and with plenty of Irish charm and chat inbetween songs: "I've been looking forward to coming back to York, we had such a good time here last time" etc.
With his 4 piece band they all look like they have made the effort, being suited and booted with Filan wearing a dinner suit and bow tie as he stands at the top of the stage singing the aptly named When You're Looking Like That.
The set list is a mix of tracks off his new album, from his solo career and Westlife days. His voice suits the cover versions such as The Bangles hit, Eternal Flame and the Bryan Adams classic Heaven "A song I've always wanted to sing" he enthuses.
He gets changed to perform the Bangles song and sits on a stool evoking the memories of his time in Westlife when they had a habit of singing the hits whilst sat down on stools.
Naturally the screams from his fans are predictable as he takes off his jacket for Everything To Me whilst the huge video screen behind him shows various clips of him along with glimpses of tonight's audience.
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The hymn like song was a fine, uplifting end to what had been an entertaining night, before he encores with the Crowded House hit, Don't Dream it's Over and the Westlife hit World of Our Own.
Even some of the disgruntled men in the audience who had been brought along by their partners had a smile on their faces during the show. Until Westlife decide to reform, Filan will always have a dedicated core of fans like those present tonight.
Shane Filan - York Barbican, 1st October 2017, 17:39 PM