Saturday 31 January 2009

What Video?

Well it was the video that never was premiered that most of us got to see! The official premiere was cancelled, an official statement on the Irish Independent website saying the video wasn't quite finished. Then a friend sends me a copy of the video, huh? And I look online and it's all over the place, as fast as it gets pulled from one site it appears on another.

The eagle eyed fans amongst us noticed that on a few clips there are Getty Images watermarks, was that why it wasn't released, copyright restrictions? Who messed up there? Then other people noticed, shock, horror, an uncovered nipple, maybe that was why it bit the dust? Of course it could also be one of their now famous "leaks," just that this time it was video instead of music. We'll probably never know, but whatever the reason it was a big mess. You don't expect something like this to happen with a band like U2.

Having said that I LOVE the video! You could watch it a hundred times and still see something new. I love the colours, the Hubble-like images at the beginning, it's artsy, clever, without being pretentious and celebrates women in all their guises (which is what Bono said the song is about though I'd never have guessed!). The band look great, especially Bono without his shirt!! Here are a few screen captures.

Wednesday 28 January 2009

Week of Puppy Destruction!

Well my darling little mini wire-haired dachshund has been on a chewing spree this week! The puppy honeymoon period is over and he's getting his teeth well and truly into things. So here's the list:

Computer AC adaptor cable = £30
Leather purse = £12
Wicker dog basket = £24

Grand total £66!

The thing is, he only has to look at me with those big brown eyes and tip his head to one side and he's forgiven. Well, could you resist the little fella below?

Tuesday 27 January 2009

But Where's The Jazz?

Below is a quote from Niall Stokes, editor of Hot Press, on what he thinks of the album. Think there are only a handful of genres he doesn't mention! I'm a bit worried about country being in the description......

Get On Your Boots' is a great opening salvo from what is a brilliant album. "No Line On The Horizon is a huge record, full of big songs, powerful riffs and superb musicianship. It's more musically diverse that any U2 album since Rattle And Hum, mixing hard rock, psychedelia, pop, electronica, dance, folk, country, spiritual music and orchestral shadings in what is a fantastically heady brew. It will certainly challenge U2 fans, but my guess is that they'll ultimately be inspired. It's going to be a massive record. I can't wait to hear the songs live.

Friday 23 January 2009

Get On Your Boots - Take Two

Now I've had time to listen to this song quite a lot and get a real feel of it I thought I'd share my impressions. I love Edge's guitar and Adam and Larry really keep the stomping rhythm going throughout the song. I like the delivery of Bono's vocals, like the sound of his voice. I do love the music and voice of Get On Your Boots. The one thing that is bugging me about the song are the lyrics. To me it seems like stream of consciousness kind of stuff, I like some lines, such as the one I quoted in my first review, "Laughter is eternity, if joy is real", but in all honesty a lot of the other lyrics don't impress me that much.

Lyrics in U2 songs have always been very important to me, as important as the music and my were they fabulous! I felt Bono's lyric writing took a dive with the last album - probably because he was not able to give enough time to writing because of his "other" job. In GOYB, first impressions give the idea that this tune is a fun, throwaway song, but there are more serious issues hinted at in the lyrics. But they seem disjointed with some dubious rhyming at times, and I can't make sense out of some of the lines! Is it me? I don't know, I so want to have those amazing words from Bono once more, but , for me, this song doesn't have them.

The Airborne Toxic Event

I was coming home from the vets today (little Pepsi got microchipped, he was very brave, I think I felt it more than him!) and I had the radio on in the car hoping they would play Get On Your Boots. A song came on that caught my attention, you know one that makes you turn up the volume - and that doesn't happen often to me nowadays. The singer had a great, deep voice and sung with an increasing passion, there were strings and guitars and the song was a narrative that built up to an amazing crescendo. Touches of Arcade Fire, and the singer reminded me a bit of Neil Hannon from The Divine Comedy. Afterwards the DJ said it was a band called The Airborne Toxic Event (TATE) I'd never heard of them.

Once home I googled them and found out they are a new American band whose debut album will be released soon. Below is a video of Sometime Around Midnight the song I heard on the radio.

Wednesday 21 January 2009

Obama's Inauguration

I can't let the inauguration of Barack Obama go by without making a comment. I watched it live on TV yesterday and though I'm not American and quite cynical about politicians, I found it quite moving. Like most people watching I felt that this event was a special moment in history. Racial equality has leapt forward a long waywith the inauguration of this man and I can only imagine what that means to black people in the US.

But the significance of Obama being voted in as President of the USA is also important beyond the land between the "sea to shining sea". He seems a good guy, intelligent, on the ball, just what America and the rest of the world needs. Expectations are high, there are huge problems and he can't do miracles! But, as I wrote at the beginning, I'm cynical about politicians, so many start with promise and fizzle away eg Tony Blair, I hope Obama, fulfills some of his promise, I have a feeling he will.

The Brit Awards - We're Going To Be In The Sound!

OMG I can hardly believe it's true but we are going to The Brit Awards! We'd been having trouble finding out where to buy tickets for The Brits and I just happened to check Ticketmaster this morning and tickets were on sale for the event! After frantic, and sometimes illegible, emails to Debbi to check if she was ok with me booking, I went for it. I can hardly believe that we are going to see u2 play live in four weeks! Now, pass me the tranquillisers ......

Monday 19 January 2009

Yeah Hey Hey It's Get On Your Boots (Edge IS On Fire!)

Well I was sitting ready and waiting, cup of tea in hand, in front of my TV for the premiere of Get On Your Boots on RTE 2FM. I was both excited and nervous. Dave Fanning didn't mess around with a big build up thank heavens, he just played the song.

And wow what a song! The first thing that hit me was Edge's fantastic guitar, boy did he rock, absolutely loved it. Bono's singing was strong, rapid fire at a manic pace, hard to catch all the lyrics on first listen, but loved the line "Laughter is eternity if joy is real."

I'm not into all the technicalities of music, but this is a very sonic song, there's a lot going on in it, and there's an industrial feel to it reminiscent of Achtung Baby. This is U2 really rocking, the pace and power of this song took my breath away. Get On Your Boots is going to be a real scorcher live, the best band in the world is most definitely back!

Get On Your Boots can be listened to as often as you like on

On another note Dave Fanning did mention that the tour would start in June.

Sunday 18 January 2009

U2 At The Obama Inaugural Celebration

Well, thanks to my friend Michelle who told me the show was being screened live on Sky channel 257 in the UK, I was able to watch the Obama Inaugural Celebration We Are One concert as it happened.
It was nice to see another of my top artists, Bruce Springsteen, performing The Rising, one of my favourite songs. It was quite noticeable that most of the performers were of the older generation, I was surprised that there weren't many representatives of the younger audience. In all honesty though, I was just waiting for U2 and of course they were one of the last artists to play!

I felt a surge of excitement when I saw them there in the grand setting in front of the Lincoln Memorial, it had been so long since I'd seen them play! They performed Pride and City of Blinding Lights. I thought Bono's voice was not at it's best, especially in Pride when Edge's voice seemed stronger at times. Maybe Bono's vocal cords were cold as the weather seemed bitter there!

He said. "It's not just an American Dream, but an Irish Dream, a European Dream" as he has done before at U2 gigs, but added other various nations finishing with. "An Israeli dream," then there was a long pause before he finished with. "And also a Palestinian dream." He also said that MLKs dream would be fulfilled on Tuesday which I thought was a nice touch, and so true.

Before City of Blinding Lights Bono turned to Barack Obama and said. "What a thrill for four Irish boys from the northside of Dublin to honour you sir, Barack Obama, to be the next president of the United States." His voice was a little better for this song but he still struggled at times, but you know, for me that didn't matter, I was sitting with a big grin on my face! It was so good to see them play again. And they all looked fabulous, Adam especially seemed to be enjoying the occasion having a big smile on his face for most of the set.

Brilliant stuff, so good to see them again, and it all really whetted my appetite all the more for the new album and tour.

Photo Right: Justin Sullivan/ Getty Images

Photo Left: Kevin Mazur/Courtesy of HBO via

More photos here and more brilliant ones here

Saturday 17 January 2009

A U2 Marriage

I was in my car yesterday stuck in a horrendous traffic jam, my mind wandering off away from the chaos of the road. A familiar voice and music drifted out of the car speakers. U2.

It got me thinking at just how long U2 has been a part of my life, 26 years. In the early times I was quite obsessed, I used to have to have magazines, books with anything about U2 in it, I bought all formats of releases. I'd fret if I missed them on the TV, I had to tape everything.

Gradually over the years that obsession abated and I was more selective in what I bought, I even parted with the dozens of cassette tapes (remember them?) of shows and interviews I had (some of which can be listened to here). I gave the video tapes to friends, I didn't need all the U2 "stuff" anymore.

My relationship with U2 is more "comfortable" now, and I am as big a fan as ever. It's a bit like a marriage really. The highs and excitement of the the early days gradually turning into a intimate, enduring, familiar relationship. The ups and downs, the anger and love, the pride and embarrassment, all have been experienced along the way.

U2 have been a part of my life for 26 years, longer than many marriages last! A lot of the time they are in the background as I get on with my life, but they are there. I've grown older with them and shared some of life's experiences. Now another new album is coming along and I have a really good feeling about it, I think it will show me once more just why I've stuck with U2 for all that time.

I'm really glad I got hitched to U2!

Friday 16 January 2009

No Line On The Horizon - Official Tracklisting and Cover Image

U2 have announced the tracklisting for their new album, here's it is:

1. No Line On The Horizon
2. Magnificent
3. Moment of Surrender
4. Unknown Caller
5. I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight
6. Get On Your Boots
7. Stand Up Comedy
8. Fez – Being Born
9. White As Snow
10. Breathe
11. Cedars Of Lebanon

Get On Your Boots, the first single from the album, will be available for download on February 15, and a "normal" release the next day.

The album cover is an image by Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto (more info on him here). I really like the cover, love it's intriguing, mysterious, minimalist feel and it's a brave concept not to have the title or name of the band on the front.

Wednesday 14 January 2009

Premiere of Get On Your Boots

The premiere of Get On Your Boots will be on Colm and Jim Jim's Break fast Show on Dublin's RTE 2FM on Monday just after the 8 a.m. news. For those who would need to catch this online the website URL is here.

And totally unrelated, U2 , amongst many others, will be playing live at the We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday.

God this is getting soooooo exciting!

Monday 12 January 2009

U2 To Perform At Brit Awards

It has been confirmed that U2 will perform at this year's Brit Awards to be held at Earls Court, London, on 18th February. In the news section on the Brits Awards website it says that this will be the first live performance of U2's new single Get On Your Boots. The event will be shown live on UK ITV 1 so get that date in your diaries! I love this build-up time to new releases, it's so exciting!

Now I'm wondering if I can manage to get tickets to this......

Read more here

Sunday 11 January 2009

Bono On Sinatra

Bono's first column for the New York Times has just been published. In it he writes, in his own iminitable style, about Frank Sinatra and his version of My Way. Good reading - and even better listening, on the same page you can also listen to Bono reading his column.

You can read/listen to it here

Hair - have they air-brushed some extra hair onto Bono's brow in the photo accompanying the article or is it just me?

Friday 9 January 2009


The band were in HQ this week and some fans met Bono and Adam. It is said that Bono said that:

- The new single will be released to radio on January 19th

- The tour will begin in Spain before the end of June.

There are other rumours about a single soon and that would fit in nicely with the album's release date, so it could well be true. As to the tour start, let's hope it is true, but I am always a little wary about Bono talking about things like that..... now if it had been Adam that would have been another thing!

Monday 5 January 2009


I had a really odd experience today. I was out walking Pepsi and Max, trying to get Pep to realise its ok to pee outside of the garden, getting colder and colder in this icy weather as he seemed to be interested in everything EXCEPT peeing. Then someone came along with a huge labroador and Max, as he does (small dog syndrome) barked at the totally uninterested dog as if his life depended on it. In the interval where Max caught his breath before starting all over again I heard barking coming from ABOVE me. I looked up and there was a huge crow perched on a lamp post looking back at me. Thinking I was hearing things I walked on. Max continued his verbal assault on the hapless lab and again I heard the barking from on high. I looked up and the saw the crow was barking! I've heard that crows are brilliant imitators but this really was amazing and pretty surreal. Then with a look at me the bird flew off leaving me standing there incredulous at what I'd just heard.

Just thought I'd share that random weird happening in my daily life!

My Boys!

Friday 2 January 2009

Och Aye It's Hogmanay and Bono in a Kilt!

It seems like Bono and family went to the best place you can to celebrate the coming of the New Year - Scotland. Bono in a kilt - pity there are no photos with the article. Below is an article taken from The Herald.

PS Blurry pix here from the Scottish Sun website.

Bono, lead singer of rock band U2, celebrated Hogmanay in the Highlands. The Irish singer, wife Ali and Danish supermodel Helena Christensen, along with family and friends, flew into Scotland for a New Year break at Ben Alder Lodge, the 26,000-acre Inverness-shire estate owned by one of the world's richest men, Swiss financier Urs Schwarzenbach.

Bono's group arrived at Inverness Airport on Monday and were taken to the Dalwhinnie estate in a chauffeur-driven Mercedes minibus.

The rock star, real name Paul Hewson, was seen wearing a red kilt with Miss Christensen in the bar at the Silverfjord Hotel in nearby Kingussie.

Gillian Welsh, owner of the hotel, said it had taken a few minutes to realise who the superstar guests were. She said: "We couldn't believe we had such famous people in the bar. But they chatted with some of the locals, while Bono enjoyed a couple of pints of Guinness."