Fans snap up 20,000 Boyzone tickets as Girls deliver the Spice

ANY FEARS that Boyzone wouldn’t attract the masses at the second time of asking were laid to rest yesterday as fans bagged more than 20,000 tickets for next year’s Dublin show.

The tickets went on sale at 9am yesterday morning for the show in the RDS Arena on Saturday, June 28, next and, by late afternoon, promoters were jubilant about the response.

“It’s the equivalent of selling out three nights at the Point in a day,” said Justin Green of promoters MCD. “It’s set to be one of the biggest comeback concerts of 2008.”

Boyzone’s RDS date was confirmed during their recent appearance on the Late Late Show, and follows a one-off reunion for the BBC’s Children in Need telethon.

“It’s huge,” said Mr Green. “They’re bigger now than they ever were.”

Asked about the ticket prices for the RDS gig — the cheapest are €69.50 plus a €6.35 service charge —- he said that they weren’t proving a problem: “Not if 20,000 people snapped them up today.”

The group — formed in 1994 by Louis Walsh as an Irish response to Take That —- enjoyed six number one hits in Britain during the ’90s.

Their last concert was at the Point in 2000 and, since then, some of them have launched solo careers with varying degrees of success, while Keith Duffy has enjoyed various acting roles, in shows such as Coronation Street and The Clinic.

“For a band that’s been away for seven years, to come back and, taking in that they’re also doing Belfast dates as well, it’s huge,” said Justin Green.

The Belfast concerts take place on May 25 and 26 next year, in the Odyssey Arena, while concerts have also been pencilled in for London’s O2 Arena and Wembley Arena, Cardiff, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and Sheffield during next May and June. More than 100,000 tickets for the British concerts were sold on the first day of sale.

Meanwhile, the Spice Girls wowed critics when they opened their World tour in Vancouver on Sunday night.

They opened their reunion show with hits Spice Up Your Life, Stop and Say You’ll Be There.

The group, whose co-ordinating outfits were created by designer Roberto Cavalli, were backed by an eight-piece band and 10 male dancers.

The Evening Standard wrote: “There seems no diminution in the energy they are prepared to expend, or the lengths they will go to please the audience.”

Critic Pete Clark wrote: “There is a lot of business with the changing of costumes, but the tempo never lets up.”

He added: “Watching these five tiny figures belting it out over two hours, and giving every impression of having a high old time in the process, one has to conclude that this is ebullient pop music of a very high standard, presented with panache and highly unlikely to provoke any attendance at the refund window.”

The Vancouver Sun wrote: “It appears the Spice Girls haven’t lost their kitschy cool pop idol appeal... Just as it was 10 years ago, the show wasn’t about great singing or dancing.

“But it was about great entertainment. And the girls delivered the spice.”

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