WESTLIFE'S Shane Filan brought his Love Always tour show to York Barbican last night.

The focuswas on the 38-year-old Irishman's third solo album, Love Always, released in August as Filan and manager Louis Walsh fulfilled his long-term ambition to record a collection of his all-time favourite love songs.

"It’s an album I’ve thought about doing for a while and one Louis has wanted to make for a very long time," says Filan. "Louis loves his back-catalogue songs and he kept saying, 'it’s what people love you for; people love you singing great songs, so why not do it?'.

"We obviously did covers in Westlife that always went down really well, so you’ve got to realise what your audience is and my audience love these kind of songs and I love singing great songs, so it made sense, why not do it. It’s definitely something I’ve always wanted to do in my career."

Alongside recording the likes of Heaven by his favourite artist Bryan Adams, Filan was keen to involve his fans by asking them for their suggestions.

"The response was amazing and they came up with some track ideas that I never would have thought of covering, such as the classic Bangles' hit Eternal Flame. It’s so famous from the girls doing it and this time it’s a guy singing it and it’s a very up close to the mic and a very cool version of it: another famous song that you have to make your own."

In keeping with Filan’s love of writing, Love Always features original songs as well as covers, but this was a tricky task, he reveals. "It’s difficult because your songs are sitting alongside such huge hits as I Can’t Make You Love Me and Make You Feel My Love, but for me it was more for the fans because they were asking for new songs and I thought, 'why not?'," he says.

"Written alongside some of the guys I worked with on my first album, I’m really pleased with the results, and I think the fans will love them. You want a bit of everything; you’ve got to try and give the fans everything they want but you need to be happy and proud of the album you produce, so there are three original songs on there and one that was written by Jamie Scott, who is a fantastic songwriter."

That song is Unbreakable, the first single lifted from Love Always. "Louis [Walsh] played me Unbreakable almost three years ago and he said this is such a hit song," Filan recalls. "Sometimes Louis can ramble on about a song and eventually you realise he’s right and he’s going on about this song for a reason. He went on about You Raise Me Up for a long time before we agreed to do it in Westlife and look what happened there."

Last night, Filan completed his hattrick of York Barbican solo shows after playing there in February 2014 and March 2016. "The good thing about this tour and the album is that my set list is going to be so strong because the songs are so famous, everyone will know every single word," he says. "It’s nice to look forward to a tour knowing the crowd are really going to love it, it’s going to be a new chapter and everyone is going to be singing along to these songs."

Post-Westlife, Filan is enjoying his life in music as much as ever. "I’d be lost without music," he says. "There’s nothing that makes me happier than singing and being on a stage and I’ve come to realise now I want to do this for the rest of my life. It’s something I’m very proud of and I want the journey to continue."

Shane Filan played York Barbican on September 28