RONAN Keating plays Castle Howard on Sunday, 11 years after performing in the grounds of the North Yorkshire country house with Boyzone.

In fact, the 42-year-old Dubliner has a long history of shows on our patch; Boyzone marked their 25th anniversary with a York Racecourse Music Showcase Weekend concert last July, having earlier caught the sea breeze at Scarborough Open Air Theatre two summers running, in July 2014 and June 2015. Ronan had a solo gig too at York Barbican in September 2016.

Now he will combine solo and Boyzone material in this weekend’s Castle Howard concert, when guest singer/songwriter Katie Kittermaster opens the 6.15pm show and Americana band The Wandering Hearts support too.

“My manager is a Yorkshireman: he and his wife live in York,” says Ronan. “It’s a beautiful city, and the people are always very warm.”

Last summer, he played racecourse shows with “the boys”, as he calls Boyzone. “This summer it’s me and my boys [as he calls his solo band] playing two stately homes: Castle Howard in the north and Kimbolton House [the final home of King Henry VIII’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon] down south.

“Then the final Boyzone shows are in October – and I’m now also doing my own breakfast show on national digital radio, five days a week on Magic Radio, doing that from London,” says Ronan, as he keeps the diary busy.

What can Sunday’s audience expect, Mr Keating? “I always put a couple of Boyzone songs in there, a couple of my favourites, because it’s been a huge part of my career, but I’m lucky to have lots of my own hits too,” he says.

“This show in particular is based on the stuff I’ve done on 12 solo albums [including a 2004 compilation and 2010 box set].”

Ronan has been making solo records since 2000. “It’s the same band for 19 years now: two guitars, bass, keys, accordion, bodhran, drums and backing vocals,” he says, outlining his line-up for Sunday.

Look out for a new album, “possibly in October”. “It’s basically a 20-year project, and it’s quite special for me, working on it for some time,” he says.

“It’s nearing completion now. There’s some new music and some new recordings of old songs, and because I’ve been touring, I’ve been writing in hotel rooms and recording in different places, and I’ll be going to America to finish it.”

For the new songs, “I guess, as a writer, you can’t help pouring out stuff from the past,” he says. Meanwhile, he is “very excited about revisiting some songs”. “Especially when I’ve changed as a vocalist, when I listen to how how I sounded back then. The voice is definitely stronger now, and it really strengthened when I did the musical Once (and now Daniel Healy, from my band, will be doing the tour).”

Come autumn, Boyzone will bring down their final curtain with five London Palladium shows from October 21 to 25. “And that’s definitely it,” vows Ronan.

Ronan Keating, Castle Howard, York, Sunday, 6.15pm. Please note, this is NOT a picnic concert. Box office: