I confess

There is something inherently confessional in a blog, even in a science blog. There is an urge to reveal—do you feel it?—that is normally kept safely in check. Mine is pretty well locked down. And yet I admire those who, on occasion, have cast off their reins and opened their hearts with great honesty. I think particularly of Richard’s pieces on “depression” and, more recently, faith. The opening lines are enough impart a tingling, cliff-jumping sense of danger. I’ve never really felt moved to take the plunge – until now.

So here goes my confession. It will be rather shocking to some, perhaps to many of you.


U2 - 1981
Bono and The Edge in 1981. Photo by me.

I. Love. U2.

I know, I know. You don’t have to tell me. But I can’t help it. For those of you who are still reading, I’d like to try to account for myself. It’s a long story because, and this is really the key, it has been a very long journey, one that started right at the beginning of the 1980s in Northern Ireland.

I think I must have been sixteen years old when my older brother borrowed Boy from a friend at school and brought it home. From the opening salvo of chiming guitar in that first album I was sold. We dutifully taped the record on the music centre—this was well before music became digital—and our lives were never the same again.

A year later we saw them play live at Slane Castle in County Meath. They were only third on the bill, coming on before Hazel O’Connor (remember her?) and the magnificent Thin Lizzy. But, unless my memories are deceiving me, it was U2 I had really come to see. They played some songs from their upcoming second album, October. The energy of the performance was fantastic and the fearless religiosity of some of their material strangely refreshing, especially to a fairly devout teenager.

The following winter we saw them again, on a cold night at the Maisfield Leisure Centre in Belfast and heard for the very first time the signature tracks, New Year’s Day and Sunday Bloody Sunday, from War. Here was a band that could articulate in music the lament for wasted lives in Northern Ireland. And they could knock out a bloody good tune while doing so.

The Unforgettable Fire marked a change of direction that showed a maturing fearlessness and was followed a few years later by the brilliant intensity of The Joshua Tree, perhaps U2’s finest album. Around this time I was a student in London. In 1984 I got tickets to see them at the Brixton Academy: they hadn’t yet conquered the stadia of the world but they were certainly working on it. Bono had started to manifest a predilection for sermonising during concerts but not everyone was ready to listen. When the band paused so he could speechify, some wag from the crowd yelled at him to shut it and get on with the music which, with only the slightest of pauses, he did.

A couple of years later—I was still in London but had started my PhD—I saw them again at Wembley stadium (1987?) but remember little of that concert except that the band was very far away. I’d been spoiled by the intimacy of the smaller venues and have not seen them live since. But I’ve remained devoted to the music. The release of Achtung Baby in 1991, when I was a postdoc at the Institute for Animal Health in Surrey, brought a healthy injection of cynicism and humour that has remained ever since, even though they have clung resolutely to the thread of religion. It also marked a return to the harder edged rock-and-roll that I love.

The less said about Zooropa, the better. It has its moments but most of it feels like stuff that was swept up from the floor after Achtung Baby had been finished. Pop, more experimental and somehow lacking in the earlier confidence, was nevertheless an improvement. It was the sound-track to some of my early grant-writing.

And then came All that you can’t leave behind and How to build an atomic bomb in which I think U2 rediscovered themselves and their true mission. Superlative clanging rock combined with some painfully beautiful songs – I’m thinking particularly of Walk on and, more especially, Sometimes you can’t make it on your own, Bono’s aching plea to his dead father.

I know lots of people loathe them and, believe me, I can see why. But I just don’t give a damn. For sure, Pope Bono can be a bit much at times but my hat is off—he has turned his fame outwards and fashioned something amazing from it in his charitable work. It’s his refusal to play the straight rock’n’roll star that appeals to me. And anyway The Edge is the real unsung hero of the band: among my friends he was and will always be the coolest man in rock music. His hair might be a lot thinner these days but The Edge is a consummate musician and I cannot begin to account for how much pleasure I’ve had from his guitar riffs over the years.

So last Monday on my normal flit through Victoria station I stopped in at HMV and got my hands on No line on the horizon. I’ve been listening to it all week. The music is more complex than the band’s more recent offerings, the melodies less accessible at first hearing. But it is—as the song says—Magnificent!

Please forgive me.

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72 Responses to I confess

  1. Cath Ennis says:

    The Edge ROCKS.
    Yes, I’m a fellow fan. I saw them twice in two weeks on the Elevation tour – we went to Paris from Glasgow on a really nasty coach, stayed in a nasty hotel, and after the 24 hours from hell on the way back, got home to hear the news that the band had just announced a Glasgow gig. We went straight to the venue to queue… and it was worth it, we stood 2 rows back from the heart-shaped walkway and got an amazing view.
    Achtung Baby is my favourite album, and I have to admit that when the last album came out I thought their best years were behind them, but I really like the 2 songs I’ve heard from the new album. 5 hour car journey tomorrow, I might try to purchase it off iTunes (is it up there yet?) before we leave…
    And say what you want about Bono, there aren’t many bona fide rock stars who can talk for 15 minutes about the AIDS crisis in Africa – in French. Colour me impressed.

  2. Cath Ennis says:

    Awesome photo by the way. Did you really take that?!

  3. Stephen Curry says:

    Travel on nasty coaches is only way to get an authentic rock experience! Think you can get it on iTunes – enjoy your journey.

  4. Stephen Curry says:

    I cannot tell a lie – it was me. And I developed the film and made the print – those were the days. Took me a while to fish it out tonight though – thought I’d lost it. But now it can live on Flickr. Forever!

  5. Henry Gee says:

    Ego te absolvo, baby. Now you’ve come out, I feel it’s safe for me to write about Queen.

  6. Stephen Curry says:

    Bless you, Father. And the penance – three Hail Marys?
    Yeah, go for the Queen post – it is safer territory, especially around here, since their lead guitarist is a scientist and recently completed his Astrophysics PhD at Imperial!
    Mention off Queen reminds me of another incident in my student life. It must have been about 1986 and I was living as a PhD student in a cavernous old house in Willesden Green in north west London. One sunny Saturday afternoon I was on my own in the house when two old ladies knocked on the door. “Turn that music off!” said the first. “Yes'” said the second, “It’s making an awful racket!”
    I assured them that I was making no noise – I had no music on. I invited them to come inside to check for themselves but they weren’t having it. “Turn it off!” was their parting shot “It’s a real nuisance.”
    I stood bemused on the doorstep and watched them leave. And as I stood there I realised I could hear something. I stepped out of the house and inclined my head and, yes, I was sure I could hear a dull thrumming in the distance.
    And then I remembered that Queen were playing in Wembley Stadium that afternoon, about a mile away.

  7. Sabine Hossenfelder says:
  8. Stephen Curry says:

    Nice one Sabine! And your lyric also works with “Airbus”, so that’s both of the major aircraft manufacturers covered.

  9. Lee Turnpenny says:

    Forgiven. More of this kind of thing, sez I.
    U2 is by no means my favourite band: I always seem to like the first single from the new album, but have often been disappointed by the full thing (for it is albums that define good bands). Not so with Achtung Baby, however, which remains my favourite. But I’ve yet to catch the new one, which is being well talked up as their ‘best ever’; again, I like the single…
    I admire them because they don’t just hike it round for nostalgia and, unlike the market-friendly fodder we’re now over-subjected to, they remain a band.

  10. Cath Ennis says:

    And they do proper live sets too – over 3 hours in Paris, a bit shorter in Glasgow, but then Bono’s father had died a few days before.

  11. Cristian Bodo says:

    Don’t want to be a party popper, but every new album they have released lately has been hailed as their “best ever”. I guess that’s what you get when you have built a fan base that’s in the order of millions…
    I still don’t get the hate for Zooropa. There are some amazing songs in there! OK, they were being experimental, but I much prefer them like that rather than repeating themselves, as they seem to have been doing of late (in my humble opinion).

  12. Stephen Curry says:

    Cheers Lee – I do like Achtung Baby too; The Fly is one of my favorite ever tracks.
    Totally agree Cath, apart from the Wembley gig, I’d never felt short-changed by a concert, but by then, they’d really got very big. Maybe I should relent and try to get tickets for the upcoming tour… I think they’re pretty fearless live as well. I saw them in Dublin once when they did a rip-roaring version of Dylan’s Maggie’s Farm.
    Well maybe I should return to have another listen to Zooropa Cristian – I did say it had its moments and I recall now (having just re-checked the play-list) that Numb is a great track (on which The Edge takes a rare lead) and the Johnny Cash number on that one isn’t half bad either!

  13. Stephen Curry says:

    For those looking for an alternative take, I came across http://www.ihatebono.com in today’s Guardian newspaper… which I think is tongue in cheek!

  14. Linda Lin says:

    wow. I would have guessed that you borrowed the pic from Rolling Stone if you hadn’t mentioned taking it urself! Dead jealous that you got so close to them too at a live concert, I think it’d cost a fortune now to get up front. I think the Joshua Tree might be the finest album too, although the rockier sounds of Achtung Baby are pretty wicked too. I’ve always marveled at how Bono could hit the high notes in “in the name of love.”

  15. Stephen Curry says:

    @Linda – Dead jealous that you got so close to them too at a live concert
    You just have to keep pushing…! The great thing about the venue at Slane Castle is that they just set up the stage at one end of a natural amphitheatre. In a field. So there was no division into sections or corralling of the crowd. Not like when the Pope came to Ireland in 1979 – I was so far back then I heard him on the radio before his voice came through the sound system. No great loss – the man just couldn’t sing.

  16. steffi suhr says:

    Numb is a totally great song. I like U2 a lot.
    But I love Queen (go for it, Henry!).

  17. Lee Turnpenny says:

    Queen? The first five albums.

  18. Stephen Curry says:

    A friend (thanks Gerry!) who saw this post sent me the link to this YouTube video. Apparently U2 have been on Letterman in the US this past week, showing a totally different side to their talent. Poor old Adam doesn’t seem to be completely convinced of this new direction for the band…

  19. María José Navarrete-Talloni says:

    No need to be ashamed Stephen!… U2 is OK ( I’m not their n°1 fan, but I like them a lot).
    @ Henry: I feel it’s safe for me to write about Queen
    Cool!! I’ve been at the last 2 concerts and it was great!… (even when some of my friends thought that all the guys from Queen were dead…) 🙁

  20. Heather Etchevers says:

    Stephen – a welcome foray out of the closet, as you see. I suppose then I can own up to an undying love for Pink Floyd, They Might be Giants and (limited amounts of) Aerosmith, then? (You all have covered Queen and U2, though my commitment to them does not amount to suffering pain to attend their concerts.) In fact, the last rock concert I attended that I didn’t regret was Peter Gabriel back in 1986. Or maybe Suzanne Vega in that era as well. The few attempts I have made since were definitely downhill from there.
    May I make another plug for Last.fm? There is a lot of excellent, recent music out there by younger artists as well, and the site is a good way to discover it, making use of the virtues of social networking… not to mention great for more eclectic tastes in jazz, classical and so forth.

  21. Matt Brown says:

    Hmm, I’ll take em or leave em. Some great songs, then others that make me want to replumb my innards to allow ear vomiting. The latest single is very much in the latter category. Eurgh.

  22. Cristian Bodo says:

    I was actually there when Queen performed at the O2 arena last year, and I’m happy to report that Brian May is alive and kickin’, and he can still play some guitar riffs like few others (besides having a Ph.D in Physics, we should add, to keep this thread slightly linked to scientific issues). Roger Taylor also made an appearance…but that’s it. People were enjoying it, but since Paul Rodger’s voice is SO different from Freddie’s, you get the feeling that when they revisit their own classics live, you’re hearing a cover band instead.
    Anyway, I’ve noticed that Queen fans seem to be divided in two camps these days: Those who have fully embraced the new lineup, and those who think that the whole thing is tasteless, mercenary and disrespectful to their legend (and to Freddie’s memory). It would be interesting to think what people here think about that…

  23. Stephen Curry says:

    Thanks for your ‘support’ Maria José and Heather – I feel much better able to cope now! And thanks fo the last.fm tip – I confess I’ve not tried that particular facet of web2.0 yet.
    I know what you mean Matt but my connection goes way back so I guess I am prepared to be more forgiving. The current single is by no means the best track on the album, if that’s any consolation.
    I’m a fan of Queen too (how much more inducement does Henry need?) but wouldn’t feel motivated to see a re-constituted band live. I think their best days are certainly behind them – Freddie Mercury was a bit of a one-off. AC-DC did recover from the loss of Bon Scott—so I guess such revivals are not impossible—but in Queen’s case I think it’s too late.

  24. Henry Gee says:

    I’m a fan of Queen too (how much more inducement does Henry need?)
    OK I give in – it’s not as if I have anything better to do, is it?

  25. Martin Fenner says:

    last.fm is indeed a great service (I can be found here), did I mention that they also have an iPhone app? Amie Street is another great music site.

  26. Kristi Vogel says:


  27. Stephen Curry says:

    Gosh Martin (and thanks!) – I don’t think I know anyone who is more Web2.0 than you! Are your shopping lists out there somewhere too?
    Kristi – Bowie, check. Talking Heads, check. Both come as near to musical genius as it is possible to be. But Genesis You’re oging to have to explain that one to me…

  28. Lee Turnpenny says:

    Genesis with Peter Gabriel – oh yes!
    ‘Me, I’m just a lawnmower – you can tell me by the way I walk.’

  29. Stephen Curry says:

    I guess you had to be there… What album is that line from?

  30. Kristi Vogel says:

    @ Stephen – Lee has it correct. Selling England by the Pound? The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway? Even some of the early albums immediately after Gabriel’s departure are quite good.
    And I’m still buying Peter Gabriel’s solo albums; Big Blue Ball is brilliant.

  31. Stephen Curry says:

    OK Kristi, I suppose I should test your hypothesis in an experiment…

  32. Kristi Vogel says:

    YouTube, of course, has quite a few early Genesis videos on offer. Some day, perhaps I’ll share photos of my embarrassingly extensive collection of prog rock LPs. You know … Genesis, Yes, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Rush, etc. It could keep the Stig going round the Top Gear test track for days.
    Not surprising, perhaps, that the Battersea Power Station was the building most familiar to me, when I moved to South London many years ago.

  33. Lee Turnpenny says:

    It’s from ‘I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)’ off the Selling England by the Pound album.
    I agree, Kristi; they remained good… until Hackett left.
    I love Peter Gabriel. Oh, have you heard Jeff Buckley’s version of ‘Back in N.Y.C’?

  34. Kristi Vogel says:

    @ Lee – I agree, about the departure of Hackett. The latest Genesis album in my collection is Duke, and it’s nowhere near as good as its predecessors Trick of the Tail and Wind and Wuthering.
    Gabriel never ceases to amaze me, really; the man is a genius with incredible breadth. I hadn’t heard the Jeff Buckley version of “Back in NYC”… thanks for the tip!

  35. Lee Turnpenny says:

    Try this.

  36. Mike Fowler says:

    Glad to hear Bono can talk about something sensible for 15 minutes in French. I heard him on Simon Mayo’s Radio 5 show last week (via podcast) and he came across as an inarticulate buffoon. Quite offensive, really. I agree with those who think he should stick to the music, or at least proselytize in a language other than English. Is his Gaelic any better, Stephen?
    But the interview did bring me back more happily to “The Fly”, which is somehow an incredible, booming, throbbing RAWK song. When it was released, I’d be cycling round Edinburgh, jamming newspapers into letterboxes and enjoying Simon Mayo on my walkman radio, as he tried to squeeze more political artistes onto a playlist obviously not approved by his Radio 1 overlords of the time.

  37. Kristi Vogel says:

    Interesting! I like the video as well- it reminds me of the city scenes in Koyaanisqatsi.
    Thinking about The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway makes me wonder whether I should confess to a love for prog rock, or to a love for concept albums of the prog rock era? Concept albums are easier to mock, perhaps, and would make a more defined post.

  38. Henry Gee says:

    Rush and Deep Purple begone! If this goes on I shall have to talk about the jazz-rock fusion on my iPod. Niacin. Stanley Clarke. John McLaughlin. Tribal Tech. Virtual Tech Tones. Jeff Beck. Gary Willis. Stop! Stop! Please! I beg you!

  39. Mike Fowler says:

    Henry, if you’re not going to mention Weather Report, try Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, for some bluegrass-funk-jazz fusion. Nothing gets your thumbs under your dungarees straps faster than an electric banjo, or Futureman’s SynthAxe.

    The future’s here, the future’s mange.

  40. Stephen Curry says:

    @Mike – He does have a good line in gibberish (I was not out of sympathy with the wag at the Brixton Academy concert back in the late 80s), though, oddly, I think he’s well aware of it. There’s a line in the new album that goes:
    The right to appear ridiculous is something I hold dear
    Wise words!
    One of the things I am particularly enjoying about this discussion is how gloriously unscientific it is. No-one (for good reason!) is suggesting peer-review for CD releases. Objective standards will only get you to first base (are they playing in tune?) but after that, appreciation is completely and unashamedly subjective. For me U2 were part of growing up (I’m still on that journey) and that type of connection is obviously true for others. Henry, I hear your pain (even if I don’t yet understand it).
    Kristi – looking forward to your ‘concept post’. For me the notion ‘concept album’ seems synonymous with ‘gratuitous self-indulgence’, but I’m prepared to listen to passionate argument…!

  41. Cristian Bodo says:

    appreciation is completely and unashamedly subjective
    So true. I thoroughly enjoy some stuff that wouldn’t hold to any reasonable objective standards, just because it’s become part of my life and resonates with me. That doesn’t mean one can’t appreciate art (music in this case) from an objective point of view, but if you limit yourself to that you certainly miss a lot…

  42. Henry Gee says:

    Weather report – yo!
    And Victor Wooten – woo-hoo!

  43. Henry Gee says:

    Did you know I was once in a Pink Floyd tribute band called Pink Flawed? I remember the first time we played all thirteen minutes of Shine On You Crazy Diamond and got to the end at the same time. What a feeling! My keyboard rig was at that time seriously humungous. It consisted of a Korg BX3 dual-manual Hammond clone, a Korg SP200 piano, and Korg M1, MS2000 and Wavestation Synths. The Wavestation was used for ‘that’ horn-like sound in Wish You Were Here – I never found it anywhere else. And, oh yes, I had an old Emax sampler, just for strings, which I had to load in specially, from a floppy diskette. I rememeber one gig at a tiney pub where we had to get the keyboards in through the window.

  44. Kristi Vogel says:

    For me the notion ‘concept album’ seems synonymous with ‘gratuitous self-indulgence
    I hope that I won’t be associated with gratuitous self-indulgence by extension, Stephen; I’d like to think that I manage to avoid that in my posts. 😉
    My LPs are housed in the storage compartment, designed specifically to hold such items, of a 1970s shelving unit, donated to my household by my parents. Stylish I am not, of course, and it will be a hoot to pull out the concept albums and photograph them. And we’ll see if someone can resist doing something ….

  45. Stephen Curry says:

    I hope that I won’t be associated with gratuitous self-indulgence by extension, Stephen
    Not at all Kristi – go for it. As I say I’m prepared to be persuaded by a passionate defence!

  46. James Zlosnik says:

    I went to see U2 at the Vancouver iMax about a month ago and was an instant convert to their live shows. I still prefer the Pet Shop Boys version of Where The Streets Have No Name, but my ambivilance about the original was turned right around!

  47. Stephen Curry says:

    That was the 3D film I presume – it is really life-changingly good?
    Not heard the PSB version of that song – will certainly try to catch it though it will have to be good – I’m a bit of a puritan purist…!

  48. Cath Ennis says:

    I was pretty annoyed when the Vancouver Canucks stopped using Where the Streets Have No Name when they come onto the ice. Boooooooooo.

  49. Stephen Curry says:

    Well I hope it was the original version that they played, Cath. I just sat through the Pet Shop Boys emasculation of a great song. I just don’t get this disco detachment… Sorry James!

  50. Cath Ennis says:

    It was the original intro, on a loop that went on for even longer than the actual intro. Really built the atmosphere up before the anthems and puck drop.

  51. Lee Turnpenny says:

    Pet… Shop… Boys. Pur-lease!

  52. James Zlosnik says:

    Pet Shop Boys….tremendous. It’s not an emasculation, it’s a re-working :). I guess if you’re a purist nothing will ever rock your boat. Incidentally, U2 for me would be Queen, I love Queen.

  53. James Zlosnik says:

    ps. nonetheless you’ve inspired me to get a U2 live DVD, any recommendations? It has to have where the streets on it.

  54. Stephen Curry says:

    I’m afraid I can’t help you there – I’m not really a consumer of concert DVDs. I did go to see Rattle and Hum in the cinema when it came out – that has a version of the song you’re looking for, recorded with a gospel choir if I remember correctly. Perhaps someone else on this thread can help?

  55. James Zlosnik says:

    I’ve been to see the iMAX U2 3D concert in Vancouver, that was great. I have Rattle and Hum, that is great but on concerts I’m a bit of a purist – don’t like them interrupted!

  56. Richard Wintle says:

    @James: U2 Go Home – live at Slane Castle, while not quite the Slane Castle gig Stephen saw, is just.frickin.awesome. What a concert. What a DVD.
    The Zoo TV one is pretty good too as I recall – only had this on VHS unfortunately. Go with Slane Castle, it’s great.
    And, because I can’t restrain myself with all this wobbly goodness about bands and so forth:

    I miss going to rock concerts.

  57. Stephen Curry says:

    And another one comes out of the woodwork! Thanks for mentioning the Slane Castle DVD – I didn’t even know it existed. Would likely make an interesting contrast with the early ’80s concert.

  58. Richard Wintle says:

    The Slane Castle one has the advantage of also including the documentary about the making of The Unforgettable Fire, which has some priceless over-the-top performance moments from a very exhausted Bono, and Brian Eno looking both motherly and Svengali-like, all at once.
    I refrained from posting my concert tickets from all the other bands people have mentioned above… 🙂

  59. Richard Wintle says:

    Oh, and @Henry – nice rig. The BX3 is a true classic, a Hammond clone from long before anyone else knew how to make them.
    The horn sound on Wish You Were Here would best be made with a Prophet-5. I came up with a credible cop on an Akai AX-80 analogue synth, although my poor old Sequential Split-8 does a nice job too.
    Wavestation… ah, what a classic. Sigh.

  60. Robert Pinsonneault says:

    I’m firing up Achtung Baby right now…
    I’ve only seen them once, in Montreal, and it was the most incredible stadium performance I’ve ever experienced. Even better than Pearl Jam (blasphemy, I know). At one point in the performance (this was shortly after 9/11) a gigantic translucent banner dropped from the ceiling and the names of those who died in the several attacks of that day scrolled from top to bottom. This was followed shortly after by a video montage evisceration of the cult of the National Rifle Association all set to “Bullet The Blue Sky”. Words just can’t get at it, really.

  61. James Zlosnik says:

    Thanks Richard.!! I’ll check it out, I like the sound of the documentary too.

  62. Stephen Curry says:

    Well, with all this excitement I was inspired to return for one more concert. I have just bought tickets for the Wembley concert on 14th Aug!

  63. amy charles says:

    I was working on a server when I first heard “In A Little While”, and I stopped what I was doing and listened to it approximately 837 times in a row. Something in his voice makes you want to roll around on the ground and grind your head into the pavement with the agony of this completely inappropriate obsession he’s got with this girl, and the sound is fantastic. I looked for my old pair of Grados , couldn’t find them, went out and bought another pair I couldn’t afford just so I could hear the album better.
    Enjoy the concert, Stephen.

  64. Henry Gee says:

    @ Richard W: Yes, the BX3 was a classic axe, but I sold it after we moved to Cromer … instead I have a Hammond XK1 which sounds even better and is much more portable. Your intuition about the source of the horn sound in Wish You Were Here is spot on. The Wavestation patch I used was called …Prophet Horn.

  65. Stephen Curry says:

    That’s quite an evocative image Amy – sounds like you are even more of a U2 nut than me! I’m looking forward to the concert but it will be very different from times past since I’m taking my kids… Rock on.
    I dearly wish I could relate you your keyboard-love Henry (and Richard) but I was defeated by the piano in round 2.

  66. Richard Wintle says:

    @Henry – thanks for the update. I never had any experience with Hammond-y things unfortunately… just cheapo 80’s synthesizers. Watered-down Cars and Yaz, I can do. Smokin’ Jon Lord Deep Purple screaming, not so much. 😉
    @Amy – I had a similar experience with that song, and other bits of that album (I must have listened to the first half-minute of Walk On almost as much as you listened to In A Little While). Shivery moments.
    And, being a good Canuck, my weapons of choice are a pair of large Axiom AX2s which, I am chagrined to find out, are now classed as “vintage”. 😀

  67. Cath Ennis says:

    I just managed to get 2 tickets for the U2 gig in Vancouver at the end of October! w00t!

  68. Stephen Curry says:

    Well done you! I’ll try to remember to post something when mid-August comes round. Must remember to pack my binoculars – I went for the cheap seats…

  69. Cath Ennis says:

    Thanks! I got floor tickets ($55 each), but I doubt I’ll try to get right to the front like I did last time.

  70. Lee Turnpenny says:

    As it’s pay day, I’m intending to treat myself to a purge of my Amazon basket. And so wondered, having had time to imbibe it properly, what’s your take on the new album? Is it on a par with Achtung Baby? That Eno and Lanois were involved again seems a positive.

  71. Stephen Curry says:

    It doesn’t represent quite the same kind of break with the past as we got with Achtung Baby, but it certainly has a different feel to the more recent album and I have to say that I do like it very much!
    BTW, I was talking about the Slane concert with my brother the other night and we were trying to recall who else was on the bill that day. Amazingly, there is a wikipedia page for this! But I was disappointed to find that I had zero recollection of the other acts playing that day apart from the top three headliners. My brother’s recollection was fuller which is a bit worrying, since he’s older than me!

  72. Lee Turnpenny says:

    You mean you don’t remember Rose Tattoo? I saw them (possibly the same year) supporting Rainbow at Leicester’s Granby Halls; an aggressive (and at the time, very good – I have three of their albums) Australian rock n’ roll band, fronted by ‘Angry’ Anderson, who was staggering around drunk, head-butting keyboards. A few years later, he barffed up that dreck Suddenly, which accompanied Jason & Kylie’s wedding in Neighbours. What a come down.

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