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Ronan's Tour 2001

As Ronan's tour goes on, I will keep this site up-to date with the reports/interviews from Ro's official site (

What a rocking day! Once again Ronan was on top form after recovering from the football tournament in Glasgow. The sun was shining and the fans started to arrive at the arena gates early in the morning. Not as early mind you as the crew.

At 7.00am the Manchester Evening News Arena was just an empty floor space surrounded by 12,000 empty seats. As time passed the stage started to take shape, and by 1.30pm the stage, speakers and lights were ready to go, with only the all-important sound check to do.

A special message was recorded for Ronan by BBC Radio 1 DJs Mark and Lard. The comedy duo sent a message of comfort for Ronan who they reckoned was experiencing some difficulties in the world of pop! Ronan gratefully accepted their words of wisdom and recorded a special message back for them.

The atmosphere in the arena was electric and this was quite possibly one of the best shows throughout the tour. After the gig, Ronan threw a 'small' party at the hotel he and the crew were staying at. Which as we found out through our sources rocked well into the early hours of the morning. The next day was guaranteed to bring a few sore heads.

On a sunny day in Glasgow, Ronan and the crew took some well-deserved time out from their hectic touring schedule and competed in an internal five-a-side football tournament.

Ronan handpicked his team, which consisted of Mark Plunkett, Iain 'chopper' Whitehead, Gary Keating, Barrie Knight (goalkeeper) and a special guest appearance from Jo, the backing vocalist, who scored a sensational goal that silenced the critics! Unfortunately this wasn't enough and the lads from support band 'Fixate' won the tournament. The 'band' was probably the worst team on the day and decided that football isn't their thing.

One of Ronan's team did however score a fine hatrick, but was disgusted to read in the local evening paper that Ronan had been declared "hatrick hero". "Ronan Keating stole my hatrick" was his sugested headline for the following day's paper. Iain is the production manager on the tour and much of the success of the show depends on him, not a man Ronan should be upsetting really!

Meanwhile back to the business of touring. Even though he was sore from the football tournament, Ronan is having a great time and was living up to the crowd's expectations by giving 110% on stage. The Scottish contingency of the Ronan Keating fan club gave their all and the show was electrifying. We move on to Manchester next so see you there

Ever wondered how Ronan makes it to the stage all in one piece every night (well, most nights!)? Here we get to see just how and why. And it's all down to one man - Barrie Knight.

Barrie told us that his job is to make sure Ronan is safe and gets to where he needs to be. Together with Barrie, there's also Mark (Ronan's manager) and Gary (Ronan's big brother) working together to make sure Ronan gets to venues on time, safe and sound and that the shows run smoothly. Barrie revealed that even at times when things do go wrong, the team is so professional you would never notice!

The crew have arrived for two nights in Birmingham, and in a large space behind the stage everyone can be found practising their football skills. We're sure this may have been in preparation for the football tournament coming up in Glasgow, but no one was admitting it.

Ronan spent a short time before the show zooming about on Jack's scooter backstage - well he says it's Jack's scooter!!

This was Ronan's first time at Nottingham Arena, and it wasn't without incident. The first show was interrupted by a fire alarm which turned out to be a false alarm. However, the show continued and the audience wasn't dampened by the interruption!

There was even more drama later when one of the guitars went missing from the stage (worth almost £2000).

Despite this, spirits were high backstage on the second night amongst the band and the crew, and Gary was keen to show us that he had not - and would not ever again - forget his light as he did in Cardiff!

During the afternoon, Ronan, Gary, Barry and some of the crew had been ice skating next door to the arena, and we're reliably informed that Mark Plunkett (Ronan's manager) was the star attraction!

As the band and crew settle into the tour the atmosphere is becoming more relaxed. Look out for intercrew football tournaments and karting competitions coming up soon!

It's nearly half way into the tour and Ronan has arrived at the big one - Wembley - considered to be the holy grail of gigs by many artists. He's played here before, but now he's out on his own, and he's loving each day of it too!

Ronan says the biggest cheers so far have been for his newer singles, with 'Life Is A Rollercoaster' taking the extra special shout of the night. And why? Well, because we've witnessed Ro flying- yes flying! The show went really well on the first night, despite a power failure which plunged the backstage area into darkness during a quick change. This resulted in Ronan not being able to fit his earpiece correctly, and meant that he was not getting the correct sound during the critical point in the show when he flies out to a B stage in the centre of the arena. No one noticed though as his timing was perfect, despite the 120 millisecond delay between the PA speakers and his stage. Ronan revealed that, though he makes it look easy on the night, the actual mid-air tumble has been pretty serious stuff! Find out all about it in our exclusive video interview.

Following the show, Polydor held a small aftershow party backstage allowing the band and crew a chance to have a drink and relax.

It was raining in sunny Wales, but the mood was up following two successful Sheffield gigs and the previous night in Cardiff. Ronan was engrossed in a computer game for much of the evening and admitted to being addicted.

A slight mishap occurred when, about 30 seconds before the show opened, Gary (Ronan's brother) realised that he didn't have the hand held lights that he and Barrie Knight needed to illuminate Ronan's path to the stage. Gary sprinted off to find the lights leaving Ronan and Barrie in fits of laughter, and Gary arrived back just as the band began to play the intro music to the show. Phew!

The very first night of Ronan's Arena Tour, and Ronan had the jitters. 'I'm nervous' he revealed, 'excited but very nervous', he said as he and his eight strong band leave their dressing room and take the long walk to the stage.

Singing Blur's 'Tender' (a special cover version Ro has been singing recently) Ronan was jumping and pacing about, ready for his big debut. 'It's the first night, and it's gonna be a blast,' he said.

Ro and the band have been in Sheffield all week, getting ready for the show. There's been a few mishaps in rehearsals he reveals, but tonight they were ready to go! Ronan wasn't giving too much away about what the show had in store, just saying 'It's a bigger extension of last year's tour with a lot more gadgets and more glitter and gold!' Walking up to the stage, the crowd are cheering, stamping and banging making a deafening noise. 'God I've missed that', smiled Ronan.

After the electrifying performance Ronan was beaming and grinning from ear to ear. 'It was amazing and you know what, it's going to get even better!' Can't wait Ronan - Roll on Cardiff...