Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Long time, lots of news, bit of a rant!

Hi there. It's been ages since I last posted here. So much has been happening and life has been speeding along at a rate of knotts.

The biggest news lately is that my job has changed. We all went through a worrying time at work, and had to apply for a job to stay with the company. After weeks of fretting and wondering what next year would bring if I was out of a job, I was successful and was offered a new job.

I will become Communications Assistant and that will present many new challenges. I am looking forward to it.

I've also been working away on my novel. When I went to Egypt a couple of months ago I went through a very productive and inspired period and wrote like a demon! Lots of new ideas and a brand new direction. I'm hoping to have it finished early next year.

Lots of things happening on the U2 front. Not all if it good though! Myself and my good friend Sue are already planning our concerts for next year's tour but it's not worked out as we'd hoped. There are no proper U2 shows in the UK. They are playing Glastonbury, but that's not a U2 show in the true sense. So no 360 dates in the UK.

More unbelievably, no Irish dates either!! How can they not? Many thought they would play Belfast (it's long overdue) and surely Dublin?! But no...

So Sue and I have had to venture to Europe and are seeing them in Frankfurt and Hanover in August.

And someone made a great point today. U2.com insisted that we all renew our membership (even if we had months left on the current one!) to get a code for presales for next year. But they did not tell us that there would be no "local" shows. So, many people hung on to their codes, waiting for UK dates to go on sale. And we hung on and on and on. Now they have told us, it is too late to buy for many other shows we might have considered - because they are sold out.

Now I love U2 to death and I won't let anyone who's not a fan slag them off. But I am entitled to. Their website takes money off many people who can ill-afford it. This trick is inexcusable! It's a side of U2 that I don't like - the "corporation". The guys themselves - as individuals - are wonderful (well, I can only really speak for Bono) but they really need to start looking at the practises that go on in their name. I will never accept the caveat that "they have people doing these things" because it is being done in their name and they profit extremely well from it.

Anyway. Enough of that. I've made my point :)

Other news us that Sue and I have booked a trip to Dublin for February!! Yay! So great to have a trip to our beloved city to look forward to.

Oh and on a final note, I have written this post from it iPod Touch using a new free application.

Let's see if it works!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Coming Full Circle - 360 Adventures!

I'm back from my 360 tour experiences. A little sad, a LOT nackered and VERY poor! But it's been a wonderful time. I've had so much fun and wish it didn't have to come to an end. But all good things do.

I will be blogging about it all but in the meantime you can check out The Crystal Gazer blog by using the link on this page. Sue is more organized than me and is already blogging.

In the meantime, here are some pics of our meeting with Bono on Saturday 15th August. We were lucky enough to catch him as he arrived for the soundcheck at 3.30ish (maybe it was 3:33 and the numbers had fallen off the clock face!)

It was a short but very sweet meeting. There were about 8 or 10 people there and myself, Sue, Julie and Dianne were at the end of the line. You could tell that Bono clocked us right away - that he recognized us - and he eventually made his way down to us. As he stood talking to the man next to me he reached out to take my hand and held on to it while he talked to the guy. Then he was in front of me and he asked how I was and we chatted, along with Sue, about the sound from last night's show (he thought there had been problems and he wanted our opinion). I told him that his voice had been superb (it had!) and he said "Yeah, I thought I had been singing well".

He wanted to know where our seats had been so we told him and he seemed pleased that we had not noticed any real problems with the sound. "Good," he said. "I was worried."

Here are the pics. The handsome grey haired guy in the pictures is Bono's security guy, Brian Murphy.

I will be musing on my feelings about the tour in the coming week. For fantastic reviews and write-ups of our travels though, please visit The Crystal Gazer.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009


I haven't updated my blog in quite a while but I've been busy working on my book, so have not been lazy on the writing front. Also of course, my head has been full of U2 - looking forward to the tour and actually experiencing it for the first time in Nice last week.

Next stop on the 360 tour is Dublin on Friday. I will be taking my iPod with me on that trip and on subsequent ones to London and Glasgow, so I will be updating my blog with all my experiences more regularly.

For a fabulous account of my trip to Nice go to "The Crystal Gazer" blog (link on the side panel) to read Sue's brilliant write up. It was so great to be there with such a great friend. To experience something new and wonderful together. The U2 concert was just a part of it. A big part yes, but by no means all. I still haven't formulated my thoughts about the show properly and there was a lot to take in, but I feel that soon I will be able to put it all into words. The long wait for these shows was sometimes unbearable and turned out to be overwhelming for me. I didn't even realise that until now! The new album means a lot to me, and to hear some of it live was weirdly "quieting" for me. Not in a bad way. It's hard to explain, but I hope to as my "tour" progresses.

Until the weekend (which will be full of U2)....

Friday, 15 May 2009

Writing Prize - Yay me!!!

Today at work I learned that I won first prize in a review writing competition, set by the local college, who hold classes at our place of work. The competition was to write a review on anything... album, concert, book, film, restaurant etc. Now, whilst it was very tempting for me to stick to what I know and love (U2 of course) I decided to go with a restaurant review, and chose Gordon Ramsay at The London in NYC.

The review had to be 500 words or less, which is difficult, but I managed it. :)

The great thing about it all is that Keith, my hubby, entered the competition too, and he wrote a review of the album "The Wall" by Pink Floyd. I helped him a little bit by editing and he won first prize with me!!! They could not decide between us...

We had already decided to share the prize whoever won, so now we have £45 each to spend!

Here are the reviews. The Pink Floyd one is particularly interesting for me because it is fascinating to have something like that album explained. The theme behind it is something I had never even given a second thought. Thanks to Keith for a great insight!

Gordon Ramsay at the London Hotel, New York, NY

Whenever I think of Gordon Ramsay, I think of some hyper-active, spiky-haired creature, bouncing up and down on the balls of his feet, punching his palm and making wild gestures, expletives spewing out like fire from a dragon's mouth. So, going to his restaurant was a little daunting.

Expecting fireworks, we arrived at the London Hotel to find an understated, serene place. It was like the calm and peaceful eye of the storm that was Manhattan, and while that storm raged outside, inside we floated gently on a tranquil sea of music and hushed tones. The walls of the restaurant were pale oyster panels, and the tables had crisp white cloths.

We arrived early, but were courteously seated with no fuss. A waiter arrived and asked: "Would you like to join us in a glass of champagne?", which sounded like he was going to give us a free one, and join us in drinking it. I said yes, and when I saw the cost on the bill, I thought that perhaps the staff had all joined us in a glass, and we had paid for it!

Although Gordon does not actually work in the kitchens here, his personality and signature were all over every dish. The array of courses was mind-boggling. Tiny, delicious canapes, an 'amuse bouche', starter, main course, 'pre-dessert' and finally dessert. Hats off to any restaurant that gives you a dessert to prepare you for a dessert!

The food was a work of art (we photographed every dish!) and as every plate was presented and explained by the waiters, I thought of Gordon in the kitchen before the restaurant ever opened, showing his chefs exactly what to do. I thought of all the times I had seen him on the TV, screaming at a chef that a particular dish was not good enough to leave the kitchen - did not meet his standards. And I was grateful for that attention to detail.

The portions we had were not huge. The fact that we ate two lots of bread (which was delicious) and practically licked our plates clean (if no one had been around, I would have!) is testament to that. We even bought some Pringles on the way back to our hotel! But, as they say, size is not everything. The experience of being in a Gordon Ramsay restaurant was, for me, a dream come true. To experience fine dining at its very best and have the talent of a chef like Gordon behind it was worth every penny.

Since this visit was to celebrate our wedding anniversary, when our bill arrived we were presented with a mini sorbet with a candle in it, with a message written in chocolate! What a lovely touch.

I wrote thanking the restaurant on getting home, and by return came a lovely reply. Gordon passed on his best to me and my email was read at the morning team briefing at the restaurant. The perfect end to a wonderful experience.

The Wall by Pink Floyd

Released in 1979, The Wall produced a number one hit single, a love it or hate it film, one of the most popular guitar solos of all time, and the death knell for the band that created it.

To go beyond The Wall you have to enter the mind of its creator, Roger Waters. The inspiration for the character known as Pink in The Wall is Waters himself. It is a musical autobiography.

The album opens with a soft melody representing a late summer evening in England. Seventeen seconds in, a crash of drums and guitars herald the start of the war. The track ends with the screaming dive-bomber releasing a bomb but instead of an explosion, we hear the cry of a baby. Waters was just five months old when his father was killed at Anzio in Italy during WWII.

The album then unwinds to reveal a troubled, fatherless childhood and an over-protective mother. Another Brick In The Wall (part two) tells of unhappy schooldays and a sadistic schoolmaster. Each traumatic experience is logged in his memory and forms "another brick in the wall". As he grows up, the threat of nuclear holocaust and experiences of the opposite sex all contribute to his mental instability. More bricks for the wall being built inside his troubled mind.

Further on, Pink is married and is a rock star touring America. Clever sound clips tell the story and link the songs. He finds out that his wife is being unfaithful when the international operator is connecting him to his home phone and a strange man answers and hangs up. In turmoil he brings a girl back to his hotel room but flies into a rage as she tries to seduce him. Realising that everybody close to him either hurts or exploits him, he resigns himself to a world of drug-induced isolation, safe in his hotel room flicking from channel to channel on the TV. The wall is complete and he is hiding behind it.

Alone, he reflects on his fate, the horrors of war and the pressure to perform. However, his managers need him for the concerts and won’t allow him any respite. They use drugs to revive him. Jolted from his stupor he resolves to become more aggressive towards the world that has hurt him and assumes a neo-Nazi persona to his fans, inciting racial hatred and violence.

The penultimate track is called "The Trial" as a judge hears evidence from his mother, his wife and the schoolmaster. His verdict is for Pink to be exposed to his fears and traumatic experiences, to confront them and recover as best he can. Finally the opening theme is reprised as those who really love him gather around him to aid his recovery.

The problem with any autobiography is that it is deeply individual and because of Waters' domineering manner during recording, divisions were created that were never healed. However, thirty years on it remains a remarkable piece of work from a remarkable man.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

The "Magnificent" Stuedabakerbrown

I have discovered a new band... it's always great when you do that. They are called Stuedabakerbrown and they are from the borough of Monroe in NYC. Their music is influenced by the likes of U2 (good taste), Tom Petty and Coldplay. The singer has a killer voice!! Check them out here on youtube.

Here are two of my faves. The first is one of their own songs, A Time For Fire, and the second is a cover of Magnificent which is... well Magnificent! For the latter, please ignore the silly schoolboy video of the guitarist jumping around in his underpants (boys will be boys!!). Listen to it with your eyes closed, and preferably with headphones because the sound is kind of poor. But it's the only example of Magnificent that I can find.

Haven't seen you in quite a while....

... I was not down the hold just passing time though, LOL.

I have been banning myself from spending too much time doing things online. Why? Because my novel will not get written by itself. I needed to take myself away from distraction, so spent a few weeks just using my PC as a word processor rather than a tool to take me on wild journeys all over the place! It worked... kind of. I did some writing, but it's still nowhere near enough. Oh well, these things take time. And in the meantime it is time to do some blogging again.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

It's 2009 - Do You Know Where Your Soul Is?

Bono sat in the "Op-Ed Guest Columnist" chair again at the New York times yesterday. Read his piece - and all the comments it provoked - here.

One thing is for sure. People love him. People hate him. But he always gets them talking.

Oh and I do wish people would get off the "Bono tax dodger" bandwagon! It is sooooo boring now. Whether Bono is dodging paying exorbitant taxes or not (and who would NOT try to dodge that?!) has no bearing on the work he does nor does it influence the poverty or otherwise of the countries he is trying to help.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Off to Dublin

I am off to Dublin for a few days today. In a few hours I will be there. I just need to perfect the art of cramming all my toiletries into an A5 sized plastic bag, since I am not checking anything in! I read the advice on the Manchester Airport page, and I think I am sailing a little close to the wind, but I have graded my stuff in order of what I can ditch if I need to, so wish me luck! Ha ha.

This trip has been made possible by Sue, who invited me to stay with her while she house sits for a friend in Dun Laoghaire. We have a lovely, cosy home to call our own for the time we are there. And there is even a cat!!

Tonight we are going out to eat at La Strada, our favourite restaurant in Dun Laoghaire, and one we have visited many times. Tomorrow we are eating in, and then on Friday, our new favourite place in Dublin, the Town Bar and Grill. A tad more expensive than most places we go to, but the food and the ambience is well worth the money. Well, if you don't go when there is a party on as we did near Christmas last year. Then, it is a nightmare and you can't even hear yourself think! You can't even hear yourself burp though, which is quite handy!!

So, I will be updating my blog when I get back. Cheerio!

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

U2 - No Line On The Horizon - Album Review

I think I am long overdue a review of this album. I gave my first, early impressions of it, but I was kind of putting off going into any depth because I have still been getting to grips with it. Not that it is hard work, but just that I am allowing it to wash over me gradually. I didn't want to rush my thoughts.

Prompted by a friend's email to me with her thoughts, I wrote back to her with mine. A little shambolic and jumbled though they were, I think they are as close to an in depth review of the album as I am likely to get in the coming months, as I have a lot of travel coming up (during all of which I will have my iPod earphones jammed in my ears with NLOTH on!).

So... I thought I would simply paste my email to my friend. So hope you enjoy my rambling about NLOTH. I have edited here and there to cut out anything irrelevant and to make it suitable for my blog.

I have been trying to formulate my thoughts on the album into some sort of cohesive sentences, because at the moment it seems more instinctual for me to like it, rather than intellectual, if that makes any sense. I kind of sense what is being conveyed, but it's more of a silent language at the moment. The music is uppermost in my mind (more on that later) and I am trying to make sense of the lyrics - which incidentally I think are some of the best that Bono has ever written.

Sometimes I am loathe to try to analyse what Bono means when he writes, because as you know, writing is so objective/subjective, and the meaning can be easily disguised. Here on this album, Bono is kind of hiding behind the "third person" (technically he is still writing in 1st person POV), and this is something a writer can easily do. Pretend it's a character and you can get away with anything. If you show your heart or your hand too much you can say it's not you. I think that, despite the characters he uses a little in this album, these are some of the most personal songs that he has ever done.

I like this album better than The Joshua Tree - and I LOVE the Joshua Tree. That album will always be an absolute classic, and it showed a band (and moreso a man) maturing, turning from a boy to a man. Both in ideas and in voice. But, even though the Joshua Tree spoke of worldly things, they were only worldly things that Bono was just on the cusp of discovering. Joshua Tree was, for me, the onset of a journey into discovering life. Writing about a bigger world that was to be explored. His songs were passionate and objective, but only from the point of view of an outsider looking in. A relative youngster (he was only 27!) Now, Bono has explored that world, and his lyrics are more intense because they come from a direct experience he was only touching on before. When he talks from the point of view of a war correspondent, he is really talking about his own experiences. Mourning lost youth, and past loves, and talking about futility, and war, and the way the world is. And religion of course... God is always there. I have no religious beliefs, but have always been in awe of other people's. Especially Bono's. I mean, it can't be the bunkum I think it is, if someone like him believes it! Right? I respect his views, and marvel at the strength it so obviously brings him.

There is such beauty in his words... at times on this album just hearing them brings me to tears. Most notably on Magnificent: Only love can leave such a mark/Only love can heal such a scar - the profundity of that. The contradiction of love. It scalds and soothes. And Bono laid bare… From the womb, my first cry was a joyful noise.

One of the best songs lyrically for me (at the moment!) is “I’ll Go Crazy”. This track literally erupts with genius! Humour abounds along with pathos. Every beauty needs to go out with an idiot and The right to appear ridiculous is something I hold dear brushing shoulders with The sweetest melody is the one we haven’t heard and is it true that perfect love drives out all fear?

Lots of other gems on the album… a couple that spring to mind now are Where a lovesick eye can steal the view and If only a heart could be as white as snow.

I need to explore the lyrics more. But I will finish on the subject by saying that I can not find any "dodgy" lyrics on this album. And that happened on the last one, and on subsequent songs that U2 were involved in (I won't mention the songs here, but they know who they are!!). Lyrics "thrown in" at the last minute it seemed. Easy, clichéd rhymes and bad grammar for the sake of fitting them into the song in the alloted space. I always feel cheated when that happens. It doesn't happen on this album. All the lyrics are relevant and true. Even the "cockatoo" lyric. All part of a bigger genius. You don't have to look far for the sense in these songs.

Moving on, musically and vocally, I find this album breathtaking. Bono’s voice soars and the guitar roars. All those fun clichés we heard are made real on this record - Bono is singing like a bird and the Edge is on fire!! This album is pure U2 (in parts so utterly recognizable that it’s like you have come home) but it's U2 on steroids! The title track is the most amazing thing… U2 venturing out into something new, and proving that they can be relevant, and ground-breaking, in their own right.

I love all of the tracks… the only one I really skip is “Boots” but then I always skip the first single off an album. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s a great song. But I’ve listened to that enough. I thought there was going to be a track I hated, and indeed, when I first played the album there were tracks that were great contenders for that title, but I genuinely love them all. They are so diverse. The music is in parts uplifting, in parts soothing, thought-provoking. This is exactly what I wanted. Music of power, and poetry, and sensual, caressing vocals.

My one fear before the album was released was that it would be like the previous two. That it would have a few great songs but no cohesion, no sense or message that I could discern. But this album flows from beginning to end and it makes perfect sense to me. Even if I could not explain it to anyone else.

As for how this album will translate to the live environment. I think that already we can see the crowd-pleasers, the sing-alongs, the songs that move you to tears. I hear reports that the bassline in Magnificent can be felt in your chest! I look forward to that! Can you imagine the hysteria that will erupt when the first strains of that song are heard? I can’t wait to sing along to “Crazy” and “Breathe” and to cry at “Moment of Surrender”…..

A fitting title as we surrender ourselves again to the joy of a U2 show!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Eyeliner on the horizon....

Come July, I will be seeing the above vision in real life! Hope so anyway... hope that Bono does not decide to ditch the eyeliner by then.

So far we have tickets for Nice, Dublin, Wembley and Glasgow.... more to come tomorrow with any luck. Sue will be doing the honours again :) Wish her (and me!) luck!

Sunday, 8 March 2009

And the favourite song today is....

After almost a week of playing the U2 album and having it in my head almost all of the time, I have decided that my favourite track is "I'll Go Crazy...". I just can't stop singing it. Love the lyrics, love the many layers (layers are something that they do well on this album). It's just an amazing song for so many reasons.

Even after seeing Snow Patrol at the MEN Arena in Manchester last night (fabulous gig!), the songs in my head were still U2 as I went to sleep! Just goes to show that right now, everything is revovling around U2.... thoughts of the tour dates and tickets, and the new album still fresh and new and exciting.

Having said that, though, the Snow Patrol show was wonderful. Lots of singalong moments, and at one point Gary Lightbody ran off the stage, and ended up on the steps in the middle of the auditorium, singing "Run" and playing his guitar while some woman "volunteered" to hold his microphone! It was wonderful. Everyone sang along and Gary was laughing throughout. A very "feel good" part of the show.

For the encore they played the last three tracks from their new album (the three having the subtitle "The Lightning Strike") while a video played on a giant white screen in front of the stage). A lovely moment.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

No Line On The Horizon - Review

This weekend I went to stay with my friend, Sue, in Carlisle, where we got together with another friend - Dawn - to buy and listen to the new album. It was quite an occasion, and apart from the tracks we saw performed on various television programmes in the week that led up to the release, we had not listened to any of the album. So we were all on the same page as we sat to listen. I wrote down some thoughts on our very first listen, and have included some of them in this review, which is written after I have listened to the album a few times. I know that my thoughts will change frequently, so I might post about this again in a few weeks.

No Line On the Horizon

A magnificent (no pun intended) song, and when I first heard/saw this on The Culture Show (played live at HQ) I was moved to tears. It was so exciting to see that they had not lost "it" and I was incredibly excited by the energy in this song. Love the lyrics, and the guitar, bass and drums have such power. Undulating waves and the volume goes up and down, with Bono singing softly sometimes and then soaring loud at others. A firm favourite.


A very 80s-like U2 song... the classic sound, but done a million times better. When the song starts it sounds like you have come in near the middle or the end, almost like this song has been playing forever, on a timeless loop. It sounds instantly familiar and right. Great lyrics, and you can imagine this in the stadiums.

Moment of Surrender

My least favourite at the moment. The lyrics are beautiful and Bono's voice is lovely. A great song full of emotion, but I can't listen to it much because of the annoying musical arrangement, which for me, spoils it. The "popping, bubbling" percussion in the background is relentless and out of synch with the music and at odds with the song. In my initial notes I wrote: "cacophony of instruments" and that was my overriding first impression. I hope I can get over that because I want to give it a fair chance. On headphones it is much worse!

Unknown Caller

The birdsong track! Starts off sounding like Bad, which is good! Very hypnotic. Sounds like a typical U2 track musically to start with, but then moves into a strange vocal of several male voices. It alternated between this and Bono's solos, and is intriguing. I quite like it, the monotone chanting almost, mixed with melody. Reminds me of a Police song. I like the horn parts.

I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight

Another favourite. Like the range of Bono's voice. Brilliant, witty lyrics coupled with poignancy. A great hook and a great one for singing along to at the shows.

Get On Your Boots

It's always so strange to hear the first single when the album comes out, because it feels like it has been around forever and needs no review. Suffice to say I love it, and I think it actually fits in well where it is placed on the album. Brings some levity.

Stand Up Comedy

Wish I could read the lyrics that some bright spark decided to print white-on-white in the booklet that came with the album. Has the great line "Stop helping God across the road like a little old lady." And of course the "be careful of small men with big ideas" line! Great rocker, but I need to listen to it more.

Fez - Being Born

A song about birth. Of a man? Of an album? You can hear elements of several tracks in this, starting most obviously with "Let me in the sound". A snapshot of the whole album, a record of its birth. Lovely vocal by Bono. At times you almost imagine him being pushed into the world, wailing like a baby. Love the end lyrics: "Head first then foot/then heart sets sail" The ideas are born.

White As Snow

Bono's words set to a traditional tune, so it is strangely familiar. Very typical of an Irish dirge. This is typical also of the general mood of the album, which is introspective and melancholic. The story of a man reminiscing about his youth, mourining something lost - innocence? Beautiful, beautiful singing.


Liked this a little on first hearing/seeing it on TV. Love it a lot now. I like the way it changes frequently. It starts off with a rambling Bono talking interesting gibberish (never thought I would hear the word "cockatoo" in a U2 song, ha ha). Moves quickly into another singalongable U2 song. Weirdly uplifting despite the slight menace the "rapping" suggests. Can imagine 50,000 voices taking this one and running with it in the summer!

Cedars Of Lebanon

More of a poem than a song. Reminds me a lot of "If You Wear That Velvet Dress" but without ever going into a chorus. Nothing like I imagined from the title. Pleasant but not a fire-starter!

Overall, I am more pleased and delighted with this album than I dared hope I would be. On first listen I thought... "Mmmm... it's okay, but I need to work on it." Now, I find that it took less work than I thought, and I love it all to varying degrees. Sue, Dawn and I commented that this was exactly what we had asked for. It was as if U2 had listened to our brief and delivered what we requested... a new, innovative album which has layers and layers that it is a pleasure to peel away.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

He's messy, but he's my friend...."

Bono is adorable in this.... very funny and extremely skittish! How many glasses of wine did you have Bono? Tsk, tsk?


Next time, it's for real....

Just got back from a whirlwind trip to London to see the Brit Awards. Sue and I had a strange and interesting time, watching a red carpet event at close quarters for the first time. We had time to wait for a while and watch the stars arrive... although by the time we had to go and pick up our tickets, Bono had not arrived, or else he had gone in the back door. I am yet to read or see any reports of the red carpet, so he may well have made a grand entrance.

We had a great spot (eventually - we moved a couple of times) right on the front of a barrier. We were not on the spotlit side where the artists did most of their schmoozing, but several nice people came over to us poor relations, causing the cameras problems I am guessing as the line was not lit for TV! :)

The first to arrive was Tom Jones... looking good for a man of his age. His grey hair suits him a lot better but he needs to lose the tan now to flatter it more. A whirl of celebs arrived in a stream of limousines... most of whom we did not know, but the young kids waiting screamed a great deal, so they were obviously popular (showing my age now!).

The hosts (James Corden and Matthew Horne) arrived together and ran over to us on the other side. They seem like nice boys... very funny young men. I forget the order in which people showed up, but we saw Kylie, Katy Perry, Alan Carr, Gok Wan, David Hasselhoff, Girls Aloud, Kings of Leon, Duffy, Simon Pegg, among many others. Quite a mix of personalities, with comedians being well represented. Was this the Comedy Awards?!

We got excited when our Edge arrived. His car stopped right beside us as there was a hold up in front, and I saw him through the window. I thought he would be with Bono, but he was the only band member in the car and indeed that we saw arrive. He did the red carpet thing and then stopped at the top of the stairs for a chat with Sarah Cox, who was doing the meet and greet.

I tried to take pictures, but the light was not good (and as I said, our side of the road was not lit). I got some blurry shots, and some not so blurry, but none really brilliant.

We eventually had to drag ourselves away, which was not hard since it was getting very cold and we were fed up! We went to get our tickets, and thought it would be a nightmare, but it was very well organised and we got them in minutes. Our seats were great, up high and right near the stage. We had a great view, and there was a giant screen right in front of us too where we could watch.

Everyone performed so well tonight. Aside from U2, who did a great job (more of that in a minute) Coldplay's set was particularly memorable, culminating in a shower of "leaves" lit by red and blue light! It was very effective. Chris Martin bounced around as he always does, so full of energy.

A particular highlight for me was Kings Of Leon, who did a stonking version of "Use Somebody".... that Caleb's voice is amazing. They won both their categories... Best International Group and Album, and well deserved I say.

Take That emerged as if by magic in a very PopMart like "spaceship" high up in the air, right below where were were sitting. Curiously, they were all wearing spectacles that looked like 3D glasses.... a bit geeky looking. I am sure if you are a Take That fan it all makes perfect sense. They were brilliant though.

The whole show was very enjoyable, much better than the Meteor Awards we went to in Dublin a few years ago. I liked most of the acts at this one. The time went quickly, which is a good sign.

And now onto U2's performance. After the worry of the Grammy's, this was a hundred times better. The sounds was spot on, and it was so great to actually be seeing them onstage for the first time in 4 years. The only iffy part was "Let me in the sound", which seems to be something they need to work on for the live shows. Edge does all the work with the singing, with Bono contributing very little. I have to say though, that since watching the TV show today, you can hear Bono more than I remember hearing him last night, so maybe it was a sound issue at the venue. Still, this needs work, and hopefully the few awards shows that they are doing will iron out the creases in this song.

Bono looked so good all dressed in black with a jacket with sparkly lapel. His eyeliner has been joined by full eyeshadow, which is just plain sexy. I'm all for it. Make up is not for all men... you have to have a certain something to carry it off. Bono has it.

I took a couple of pictures off the giant screen since the band were a little dot when using the camera pointing at the actual stage.

I felt so excited to be seeing them, and strangely proud that our band were opening the Brits. It's weird to be opening a show and still being the main event, but I felt they were. A headline act at the head of the show. They are still the band to watch and I don't really think that is in dispute.

After the show we headed out and checked out the entrance again. Stars were leaving in quick succession in their cars, but you could not see into many of them, so who knows who was passing us by? We were entertained by a couple of security guards who were like a comedy double act (maybe they should have presented an award tonight!).

Two men stood out for me tonight after hours. One is - surprisingly - Louis Walsh. Who would have thought that this man who I've never really given much thought to, could be impressing me? But he did. There was a woman there who - to put it delicately out of respect for her - is a little "over zealous" in her obsession with him, and maybe known by certain people for all the wrong reasons. Louis came out to go to his car and she was hysterically screaming his name, and crying. He came over to her (he knows her situation it seems) and gave her a kiss and was very kind. It made her night and she went home so happy!

And someone who made my (and Sue's) night, was Dermot O'Leary! He came over and we had a few words and he posed for photos and signed my book (you'd never know the squiggle was him, but, oh well). He was so sweet, and when my camera was not working and I was worried I was holding him up, he was so patient and told me not to worry. He was such a gentleman.

And so, our little "rehearsal" for the coming U2 tour madness came to an end. Next time we do this, it will be for real.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

One Week To Go

One week from now, Sue and I will be at the Brits!!! Can't wait. Hopefully we will see a rocking version of Boots and come away happy.

I will be blogging about it when I get back so watch this space....

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Take these boots, they're going nowhere....

My, U2 are testing us lately. I am exhausted with all the hiccups and "reasons" why this and that is not finished, or why it's delayed etc. And amazed at all the faux pas they seem to have made. For a band of their stature to be embroiled in artwork copying and copyright scandals is ludicrous. I wonder if they have been so "hands off" lately for whatever reason (time, mostly, while people who will remain unnamed are busy doing something else for 99.9% of the time), that they are just relying blindly on people who do not know, or do not care, what they are doing.

I just got an email from u2.com telling me to "click here" to watch the video premiere of Get On Your Boots, and ten minutes later, it is still stuck on 46% loading!

Oh well, I've seen it anyway. And don't even get me started on U2.com!!!

I really admire Bono for what he is doing with his time. I understand why he has to do it, and why he wants to carry on doing it. It's essential work and important that he does it. I respect that. But there must come a time when all that has to be weighed up against the fact that U2 are a band. Musicians. Do they still want to do that? I suspect that they do, but appreciate that it must be so hard.

And yes, I was getting impatient for a new U2 album... last September when myself and three of my friends were enjoying a week in Dublin, we had long conversations about it. It was about then that we had learned of them scrapping it all and starting again, and that they had 60 songs to try to get through. It didn't sit well with us. We were getting itchy feet. How can a band be out of the public eye for so long and survive, we mused. We were loyal and devoted fans who had stuck with them for years, and probably always would, but there were surely the lesser devoted who would get bored and turn their backs. U2 needed to act fast.

Maybe they thought that too. And maybe they acted too fast.

Because depsite my impatience about the album, I would much rather they get it right, than offer something up that is not up to par. Maybe, on some level, they think that too. Maybe they are getting nervous about just what is on that album.

I'm just musing and speculating. I don't know. All I know is that it is very weird, all this.

But amongst the confusion is hope and optimism. Deep down I feel it will be worth it, and that the very reason that there is all this confusion is because our guys want to give us all that we want.

And the tour.... that's something to look forward to. My friends and I are already dreaming about a sun-drenched French riviera, and gourmet food and good wine along with the music of the band we love!

It will all come out in the wash, as the saying goes!

Friday, 30 January 2009

No Boots Tonight

The premiere of the new U2 video has been delayed. It was going to be tonight and I was really looking forward to it. God knows what's up, but the official word is that it's "not ready".... maybe the director (Alex Courtes) is a typical artist and can't bear to put it out yet. But it really does beg the question: "Why on earth would they hype it and advertise it and give it a premiere date if the thing was not finished?"

Who knows? I give up.

The only consolation is that the alternative video of the song is doing the rounds now. I have to say the shots of Bono shirtless almost make up for my disappointment about the original!

In the meatnime, to amuse myself, I thought I would post a couple of funny animal photos that a friend sent me.

I know Sue will appreciate the first one!!! I just think they are so funny!

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Are You Gonna Wait Forever

This song is so apt while we all wait patiently for the new U2 album and a scorching summer of concerts!

All the obstacles in my way, now
Are disappearing every day, now
I'm getting closer
We're getting closer to home
It won't be long until the summer comes

Are you gonna wait forever?
Are you gonna wait forever?

Getting out from under my bed, now
I'm going to say the things I should have said, now
Getting closer
Getting closer to what's true
Gonna find myself in you

Are you gonna wait forever?
Are you gonna wait forever?
Are you gonna wait forever?
Are you gonna wait forever?

There's no one there behind their eyes
They're in the business, beautiful lies
We'll keep the promise
'Cause we don't know how to break it
The furniture you can rearrange
Don't trade your dreams for some small change
Guard the flame, or better leave it naked

Are you gonna wait forever?
Are you gonna wait forever?
Are you gonna wait forever?
Are you gonna wait forever?
How, how long, how long?
Or is it now, now, now?
Or is it now?

Bono is such a goofball!!

Interviewed on NBC's "Nightly News" the night before the inauguration at Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Bono said:

"People forget about the apostrophe after the first O (in Obama). Obama is Irish as far as we're concerned. He's from Clara, County Offaly and they just don't go far wrong."

Ha ha. I just have to ask Bono one question. Where's the second O in Obama???

Edge had this to say about the album:

"We're very happy with the album. We took two years to make it because we wanted to make an "album" because people don't listen to albums anymore, it's all about individual tracks. This is like an eleven track piece and it's maybe our best ever."

This is quite literally music to my ears. For me, this is precisely what the last two albums lacked. A sense of continuity and theme. A few fabulous tracks came off All That You Can't Leave Behind and How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, that stood out in their own right, but the albums as a whole did not have the feel of cohesion to me.

Maybe No Line on the Horizon will bring me what I have been craving for years from U2. A fabulous fusion of lyrics, music, and soul.

Here's the NBC clip:

Saturday, 24 January 2009

A productive day... without "Boots"

Okay, today I have not listened to "Get on Your Boots"... or GOYB as we should maybe call it, just to fall in with the trend of using acronyms (the only thing wrong with using acromyms is that U2 song titles are often so long that I am constantly saying: "Huh?" when reading them!!)..

Anyway, today has been a day free of the new U2 single. And there are two reasons for that. The first is that when I am listening to it, I fall into an hypnotic reverie, full of visions of how the next tour will look and sound, and how Bono will look onstage with his short hair these days, and what outfits he will wear and who he will "be".

I go off into raptures listening to Edge's guitar and Larry's drums. God, those drums hammer you to death right from the start (or "rip a hole in your face" as fellow blogger, Cara, says. I think that is a priceless description and so true!). I float away on Bono's voice, and swim in all the mad images this song brings to my mind. I see leather jackets, funfairs with wild and crazy rides, catwalks with long legged models parading up and down in thigh length boots, Moroccan towns shimmering in the heat ... I also hear the theme tune to "Joe 90" in the guitar in the middle. Crazy!

And I can't afford to do this daydreaming, because I have a book to write.

The second reason is that I don't want to get fed up of the song... I want to hunger for it, and love it every time I hear it. I waited for so long for it that I don't want to kill it in just one week. LOL So, I am limiting myself.

It's good for my writing if nothing else.

Today I had a really good day, in that I found a way to write something that I had been puzzling over for days! Things are coming along really well.

So I should get back to it. But first... maybe just ONE listen to Boots? Ha ha.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

I'm so excited!!!!

I am off to The Brits on Feb 18th with Sue!!! Can't believe it. I was at work when Sue started to frantically text and email me, and she found tickets and booked them and by 11.30 it was all done! When I got the email to say we had tickets I almost screamed out loud in the office!!!

Unfortunately, I actually forgot about an interview I had scheduled for 11.30, but I think I bluffed it and we started at 11.40 instead! Ha ha.

My mind has been whirring ever since I found out we are going! What to wear (it will be cold out but they don't allow jeans at the event!!! How mad is that?!) and then I had to book a train, which I managed to do for £32.

Sue booked the hotel and so now we are all set.

I am so pleased with the line up too. Apart from our boys, we have The Kings of Leon, Coldplay, Take That, Pet Shop Boys, Girls Aloud and Duffy (listed in order of my preference)... and the presenters are people I like too... James Corden, Matthew Horne (both have done very funny stuff on TV) and of course can't forget Kylie.

This is putting me in mind of the last time Sue and I went to an awards event... the IRMAs at the Point Depot in Dublin. That time we were VIP, but that's a whole other story (not half as exciting as you might think! U2 didn't play at that one.).

A BIG, BIG thanks to Sue for booking it all today. Thank goodness you are not at work!

Monday, 19 January 2009

My boots are finally on!!!!

The day has come at last. We have all heard the new single by now no doubt. I had to wait until I got home from work and have been home about half an hour and listened to it about 8 times!!! LOL

The first thing that I am struck by (and I know I will have it in my head all week!) is the fantastic riff at the beginning. It really draws you in, and shows that this is the perfect choice for the introduction to the new album, and will make a fantastic show opener.

The lyrics are fast and furious but I managed to get them down and have put them at the end of this post. Some great Bono-isms and the the pace of this is energetic and sexy. Love Bono's voice and the almost casual, throw-away attitude of the vocal. Pure rock and roll.

This song sounds like U2 and yet doesn't, if that makes sense. When you get into it, it is undeniably them... but the overall feel of it is new and fresh.

I officially approve.

It is acceptable!!!! LOL

Oh and Dave Fanning said that they will tour the world starting in June "or thereabouts". Oh God!!!

Get On Your Boots - Lyrics

The future needs a big kiss
Winds blow with a twist
Never seen a moon like this
Can you see it too?

Night is falling everywhere
Rockets hit the fun fair
Satan loves a bomb scare
But won't scare you

Hey...Sexy Boots
Get on your boots

You free me from a dark dream
Candy floss, ice cream
All the kids are screaming but the ghosts aren't real

Here's where you gotta be
Love and community
Laughter is eternity
If joy is real

You don't know how... beautiful
You don't know how beautiful you are

You don't know
You don't get it do you
You don't know how beautiful you are

If someone starts to blow it up
We're into growing up
Women are the future
All the big revelations

I got a submarine
You got gasoline
I don't wanna talk about
Wars between nations

Not right now

Sexy boots
Get on your boots yeah
Sexy boots

You don't know how... beautiful
You don't know how beautiful you are

You don't know
You don't get it do you
You don't know how beautiful you are

Sexy boots
Get on your boots
(I don't wanna talk about the wars between the nations

Let me in the sound
Let me in the sound
Let me in the sound, sound
Let me in the sound, sound
Let me in the sound

Let me in the sound
Let me in the sound, down
God I'm going down
I don't wanna drown, down
Let me in the sound

Let me in the sound
Let me in the sound
Let me in the sound, sound
Let me in the sound, sound
Let me in the sound

Get on your boots
Get on your boots
Get on your boots

Yeah hey hey hey
Yeah hey hey hey

Repeat to fade.....

Sunday, 18 January 2009


This photo of Bono says it all. It was taken during rehearsals for the Obama Inaugural Celebration, which took place today in Washington, DC. It is very cold there, and apparently it even started to snow a little during this rehearsal. There are more pictures here, including a fab one of Adam looking like ET!!

Love Bono's fingerless gloves, which he also wore today. He also wore his gorgeous black Edun scarf. Edge looked amazing in his leather coat.

I have no words...

Except that all the guys looked wonderful, and the quality of Bono's voice got me VERY excited indeed and even more eager for the tour to start.

I got excited when I saw his green Irish Falcon guitar, and was convinced they were going to do "One", but no such luck.

I'm too distracted...

... to do any work!!

That's my excuse... and actually, it isn't an excuse. It's a serious reason! U2 are distracting me from working on my book, because instead of character development and plot lines, all that is in my head is the knowledge that tomorrow morning the new single will be played and that I will at long last get a taste of the new U2. And now, I've just been told that tonight the Obama Inaugural Celebration is being shown on Sky TV, so of course I will have to stop for that! To say I am excited is an understatement.

It's really weird, because for some reason, this time everything seems a million times more intense than in previous years. I've waited for U2 albums before, waited for concerts, been excited about the new single being played for the first time. But this time is a lot different, and my excitement greater. I am not sure why that is. Maybe it's because I feel we are perched on the edge of a new direction for U2. And another classic. This album could be another Joshua Tree in terms of being a seminal album, and an Achtung Baby in terms of being groundbreaking and going off in some dizzying direction.

I've ridden the rollercoaster with U2 many times over the years, but this time it feels like I am about to do it without a safety harness!!

Friday, 16 January 2009

Singles, Albums and Brits

So okay, there is a mystery going on here. Today I had lunch with a friend of mine at work. He works in our warehouse where they have Absolute Radio (formerly Virgin) playing all day. He is a big music fan and likes U2. When we were having lunch he said: "They played the new U2 single at 11.15 today", and I was like: "Whoa! What's it like?" and he said.... "I knew they were going to be playing it because they said beforehand, but when I heard it, it took a few moments to realise that it was them. Then I heard *them* in it. It's good."

Now... all the announcements say that the single is going to be premiered on 2FM on Monday. To say I am puzzled is an understatement. I checked Absolute's Website and the song is listed on the playlist. But I can't find a podcast with it on.

If anyone has any info on this then I would be grateful. There is no reason to disbelieve my friend. He would not say he heard something he didn't. But I just want some proof, you know!!! Ha ha.

Reading my friend, Sue's Blog, I see the new album cover and track listing. The album looks beautiful. It is a monochrome photograph of the sea meeting the sky. Strangely enough, there actually *is* a line on the horizon.... unlike the image Bono talked about having from his study window of the sea in Killiney merging seamlessly into the sky. But it is lovely nonetheless. Also on the photo - joining sea and sky - is an image exactly like the "Make Trade Fair" logo. Not sure if this is what it is, or what the artist - Hiroshi Sugimoto intended. But that's what it looks like. This cover is such a departure from what we are used to with U2. No band name or title, it almost like they don't want to describe the album or taint it with text. It will speak for itself.

I can't wait to hear it. Like the album cover, I think I will have no words.... for a little while at least.

And on the Brits front.... "Get On Your Boots" will get its first live performance there on February 18th. Sue and I are going to try to get tickets and hopefully will get to go. We'll keep you posted about what happens.

Dreams Part 2

I had another night of mad dreams last night... some bizarre.... some nice (I dreamed that I was brushing and stroking my cat, who has been dead over two years now, and I remember the feel of his fur and the weight of his head against my shoulder as I held him), and some unrepeatable. LOL. I dreamed of Bono, but I could not possibly divulge the details!

Sunday, 11 January 2009


This last week I have been blessed with two great dreams about U2. The first one, on Wednesday, was about going to a U2 concert on the upcoming tour. I think I had it in my mind to wonder about what format the gigs would take, and where U2 would take us this time. So in my dream I was at the concert, and remember being near the front, and Bono was doing all kinds of weird things. It was more like a play than a concert, with Bono doing lots of soliliquies and being quite theatrical.

In the Q interview, Bono says that they can't talk about the live shows, but that what they have planned for outdoors is groundbreaking. That reminded me of another dream I had about the shows a few weeks ago. They had a moveable stage that could be lifted by giant cranes to any part of the stadium, so that every one of the audience had a chance to be "at the front".

Anyway... back to my second dream this week, which happened to be last night. I was in town and passed by a pub and Bono was sitting outside at the tables there, surrounded by a film crew, singing. He was using an "experimental" style and sounded so different to how he usually does. Same voice, but with a different tone. But his mannerisms were very Bono and he was rocking back and forth in the chair (I got that image from the latest Rolling Stone article!). The filming was drawing a crowd, so the directors suggested moving to inside the pub. There was a room at the back. I was allowed to follow them in, and the filming of the song continued in there. In between shooting, Bono was chatting away to Adam, and signing the occasional autograph.

I know all these dreams are due to my speculating about the tour and the album... and I hope they continue.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

It's gonna be a long, hot summer, let's get undercover!!

I think the ground is starting to shake!!!! News is starting to seep in of the U2 single and tour and I am getting so excited!!!!

We already know that the album will be released on Monday 2nd March, and myself and my two friends Sue and Dawn have already planned a "release party". In honour of the title of the album (No Line on the Horizon), our party is going to be called "More Wine on the Horizon".... and there will be some of that around, I am sure!

Latest news from fans who met Bono and Adam in Dublin at HQ this week, is that the single will be released to radio stations on Monday 19th January, and that the tour will start in Spain in late June/July.... and will reach the US in late September/October.

Oh My God!!! I can hardly believe that it's happening again after so long. Reasons to sit in front of the radio and the TV to catch the song or video. And the tour madness starting.

That shaking beneath my feet is going to become a rumble... then a tremour....

Bring it on.

Oh, and incidentally.... this year is going to be a great summer. Sue figured out that every time we have a tour, we get a load of sunshine (and sunburn).

So get out your Factor 50, because U2 are gonna burn up 2009!!!

Saturday, 3 January 2009

The lunatics have taken over the asylum!

Okay, let's see if I can remember the (ahem) celebs who walked into the BB house last night, without recourse to looking it up on the net. I mean, they are all so famous that I am bound to remember who they all were.

Right.... there's an ex-boy band member, a girl who gets her tits out for money, an ex-girl band member (oh wait, I think there might be two of them), an actress from Liverpool, an American rap artist (it's only my decency keeping the 'c' out of that description) with what looks like a pineapple on his head, an American pop diva who has her nose on time-share with her brother, a politician who went to prison (lovely), an actor dwarf whose bag was bigger than him, a Scandinavian slapper whose mission a few years ago was to wreck an innocent man's life by implying he raped her.....

.... and someone I once shared a flight to Dublin with! Terry Christian! Yay.

He's contraversial but I love him. Loved him on The Word - a late night pop magazine programme from the 90s that was sometimes crude and vulgar but often very entertaining. Don't know what it is about him. Maybe his down to earth Manc charm (love his accent) and the way he tells it like it is. Of course, as has been proved many times in the past, the people you expect to be the most contraversial on BB are the ones that keep themselves to themselves.

Only time will tell. All that remains to do is to sit back and watch the fireworks. I know BB is TV Marmite, but I love it, so there!

You can keep up online here on Channel 4's BB Site

Friday, 2 January 2009

The Wee Small Hours

I can't sleep!! It's just after midnight on Friday, I have to get up at 4.30, and I am sitting here in the living room with my laptop on my knee. The neighbours next door are screaming at each other, running up and down the stairs, and banging doors. And Keith (my husband) is snoring away upstairs.

I have no chance.

The good thing is that I only have to work today (and only until 2pm - although still an 8 hour shift) and then I am off for the weekend. The bad thing is that I have comitted to going to the gym after work, so will have to drag myself through that. Oh well, it's all for the greater good.

One of the reasons I can't sleep is that my mind is whizzing with thoughts and ideas. I made a promise to myself to write more every day, and spent a very fruitful few hours today working on my book and also on some other projects. I am awash with ideas, and totally changed the beginning of my story. I am so pleased with the result... excited.... fired up. Something has exploded in my head - a balloon filled with words and pictures, and light and colour. For the first time in ages I am excited about my book.

One of the other projects I am going to be working on is a screenplay! I have only dipped my toe into that before, many years ago, but have been doing extensive research into the craft lately and plan to write something for submission to the BBC! I wrote a script years ago, but was ignorant to the formatting of it, and now I plan to adapt that script to a proper screenplay. I am also going to change it considerably, adding new elements.

2009 is going to be a busy year for me!!!

Right, now I really must try to get some sleep... but first.... just another paragraph...?

Thursday, 1 January 2009

If they get this right, 2009 will be theirs.

It's a New Year and U2 are claiming it already. In fact, they claimed it a while ago when they did the interview for Q magazine, which you can find details of on the Q Music Site here. And by the way, this is my favourite photo from the shoot that accompanies the interview.

I've been reading snippets from the interview for weeks (most of them, it has to be said, reported totally out of context on "scary fan" sites and other sites) but only read it in full yesterday when the magazine finally hit the shelves. Now, it has taken on a whole new colour and I love the way the writers (each band member was interviewed by a different journalist) have allowed the real people to come through and have not tried to mask their characters or make them appear what they are not. The focus was very much on the speaker and each interviewer was informed and respectful.

So what are my thoughts after reading this article - which was heralded with the mind-blowingly exciting front page headline: "U2 are back"? Er... I am scared witless, and I don't know if I can explain why. I'll give it a go though....

Everything has always been so predictable U2-wise. I don't mean their music... that is always a surprise, even though they have sometimes taken the safe way home instead of thumbing a lift with a stranger! (I'm talking about the last two albums which, though showing several sparks of genius, did not - for me - show them at their most dangerous best).

What I mean by predictable is their working format. Their office hours if you like. Album and tour every four years, give or take, with the occasional foray into something extra-curricular. And I kind of always know how I am going to feel. I am going to love the album no matter what. I might hate some of the tracks, but that's okay. Even with family members and close friends you have things you might not like (the way they snore or kick you in bed for instance - it's not always a deal-breaker). And I will love the tour. I will bask in their U2-ness and drink in the atmosphere, and lose myself in the songs, and sit on pavements with friends after and marvel at their genius. I'll cry at some point during a gig. I always know this. It always comes to pass.

But today, sitting here on the first day of 2009 - the first day of the year that will be U2's -I am not so sure of anything any more. Because for some reason, this album means more. This album is the most important one. Forget The Joshua Tree, forget Achtung Baby... this is the one.

Because now, more than ever, U2 have something to prove. And they don't necessarily need to prove it to me, but they seem to need to prove it to themselves, and to the nay sayers (of whom there are plenty) who will give anything to see U2 fail and shoot themselves in the foot, and produce a flop of a record.

And that kind of pressure is scary, and I feel it for them. And I so, so want the album to be brilliant. I want to listen to my heart which - after reading all the talk about the songs - kind of knows it will be.

But I am terrified that it won't.

So we'll see. Hopefully I will be going to Sue's place in Carlisle at the beginning of March for our own little "Release Party" with our friend Dawn. Let's hope that when we open that bottle of champagne it won't be to blot out the pain, but to toast the fact that U2 do, in fact, own 2009.