Sunday, 26 April 2009

The Original Achtung Baby

My friend Dawn and I went to see a U2 tribute band called The Original Achtung Baby on Saturday night. They were playing at The Venue in Dumfries, Scotland 30 miles from where I live.

The Venue was quite a small club, and had black leather sofas and armchairs scattered around the floor, I've never seen that before in a place like that! But they were very comfortable and we sat in a raised area close to the stage. There weren't that many people there, maybe 40-50, and most of them were aged 35+, which maybe says something about the Dumfries crowd or U2's fan base.

The band took the stage at 9.10pm and opened with Where The Streets Have No Name. "Bono" looked strange because he was quite tall with long legs, nothing like the short, stocky real version! Facially he wasn't much like Bono either. "Edge" was actually quite like the real thing, but played the guitar left handed. "Adam" did have a bit of the look of Mr Clayton and he had his mannerisms off to a "t" as they say. "Larry" looked nothing like the real Larry, but I've found most Larry's in tribute bands are unlike him - maybe that's because "It's all about the drums".

The set only consisted of songs up to Achtung Baby, there were no songs from later in U2's career which I thought was very strange and disappointing. "Bono" could sing, but his voice didn't really sound much like the real Bono's and he didn't really establish a rapport with the audience either. "Edge's" guitar playing was quite good, but sometimes the mix wasn't brilliant and the guitar wasn't as upfront as much as it should have been.

However, on a positive note it was really nice to hear some of the old songs again. A treat was when they did A Sort Of Homecoming and One Tree Hill, both rarely performed by U2 in the past, and both favourites of mine. They also did my all-time favourite song Bad, I never tire of it and I find it hard to believe it's 25 years old! Hearing all those songs from The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby made me realise the sheer brilliance of those albums and I feel U2, though still relevant, will never attain that level again.

The Original Achtung Baby were ok, but I wouldn't go to see them again, ZU2 who we saw last year were much better, and the now sadly disbanded NU2 were the very best. But it was nice to hear U2 songs played live again and it's an exciting thought that when we next hear some of those songs they will be performed by the real U2!


  1. Hi, Colin here - I quite disagree! The Original Achtung Baby were all pretty good look a likes, especially The Edge! Musically, they were the best I've ever seen and I've seen around seven up to now. Sound engineer wasn't doing the full justice, but we heard a great set. I know the band do the later numbers cause I saw them on the set list! I think they ran out of time. Sort of Homecomimg and One tree Hill were spot on. Guitarist is the biz - spot-on! Good vocals and the band were up for it even though there were only a few of us. Best U2 trib we've seen - recommend!!

    Colin - Dumfries

  2. Dawn here. I saw them last night too and agree with Sue, in fact I was with her! I thought the band did a great job of playing unheard live songs like One tree hill and A sort of Homecoming. I just wish there was a better turn out. I have seen 3 tribute u2 bands in my town now and they are always poorly attended. Is there not many u2 fans in Dumfries or can folk just not be bothered to support bands who travel distances to bring u2's music onto our doorsteps? It helps to keep it alive. Roll on the tour!

  3. Yes, it's strange that Dumfries never turns out for U2 tribute bands. Yet when we saw ZU2 in Langholm - a much smaller place - it was a full house. Dumfries can't have many U2 fans!

  4. Must be Dumfries! The U2 guys were the biz - best looks/sounds I've seen.


  5. oh please you guys above must be from the band trying to make excuses for the very first comment that basically told the truth..
    it was a terrible concert and imean terrible,the singer sounded nothing and imean nothing like bono atall-he was like a cardboard cut out,didnt know what to say to the audience either:(
    very lanky bloke too?
    edge does not play with his left hand either so what is all that about and i can tell you this is not the best u2 tribute guitarist out there,i can name 5 better easy :)
    drummer was really fat and i am not sure larry would like that too much let alone the fact he cannot play to click properly!!!
    all in all i would say avoid at all costs

  6. the original achtung baby sound nothing like u2.have you actually heard the singer? very funny sounds like that bloke that used to be in bros

  7. this page is unbelievable you can see the guitarist on myspace here look,their music sounds terrible.
    to call themselves a u2 tribute is a joke