Ronan was glorious at Glenarm, from the moment he hit the stage the atmosphere was electric, and we all knew it was going to be a scorcher of a show for Ro and us fans. Ronan wore smart casual attire, which consisted of a sharp black box-jacket, with a chic mandarin collar, coupled with plain white T shirt plus black figure hugging drain pipes and snazzy tan coloured shoes.
Ronan’s demeanour was happy and hyper, and it was a joy to see our lovable Irishman so happy and relaxed, and so obviously putting his previous ill fortunes behind him, it was a happiness that seemed very genuine and not merely for the sake of the performance, or at least that’s how it appeared.

This is my review of the songs performed, in no particular order, so get ready for a rollercoaster ride of emotions, and as accurate an account as I can give.

The rousing Believe Again hailed Ronan back onto Irish soil for his second Celtic date since the Curragh gig. A flamboyant musical intro heralded our hero onto the stage, and the scene was set.
Ronan sang with subtlety and tenderness the opening lyrics, which then build up to a chorus crescendo of energetic and rousing vocals of “I wanna believe again”.
It seemed, as Ro began his show, that the security underestimated the passionate nature of us fans when we see our Ro baby, and the crowds surged forward to the front of the stage. Ro asked if everyone could move back, as the people at the front were being squished, in Ro's words.
I think Ro knew it would fall on deaf ears, as he does love to be up close and personal to his fans; heaven. The security admitted defeat, and knew whilst out of control, we were far from dangerous, we were too loved up on Ro - so on went the show.

Last thing on my mind, a self penned hit of Ro’s, only goes to prove what a versatile and articulate song writer Ro is; Ronan’s vocals were soft and seductive as he now performed this staple of his show.

Many of us were also hoping Ro would sing some new material, and as always, Ro never disappoints. There were two tracks chosen from the When Ronan Met Burt album, Walk on by, and Arthur's Theme, a wise choice I thought. The two songs are both suitably different to showcase the album to new and casual followers. To see and hear Arthur's Theme live was a real treat, it’s such a sweet and wistful track, the way Ro performs it, he has a venerable and boyish charm to his vocals that just melt your heart. It’s a delicious and dreamy song and Ro’s vocals on it are as soft and fluffy, as a cloud on a sunny day, and made you feel overwhelmingly maternal towards him; sigh.
I know people who are not Ronan Fans who feel Ro’s version far surpasses the original Christopher Cross version, praise in deed.
Walk on by, not a particular favourite of mine, has now taken on a new lease of life now that my hero sings it - it’s just that voice. Ro’s soulful and distant vocals gave this song a retro feel, remaining true to the genre, yet being Ronanesque enough to satisfy the crowd.

A track from deep in Ronan’s musical history, which was given time to shine, was the sad and reflective When the world was mine. I couldn’t help but think, when Ro performed WTWWM, if this was a kind of cathartic therapy for him to perform this song in public, due to its poignant lyrics. A way to put to rest the demons he has surrounding his relationship, and performing this in front of a crowd allowed him to release some of his pent up emotions, and perhaps gain a kind of closure.
Whatever the reason, the crowd seemed to appreciate this delve into his musical history. Ronan’s performance of it was very real and emotional, and all the more heart rending due to its parallel with his own situation.

We were brought up to date musically with two new musical goodies, It's Alright and Will you ever be mine.
It’s Alright has a rich folk feel to it, and the lyrics are full of cute anecdotal quips relating to love and life that Ronan conveys so colourfully, with both a joyous and sincere tone. It’s a lovely little ditty that has a homely and sunshine vibe to it, that conjures up the simple uncomplicated emotions of familiar love. Taken from the film Goddess, a venture which we know has Ronan displaying more than just his musical muscle, and oh are we all waiting to survey his acting talents as well as his physical talents Swooooon!
Will you ever be mine, of the Fires album, has sharp and snappy lyrics, such as “you’re the only one that ever gets me; you don’t know how that affects me”, it has an energy and vibe that, in Ronan’s words to describe the album, is pure pop. It’s a song in my opinion that has the potential to be a big hit single release.
Ronan’s voice was fresh and full of fun, and the catchy claps in the middle of the chorus really got in your head, and evoked a strong feel good emotion.

The way you make me feel as a song always evokes a certain degree of anticipation and excitement with us fans, as it signifies the walk out of Ro to the front of the stage, however there was no barrier here so that scuppered that. However, not to disappoint, Ronan was constantly throughout the show shaking our hands via his singing. Ronan’s voice was husky and laid back as ever on this classic song and it’s a track that seems uniquely suited to Ro’s temperament as it is chilled and so easy on the ear.

Friend and band mate Stephen was remembered with affection by Ro, when he sang the Boyzone memorial song One more song. Ronan appears to be finding this song easier to sing; by this I don’t mean he doesn’t still feel through the vocals of this song, rather that his emotions are less heartrending and raw as they appeared when Ro sang this song on the 2011 brother tour.

Friends in time was a real family affair for Ronan, as he dedicated it to his sister Linda who was in the audience, as it was her birthday; on the line “my little sister, where did you go”, Ro gave Linda a long loving brotherly smile, as if to say I am so proud of you; it was so lovely to see.
Ronan’s tone on Friends in time was bright and breezy, yet nurturing and loving, as he captured the pure essence of the song as a celebration of emotion, whether it be family, friends or lovers. It was lovely when Ro thanked us fans for being with him over the years, and dedicated it to us fans and friends and family, what a gent, we salute you Ro.

As Ro began to sing the opening vocals to When you say nothing at all, there was a huge roar of appreciation from the crowd, still one of his constant crowd pleasers, the crowd threw back the lyrics to Ro when he handed out the microphone to them. His vocals were beautiful and touching, smiles radiated on the faces of the crowd, and there was a feeling of love and warmth toward Ronan, that cannot be put into words, only expressed by visible emotions.
The now customary holding of the note appears to be getting more proficient and lengthy with each rendition, and it was so funny when backing vocalist Jo looked at her watch in mock amazement at Ro’s singing achievement.

The now familiar beat of the bodrum drum signalled the beginning of the summertime anthem Summer Outside, often performed by Ro in a deluge of rain, however the Irish had been canny and sheltered us from the elements in a big top tent, fair play to them. Ronan’s vocals were playful and gleeful as he sang this song, it was a pleasure to see James McNally and Ro toe tap and Ro encourage James by holding the his mic close to the drum to emphasise the beat.
Although the weather has been far from summer outside, Ronan’s sunny disposition warmed everyone’s hearts and made it feel like summer had finally arrived.

Time after time had Ro’s voice sweet and sophisticated as always, and as he strummed along on his guitar, the crowd admired his prowess as a guitarist; is there nothing the man can’t do. Ha Ha.

Another stomping Anthem is the tantalizing Turn It On Again, and Ro pulled out all the stops when he unleashed this one to the crowd. Ro’s voice was saucy and suggestive as he performed this concert classic, which always leaves everyone hot and bothered at its risqué intentions, always evoking a strong emotion from the crowd as they point to Ro and ask him to turn it on again for our delight.

If you Love me, another cracker off the Ronan album, and why not, it’s a monster of an album and has Ro sounding cheery and full of emotion. It’s a song which, on hearing now, has maturity and depth to it which he has acquired over the years, plus experience.

Ronan is a versatile artist and as we know is known for his upbeat optimistic songs and smoochy mellow ballads, as always no Ronan show would be complete without the classic If tomorrow never comes, known by fans and non fans alike. Arms swayed in the crowd as Ronan transported us all away to reminisce about partners or family as he softly and kindly sings; “so just tell that someone that you love, just what you’re thinking of, if tomorrow never comes” there wasn’t a dry eye in the tent. His vocals were tender and oh so poignant on his song.

Love it when we do sees Ro’s voice cheeky and seductive, and it’s a song which always gees the crowd up, and leaves them wanting more as it's such a provocative and saucy little number. At Glenarm this song was sizzling, and Ro had the crowd eating out of his hand when he performed this sassy little track. It’s a song that gets many a female pulse racing, and leading our imaginations astray. Swooooon.

One of the things I have always loved about our Ro is the way he can convey a seductive intention in his music without being too full on and tacky; he can be a little tease, in the nicest sense of the word. As the night wore on, the atmosphere became more emotionally charged and heightened, and when the familiar beginning to Rollercoaster was heard, it was like a volcano erupting after a hot and steamy built up of energy.
The crowd released their inner excitement to the point of being manic, Rollercoaster is a song of gigantic proportions, and as much as I love the cd version, this song cannot be surpassed heard live, and also appreciated for its sheer greatness unless heard live.
It is a song of layers, the layer of classic enviable pop anthem that has endless airplay on Radio. The signature tune of our Ro, known by non fans alike, and then the third and final layer of it as a live song at Ronan’s concerts, here it takes on a new dimension as the crowd embrace it with sheer energy.
Rollercoaster is a whirlwind experience for us fans, as well as our Ro, and Rollercoaster live is the icing on top of this musical delicacy; the live song which we fans devour ravenously at the concerts. Ronan’s version at Glenarm was epic and smoking hot and his vocals were supercharged, and oozed frenetic emotion. Ronan’s face was grinning from ear to ear as he performed this song, and the energy and radiance which bounced off his vocals was infectious and as warm and inviting as the sun on a hot day - Ronan’s voice and persona literally lit up the stage.

Another crowd pleaser and classic is Lovin' each day, a track which for all its vocal familiarity, too, never sounds jaded. It’s a kooky and crazy song that had Ro’s voice igniting with musical passion, Ro’s voice inviting everyone in the audience to revel in the glory of life, and embrace the moment.

Ronan exuded sheer animal magnetism at Glenarm, when he belted out the explosive lyrics to Pump it up, it was phenomenal; all I can say is he was wired, and jumped around the stage like he had red hot fire crackers under his feet. The crowd looked on and gasped at Ro’s tireless energy as he bounced around performing this song. Whilst his solo routines are not slickly choreographed and timed to the last detail, this is where there is charm, they are unpretentious and just show the performer stripped bare from pretention and a man just having the time of his life.
His vocals on this track were hot and ever hotter, as the song fired on his voice was on fire and we just soaked up the warmth from the fire. It was a song which set the audience and stage ablaze with excitement.

For sheer vocal exuberance and unbridled emotion, I would say this is the best I have ever seen Ro perform, and I don’t say that lightly, because Ronan always gives a hundred percent at his shows, however at this one he surpassed even his own exceptional standard and gave a hundred and fifty percent. Ronan connected with every single person in that room, and gave his heart and soul, and then just that little bit more. After all Ro is such a Celtic sweetie what else could he do but shower his fans with love and emotion.

He’s a star.

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