WITH smiling eyes and a shamrock grin, Ronan Keating would be forgiven any trespass by his love-woozy audience, many of whom boldly prowl towards the stage only to be ushered back by increasingly infuriated security guards.
The ladies are here as much for Keating's tattooed guns as they are for the music, chosen from his latest album, Fires, and tunes from back in the day when he was a boy with a Zone.
Solo, Keating is determined to move on from his clean-cut, boy-band image. He drops the odd f-bomb in what seems a calculated bid to be "cool" and sports mock-rocker trousers with chains slung about the hip. He goes so far as to reference – and not obliquely – his recent travails, which include splitting from his wife of 13 years following an affair with a backing dancer. But he thanks the audience for being part of the support network that saw him through difficult times.
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The predominantly female crowd are enthralled, they view him as a lover or brother or son, they view him with great affection. His fans, it must be said, are lovely and one leans over to ask me if I'm enjoying "the hottest man on the planet". I'm not sure I'm seeing what she's seeing but you can't help but be swept along by the stand-up enthusiasm of it all.
Although they know the lyrics to every song, it's the old classics – Life Is A Rollercoaster, When You Say Nothing At All, Lovin' Each Day - that get them going.
There's nothing new to see here, just a man turning a trick he's turned a thousand times. It remains to be seen how long he can keep milking the material for more.