A dose of ’90s pop

It has been a tiring week: a combination of late nights, early rises, and a few unusual stresses, including a trip to eye hospital… fortunately everything now seems to be sorted. It meant that when I settled down today, excited to finish The Ship of Destiny, I couldn’t keep my eyes open for more than two pages.

After napping for a couple of hours I spoke to my mum (Happy Mother’s Day!) and was at a bit of a low ebb. Then I rediscovered Westlife.

For any of you who don’t know who Westlife are, they were a ’90s/noughties Irish boy band, and when I say boy band, I mean the epitome of the genre. White suits, sitting on stools, standing up for an obligatory key change on the last chorus, that kind of thing. I only realised when I checked just now that they didn’t actually break up until 2012, but I would say their heyday was 1997-2002, perhaps just because that’s when I liked them best. (The first concert I ever went to was a Westlife one, partly because I think my mum was also keen to see them.)

Flying Without Wings has remained one of my absolute favourite songs over the years. The video is just about as horrendous as you’d expect from this decade, but the song is still amazing:

Apart from this song, I have severely neglected Westlife for about ten years. What a mistake. I saw someone mention them earlier and got Flying Without Wings up on YouTube, which was followed by an hour of pure nostalgia as AutoPlay delivered TUNE after TUNE. The videos are a great laugh too. (Slow-mo, double denim, fist-clenching, hands on hearts – there is a drinking game in the making here.)

It was a little bit terrifying to discover that I still remember every single word of their early hits, when I can’t remember half of the things I learned at university. It also turns out that I completely underappreciated Queen of My Heart and When You’re Looking Like That. (No, these titles are not promising, but they just don’t write pop songs like these anymore!)

Anyway, if you’re also feeling the Sunday blues, belting out some old favourites just might be the cure.


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