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Ronan's Tour 2000

The last show of the tour is always a bit of a laugh and this one was no exception. Barrie Knight and the rest of the crew had a few surprises in store for Mr Keating and also for the audience.

On each show Ronan has walked through the crowd to get to the stage. Tonight however Ronan was already on the stage in darkness and two members of the team were chosen to enter the theatre through different doors. As the lights went down the whole audience was facing the rear of the hall watching as lights lit up first one door and then the other and two hooded figures walked down each side of the audience. About halfway down Ronan appeared on the stage. Next it was Ronan's turn as the crew replaced the cowboy hat hidden in a box on stage with a woollen hat and wig and the band struck up with a reggae version of Picture of You.

Later in the show, the flute player James McNally was replaced by Mark Plunkett (part of Ronan's management team). The final trick came when two members of the band were replaced for Whiskey in the Jar by Mickey the guitar tech. and Garry, Ronan's brother.

They were joined on stage by the infamous Barrie Knight playing the Bohran covered in glitter. The backing singers Jo and Janet the appeared back on stage wearing "Ronan" T-shirts (Ro quickly pointed out that "these are available on your way out". So that was it, the final show, we hope you've enjoyed it, we know Ronan did.

As Ronan said on stage "It's nice to be back in Manchester, I haven't been here for at least two weeks!" Tonights show was a replacement for the Liverpool show that was moved when Ronan went to New York to perform with Elton John. There was a strong Liverpudlian element in the audience who definitely made themselves heard. Ronan met a young fan back stage before the show and took time out to sign autographs and pose for photos. This definitely made a young lady very happy! Backstage guests included David O'Leary the Leeds United manager (who was welcomed more by some members of the crew than others!). So it was on with the show and then off to an end of tour party for the band and crew. Last night tomorrow, should be a lot of fun.

The start of a busy week for Ronan, with the release of the new single and the heavy promotion schedule that involves. On arrival in Newcastle today he did a signing session for his book at the local branch of WH Smith. The crew and band are all in good humour and looking forward to the final gigs at Manchester and the end of tour party. So on now to the Apollo Manchester for two nights, one of those being the gig that was moved from Liverpool.

Architecturally the playhouse was very impressive and had a great atmosphere. However, the backstage area was confined to say the least, particularly as there was an ongoing production of Saturday Night Fever. Ronan was presented with a painting of the Playhouse by a local artist in recognition of selling out the show. It's on to Newcastle next and then the final two days of the tour at Manchester.

Day 18 of the tour. After a trip to Stockholm, and a great performance at the MTV Europe Awards, Ronan is back on the road for the remaining shows.

It's the second night at Glasgow's Armadillo. Filming was taking place for Planet Pop at the venue and also for a German TV show. Ronan was telling the rest of the band at sound check how much he liked the venue and the audiences in Glasgow. The crowd didn't let him down, we think they're marginally in front on the loudest audience so far. The crew now travel on to Dublin and Belfast.

The crew arrive in Glasgow for two nights at a venue that's straight out of a science fiction novel. Filming was taking place for Planet Pop at the venue and also for a German TV show. Ronan was telling the rest of the band at sound check how much he liked the venue and the audiences in Glasgow. The crowd didn't let him down, we think they're marginally in front on the loudest audience so far.

After a day off, the show moves on to Blackpool, the "Las Vegas of the North". Earlier in the day, Ronan was filming for the Parkinson show, where he performs a duet with Elton John, and he arrived at the venue during the evening having flown in to the nearby airport. Barrie Knight, crime stopper extraordinaire (see Oxford), was found carrying out extensive investigations in the amusement arcade opposite the stage door.

After all the weather worries, Bournemouth was surprisingly calm and sunny, although not the warmest place on earth. It was a busy day for Ronan with interviews and photos to be done for The Sun and Mizz, as well as a web chat with Reach for the Sky and meeting some competition winners. Ronan enjoyed the show at Bristol the previous night, which wins the prize for loudest audience so far. A day off follows the Bournemouth show with Blackpool on Thursday, so see you there.

Possibly the wettest and windiest day so far. The crew bus was broken into by a thief who was spotted by a member of the public and then later apprehended by Barrie Knight (Ronan's head of security). This led to the crew thinking up a number of nicknames for Barrie from Inspector Morse (Oxford connection) to Mike Hammer, before eventually deciding on Shaft. The backstage area was attended by the oldest visitor so far in the form of the 90 year old Grandma of one of the backing vocalists. She thoroughly enjoyed the show, but complained that it was a little too loud. The crowd were enthusiastic to say the least, and a good time was had by all.

A very wet Manchester and the team turn up to the historic Manchester Apollo, a venue that has seen some of the best bands in the world. The green room boast a range of photos from some of the more recent acts to perform there like Radiohead, Robbie Williams and Beck. Ronan is in the middle of a promo and had travelled up from London before the gig. The audiences were noisy and enthusiastic, as they are always are in Manchester, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the gigs.

Day 7 Brighton. The day after the Voxstar party we all arrived in a sunny but cold and windy Brighton. Ro arrived early at the venue to carry out some TV and press interviews and to sound check for the show. After the interviews and sound check he went for a bracing walk along the sea front. For those who are interested the highlight of the menu (and Ronan's choice) was Mexican chicken fajitas.

Today was a big day for Ro on the tour with Sky filming the whole show, which will be broadcast on Sky One on Tuesday 7th November at 6.45pm. Today's video features the tour chef taking us through the day's menu. The show went really well once again, and Ronan relaxed afterwards at a special party arranged by Voxstar.

The backstage area was awash with security as celebrity guests gathered to wish Ronan well and see the show. Including those backstage were members of b*witched and Westlife, Tim Vincent and fellow Boyzone member Mikey Graham. Ronan was visibly more nervous than the previous gigs, but definitely enjoying the atmosphere and looking forward to the show. Sky TV were also around, rehearsing for the filming of the show the following night. The show itself was incredible, and the atmosphere in the hall was reflected by Ronan's electrifying performance.

On the menu today in catering was a choice of Roast Beef and Yorkshire pudding, Seared Darne of Salmon with sweetcorn relish and coriander mash, Pork Pak Coy with star anise and sesame, or roast pots of cauliflower, broccoli and green beans. After all, an army marches on its stomach, and Ro's army is no different! We even stole today's menu and Ro signed it for us, so look out for it in a competition. The show went well, and everyone is getting into the swing of things.

Another day, another venue, and Ro's still enjoying it. Sky TV were around before the show filming for a backstage documentary video, which is to be broadcast next week. The show went really well, and Ronan enjoyed himself throughout, as did the rest of the band.

Ronan stepped into the breach to attend a signing session at HMV following the news that Martine McCutcheon had been taken ill. This was an added bonus to fans waiting outside the venue and a chance to catch an extra glimpse of Ronan. The mood was slightly more relaxed back stage following the tension of the previous night, and Ronan himself was visibly calmer, although still admitted to being slightly nervous.

It was the first day of the tour following only two days of rehearsals for Ronan.
He was understandably nervous, as on any first night. He was also excited, this being the first time he has toured without the other four members of Boyzone. Both wife Yvonne and baby Jack were at the venue during the day to offer their support. Ronan was tense and full of nervous energy as he waited to go on stage, and got plenty of support from his brother Gary and those around him. Of course, when he hit the stage it all came together as usual in a stunning performance. As you would expect there are one or two surprises in the show

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