RONAN Keating is struggling to juggle his night job with his morning job.
The Irish singer has been undertaking his final UK tour with his band Boyzone, while still undertaking his new life as a breakfast radio host on London station Magic.
“It’s a hard balancing act with this rock and roll lifestyle,” Keating says.
“I don’t finish the Boyzone show until 11pm, then it takes a few hours to come down from that buzz, so I get to bed at 2am and then I’m up again at 5am, so it’s been tough. I don’t enjoy going to bed early or getting up early.”
Keating, 41, is also a father for the fourth time with Australian wife Storm giving birth to the son Cooper in April 2017, joining his trio of children aged between 20 and 14.
“Yeah having a young child and doing breakfast radio is tricky. I’ve struggled with the scheduling. It doesn’t suit my lifestyle but I do love being on radio so I make it work.”
While he’s best known in Australia for his solo career, Keating got his break when Boyzone had their first hit in 1994.
The Irish boy band were modelled on the success of Take That and would go on to score a string of UK hits, including covers of the Bee Gees’ Words, Tracy Chapman’s Baby Can I Hold You, Cat Stevens’ Father and Son and Billy Ocean’s When the Going Gets Tough.
Their originals No Matter What and Picture Of You were also hits in Australia, with the band even appearing in U2’s video The Sweetest Thing.
However while Boyzone visited Australia for promotional tours, they never played live here.
So their Thank You and Goodnight tour will be their first — and final — Australian concert tour.
The band announced their 25th anniversary year would also be their final one together.
“We’ve had 25 brilliant years,” Keating says. “We’ve been really lucky. A band like Boyzone doesn’t usually have a lifespan like that. We want to go out on a high and do it on our terms and do it our way. We want to write the last chapter ourselves rather than dissolve or disappear or fade away. We’d like to go out in style. That was our decision.
“We’re all doing other things individually we’d like to concentrate on. Trying to get Boyzone together is not an easy feat, it’s pretty full on with everyone’s schedules and diaries, but we managed to pull this all together. This is the end. We’re enjoying it, but it’s going to be emotional when it all ends.”
The farewell tour includes a tribute to bandmate Stephen Gately, who passed away in October 2009 of natural causes.
“It’s an emotional show as it is,” Keating says. “Although we keep telling ourselves it’s just another tour, rather than the last time we ever get to do this, maybe we’re putting it off in our heads. But when we do the tribute to Steo (Gately) there’s not a dry eye in the house. It’s tough to get through.”
Their final album, also called Thank You and Goodnigh t, includes Gately’s vocals on a song called Dream.
“A guy Stephen wrote the song with 15 or so years ago was moving house and found these old tapes in his garage and gave them to us,” Keating says. “In the studio recording it all of a sudden Steo’s voice appeared in my headphones and it was almost like he was beside me and we were recording a song together again like the old times. It was quite a surreal moment for me.
“We learned how to perform together as kids, thrown in at the deep end. We were each other’s wing men. It was a very special bond we had as performers. From the day he passed I haven’t been able to share that experience or find that bond with anybody else.”
While the new album includes songs written by Ed Sheeran and Take That’s Gary Barlow, Keating says the live show is pure hits — including some of his own solo material.
“We’re not the type of band that want to play the latest album. We want to give people what they want. It’s a big set. It’s a two-hour show, 17 hit singles in there, which is a huge amount, we’re lucky to have that. There’s a couple of my own for good measure (When You Say Nothing At All, Life Is a Rollercoaster), they go down great, it’s all part of the same family.”
Keating’s daughter Missy has followed in her father’s footsteps, but isn’t trading on the family name. She’s formed a duo called GGMK, who appeared on the UK version of The Voice last year.
“My son Jack has been working in Sydney for the last six months, he’s the same. They’re proud of their surname and the family but they like the idea of doing things under their own steam and I admire them for that. That’s really important. It’s tricky for kids out there on their parents’ coat-tails, I like that they’re doing it themselves.
“Jack picks up a guitar every now and then and sings. If none of them did music I’d be okay with it, if all of them did I’d be okay with it. It’s got to be something you want to do and that you’re passionate about. It’s one of the toughest jobs. Travelling the world and doing it, it’s tiring and full on, you’ve got to commit 200 per cent but it’s a very rewarding job. If they get into entertainment in any way I’ll be there for them. But I’m really lucky with all my kids, the relationship all four of my kids have is so special, we’re really blessed.”
Keating and Storm are based in London for his radio work, but he’s constantly looking for opportunities to bring him back to Australia — appearing on Channel 7’s All Together Now last year.
“I’d live there tomorrow if I could, Sydney is one of the most awesome cities in the world, I miss it when I’m away from it. Jack’s there now, I speak to him every day, I’m actually jealous. I’m going to have a week in Australia there before the tour starts to acclimatise and get some good food and coffee and wine into me. I love Australia. It’s my second home but I’d love it to be my first home.”
Keating will to take advantage of technology and still do his London breakfast show from Australia while here on tour with Boyzone.
“When I’m in Australia I can do breakfast radio for London at 6pm. That is ideal for me!”
Boyzone, HBF Stadium Perth March 30, Adelaide Entertainment Centre April 2, Margaret Court Arena Melbourne April 3, ICC Theatre Sydney April 5, The Star Gold Coast April 6-7. On sale now Ticketek (except Perth, Ticketmaster).