The U2 tribute gig to celebrate their 40th anniversary at Church Bar was such an overwhelming success that the man behind the event, Stephen Browne, is now planning to turn it into a yearly event…
To celebrate U2’s momentous milestone of 40 years together as officially the greatest band on the planet, a special tribute gig by cover band U2 Baby was held in a packed to capacity Church Bar on Jervis Street. The crowd knew all the lyrics and it sometimes felt like a karaoke event.But it was more than that too!
The man behind the event is music fan Stephen Browne – who runs a unique professional photography service called Party Snaps which takes photos at events. A gallery of his photos from the event can be seen here. He is also a music promoter and is now the new manager of the Brilliant Trees since the band reunited after two decades out of the limelight. Stephen told Hot Press that he was so overwhelmed by the success of the U2 gig that he is now planning to make it an annual event.
“I came up with the idea #WelcomeToTheNorthside in November 2015 when U2 took up residency in the 3 Arena. I set up a pop-up U2 Bar / U2 Gallery and had live tribute acts at the Church on Jervis Street, and on some nights we had to turn away hundreds of U2 fans as we were at capacity before and shortly after the U2 gigs finished," Stephen told Hot Press.
“There was great feedback from the fans who made The Church their base on their “pilgrimage” to Ireland. They had indeed received a great #WelcomeToTheNorthside of Dublin and they were all keen to return.
"This is mainly why I organised the events for the September U2 40 Celebrations.
Again, after #U240 events received great feedback from the fans – and also close friends of the band who dropped by to give the ‘Cedarwood Road Sign of approval’ – I decided this will be a yearly event. I plan to grow this to a U2 festival to celebrate the greatest band in the world and more importantly to show a band called U2, formerly The Hype, who are proud of being from The Northside of Dublin that The Northside of Dublin is proud of them too.”
Fans literally came from over all over the world to the tribute gig to commemorate the day Larry Mullen pinned the legendary note seeking to form a band, on the notice board in Mount Temple Comprehensive.
U2 fans jetted in from the around the globe and some even dressed up on the night to participate in what was a fun tribute gig. There were fans in attendance from Holland, Sweden, Denmark, England, Germany, France and Colorado and Seattle in the USA. Even the young Canadian woman, Trish Weedon who famously joined Bono on stage in the post-terrorist attack concert in Paris, and appears on the U2 ‘Innocence + Experience: Live in Paris’ DVD, was there on the night. Trish, who was one of the unexpected stars of the Paris gig, when Bono pulled her up onstage to dance along to Mysterious Ways, was only there because she won tickets to the concert via U2’s fan club.
A couple of famous Dublin Northsiders also made it to The Church – including Bono’s mate Guggi, ex-member of the legendary Virgin Prunes and a fantastic artist in his own right these days, and Ivan McCormick – brother of ex-Hot Press writer Neil – who famously joined the band for the first few rehearsals in Larry Mullen’s kitchen.
Speaking after the gig, Guggi – seen below with Trish, who dressed up as “Mrs Macphisto” for the occasion – quipped: “I thought U2Baby were amazing. I think I prefer them to U2 – and it was much easier to get in!”
Ivan McCormick, clearly in a nostalgic frame of mind spoke on the night with fans about his experiences of those early days. “40 years ago yesterday I joined my first band, they've done OK,” he joked, adding: “I went over to Dublin to celebrate their birthday in style.”
Some of the crowd, including Ivan himself, said everybody literally had to do a double-take when they first laid eyes on the band’s Bono doppelganger, Richard Peace. “And I had to do a double-take when I saw these guys take to the stage in a crowded, hot and sweaty bar... With a few pints of Guinness blurring the edges - no pun intended – I was transported back to '78 and the Dandelion Market gigs,” Ivan added.
The band’s singer told Hot Press it was an absolute honour for U2Baby to play the show.
“It had long been our dream to do a gig in the birthplace of U2. The trip was long but so worth it due to the friendly venue and the amazing U2 fans that travelled from all over the world to celebrate. Hearing them singing every word and really engaging in the experience touched us deeply,” Richard said. “We also got to meet Guggi who was really complimentary about U2Baby and the look of the band. What a blast! We are looking forward to returning to Dublin soon.”
One U2 die-hard fan who flew from Canada, Sherry C. Green proffered: “ I flew in from Vancouver, Canada. Left Thursday 6:30 am – 17 hours of travel time, crossed eight hours of time zones and arrived in Dublin, 7 am. 48 hours of great music in The Church and The Grand Social. December was lovely; The Joshua Tree pretty great too; but the highlight for me was U2 Baby - not just a great band, but personal friends. Loved surprising them!
“Also loved getting a chance to see / hear Ivan McCormick's tales of early days. What a styling guy! LOL. Left 6:30 am Sunday morning. Total sleep for three nights: 6-8 hours. It was my first trip to Ireland, but I've already booked another trip in December for a week - I'll be a real tourist then and see the sights properly and hopefully sleep some too!”
Trish Weedon says she’s still pinching herself after being on stage with Bono – not once but twice recently: in Paris and Dublin.
"For me, it was the best day of my life. He came right over, pointed right to me and said: ‘Come on up!’ This was my second time onstage (with the band) — so I was a bit more chill with it. I just had fun with it,” she says.
“I waited in line all day. I kinda knew where Bono pulled people up, so I ended up there and all day, people were saying: ‘You have this look about you, Bono’s going to choose you’. I was like: ‘No, no, don’t say that, then I’ll be very disappointed (if it doesn’t happen)’. This is something I’ve wanted since I was 17 when I first saw it happen at a U2 concert. I thought: ‘I want to be that girl someday!’”
One Dutch fan revealed that the tribute band’s bass player’s actual instrument is a signature bass used by Adam Clayton. Ingrid Haan said: “I’d been to Dublin a few times now, mostly for U2 related stuff. My friend had never been there, so we did a lot of touristy things but also combined it with seeing some U2 landmarks I hadn't even seen myself yet.
“It was a great party in the Church, what an amazing venue! The band was very good, and also very kind people. The bassist let my friend and I – both bass players – hold his Adam Clayton signature Warwick, which was epic. They played very well on both nights, and the atmosphere was almost like a real U2 show. They obviously put a lot of work into their looks as well as their sounds. Great, great experience!
One attendee, Paul Collyer from Derbyshire – singer with U2UK, and pictured below with Trish – said on his Facebook page: “I and others I spoke to hope that this can be an annual event.”
Here’s looking forward to next year…
Check out the full gallery from the evening right here.
One of the most controversial TDs in the Dáil, Michael Healy-Rae has plenty to get off his chest during a lively encounter with Hot Press.Read More
As artistic director of the Gate for 33 years, Michael Colgan was one of the most powerful and influential people in the world of Irish theatre. Having departed the post recently, he reflects on his extraordinary career, his youthful rivalry with Paul McGuinness, the pain he experienced over his ex-wife’s death, getting to know Samuel Beckett, and relaunching Harold Pinter.Read More
Though unknown in his homeland, Irish writer Ian Gibson is celebrated in his adopted Spain, particularly for his books about the poet Lorca – widely known for being Leonard Cohen’s chief literary inspiration – and Salvador Dali. In a fascinating interview, Gibson discusses falling foul of the Franco regime, Dali’s wild hedonistic excesses, his role in getting corporal punishment banned in the UK, his interest in sadomasochism, Irish attitudes to sex – and why he both loves and despairs of Spain.Read More
Having rowed solo across the Atlantic in under 50 days, Gavan Hennigan is one of Ireland’s most remarkable athletes. But that’s just the start of his extraordinary life story – which encompasses a strained relationship with his troubled father, addiction and recovery, working at one of the world’s most dangerous jobs, traversing the globe in numerous adventure challenges, and coming to terms with his sexuality.Read More
In 2011, Jason O’Toole carried out an interview with Martin McGuinness that was never published. Here, we draw on that interview, as well others conducted for Hot Press, to paint a fascinating picture of the late leader of Sinn Féin in Northern Ireland, in all of his complications.Read More
Featured in the new issue of Hot Press, Gavan gives a revelatory new interview with Senior Editor Jason O'Toole.Read More
Our man Jason O'Toole had to hum 'Whiter Shade Of Pale' before he was let into the Deputy First Minister's office!Read More
Our man Jason O'Toole had to hum 'Whiter Shade Of Pale' before he was let into the Deputy First Minister's office!Read More
Our man Jason O'Toole had to hum 'Whiter Shade Of Pale' before he was let into the Deputy First Minister's office!Read More
Based in Wicklow for nearly 50 years, legendary film director John Boorman is celebrated for classics like Point Blank and Deliverance. In a fascinating interview, he reflects on the making of those movies, his experiences in Hollywood, the changing face of Ireland, coping with personal trauma, mortality – and his recently published debut novel, Crime Of Passion.Read More
Fidel Castro has passed away, and relations between Cuba and the United States have thawed somewhat. But it would be wrong to expect things in Havana to change overnight – not least because the spirit of the revolution remains strong and resolute. That is the clear message from the Cuban ambassador to Ireland, Hermes Herrera Hernández – a man who knew both Fidel himself and Che Guevara, and who insists that “many people in the world, if they knew exactly what is happening, would like to have the same level of human rights that we do in Cuba.”Read More
John Boyne had already penned a clutch of novels when he wrote his first book for young adults. Published in 2006, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas went on to become a literary phenomenon, selling seven million copies. But behind that remarkable success lies a very different kind of life story. Now, with the publication of his latest novel, The Heart’s Invisible Furies, the best-selling writer feels that he can talk honestly and openly about his past: about growing up in Ireland, his sexuality, the break-down of his civil partnership, depression, drinking and a lot more besides.Read More
With no background in politics, and a paltry five weeks to canvass, he was first elected to the Dáil in 2011 as an Independent. Since then, he co-founded and then left the Social Democratic Party. Throughout all of this, he has retained a boyish enthusiasm and a sense of humour – which is unusual in Irish politics. So what lies behind the cheerful demeanour and liberal attitudes of the TD for Wicklow? Well, he’s a long-time fan of Hot Press for a start…Read More
Dexys Midnight Runners’ hit single may not have been written about him, but there’s lots of reasons right now to chant the name of the People Before Profit TD, Gino Kenny. Chief among them is the fact that he has got a Bill legalising cannabis for medicinal purposes through its first stage in the Dáil – an extraordinary achievement for a man who only became a TD in February 2016.Read More
U2 fans will get the chance to party away in the company of a great tribute band at a special two night event being organised at The Church Bar venue in Dublin on the weekend of the historic Croke Park gig to celebrate the seminal classic album 'The Joshua Tree' in July, it has just been announced.Read More
Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly tell us what Leonard meant to him during his Long Kesh incarceration...Read More
Christy Dignam bravely opened up in an extensive interview with Jason O'Toole back in October.Read More
Kerry TD Danny Healy-Rae sat down with Jason O'Toole back in September for an extraordinary interview on his religious and political views.Read More
Just ahead of the US Presidential elections, Jason O'Toole caught up with the former Miss Universe Ireland, who went to the States to take part in the Trump-led international beauty competition, to talk about modelling, politics and cuisine.Read More
Amnesty International is not banned from any primary schools in the Waterford district – despite a letter being circulated that appears to claim otherwise, the Catholic Church diocese of Waterford and Lismore has insisted today.Read More
An Irish company’s cheerful little product is receiving some major international exposure thanks to Kourney Kardashian.Read More
The O’Donovan brothers’ humorous comments about their brilliant silver medal achievement at the Rio Games has been voted as the most memorable Irish sporting moment of 2016.Read More
President-elect Donald Trump took to twitter yesterday to attack Vanity Fair’s editor after the magazine gave one of his restaurants a negative review in their latest edition to just hit the newsstands.Read More
Paul McCartney’s critically acclaimed 1989 album ‘Flowers in the Dirt’ is to be reissued next March, it has been confirmed.Read More
A video has just been uploaded onto YouTube of The Boss getting a packed Carnegie Hall into the festive mood with some Christmas tunes at Sting’s biennial Rainforest Fund benefit gig.Read More
Lady Gaga’s fans will no doubt have a million reasons to be excited to learn that the latest music video from her new album ‘Joanne’ has just been uploaded on YouTube.Read More
Some of the most influential figures in the music industry are urging President-elect Donald Trump to radically shake-up laws concerning intellectual property rights.Read More
Outgoing US President Barack Obama has said that he will not be afraid to air his views when Donald Trump is in the White House.Read More
Virgin Media’s Irish customers can now watch all their favourite Netflix shows seamlessly on their TV using their Netflix subscription on Virgin Media’s Horizon TV service.Read More
Ten websites that are believed to best record “Irish life in 2016 and remember the events of 1916” as chosen in a public vote have been revealed by the National Library of Ireland.Read More
Arcade Fire’s powerful live performance of ‘Reflecktor’ in London back in 2014 has just been uploaded on the Internet as a preview of the band’s new two-disc DVD/Blu Ray concert and documentary, which will be released on 27 January.Read More
Ex-Take That star Robbie Williams has reached out to One Direction singer Zayn Malik, urging him to be strong in the aftermath of his debilitating anxiety that forced him to cancel some upcoming shows.Read More
The original Netflix series The OA, which is from visionaries Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij (Sound of My Voice, The East), will air on the online streaming service from 16 December.Read More
Elton John has teamed up with YouTube to give you the opportunity to create a brand new pop video for one of his seminal classic tracks.Read More
Music icon Bob Dylan said it was a great honour to receive “such a prestigious prize” – but confessed that he always thought he’d just about the same chance of going to the moon as he did of being the first singer-songwriter to be deemed a worthy enough winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.Read More
He’s best known for tearing musicians apart with his outspoken criticism on The X-Factor, but Simon Cowell had nothing but praise for Louis Tomlinson after the 1D superstar found the inner strength to go on with the show and perform his new single just days after his mother lost her battle with leukaemia.Read More
Tina Fey has opened up about how she believes that Donald Trump’s negative presidential campaign and his shock victory has alarmingly fueled an increased level of misogyny in the US.Read More
It’s 18 years since we last hard new material by the Scottish band, but The Jesus and Mary Chain has just confirmed that they will be releasing a new studio album early next year.Read More
Fourteen “enterprising teens”, ranging in age from 12 to 17, had an audience with the Minister for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen when he visited their school in Wicklow yesterday to launch a new teacher resources package to help support the next generation of entrepreneurs.Read More
As most of the world stayed up late watching the dramatic US presidential election count unfold, the First Lady Michelle Obama has now revealed that she was tucked up in her White House bed fast asleep!Read More
Best-selling author Stephen King has dismissed any criticism of Bob Dylan becoming the first singer-songwriter to win the Nobel Prize for Literature as nothing more than “just plain old sour grapes”.Read More
Fiona Apple has put an anti-Donald Trump spin on a cover version of a classic Christmas song!Read More
Ryan Adams has opened up about having to force himself to "keep my chin up" while recording his new album because his marriage was coming to an end at the same time.Read More
Lady Gaga has courageously spoken on US national television about how she has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder since enduring the horrible ordeal of being raped as a teenager.Read More
Composer Patrick Cassidy and actor Patrick Bergin are teaming up to perform a concert at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin in aid of The Friends of St. Luke’s Cancer Care on 14 December from 8pm – 9:30pm.Read More
Internationally acclaimed soprano Celine Byrne – who was recently asked to perform for Pope Francis – will end the year on a high note with a Christmas Gala at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin on 18 December.Read More
The annual summer literature festival in Kells, County Meath will rebranded as the ‘Hinterland Festival’ in 2017, it has just been announced.Read More
It’s not set for a US cinema release until next May, but a brand new teaser trailer for Marvel’s eagerly awaited Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 has just been put up on YouTube.Read More
“Do not deceive yourselves: Trump is no ordinary conservative Republican. He is the closest thing to Hitler Americans have ever seen.” That’s the stark warning from an Associate Professor of US History at Trinity College Dublin.Read More
Madonna has spoken about her anger and dismay over President-elect Donald Trump’s shock defeat of Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House.Read More
It’s hard to believe that it’s exactly 20 years since Will Smith’s hit TV show came to an end, but Netflix is now bringing all six seasons of ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ to the streaming service on New Year’s Eve for its Irish members.Read More
Actor Andrew Sachs has died at the age of 86 following a four year battle with dementia, it was confirmed late last night.Read More
Drake was the most popular musician played on Spotify for the second year running in 2016 with an astronomical 4.7 billion streams on the music service.Read More
It looks like selfie sticks – along with more than a dozen other “undesirable items” – could be banned when Chris Martin and Co takes to the stage in Croke Park next summer, as part of their world tour.Read More
FANS of the popular US sitcom Friends will certainly be disheartened to hear that Jennifer Aniston feels a reunion movie or TV show will never happen.Read More
Bernie Sanders has confessed that he's left wondering "what if" if it was him instead of Hillary Clinton who ran against Donald Trump.Read More
It’s hard to believe that Neil Diamond is celebrating his 50th anniversary since he became a household name with his first major hit single with ‘Solidarity Man’ all the way back in 1966.Read More
It appears that the door is now finally being opened to making cannabis legal for medicinal purposes in Ireland.Read More
Star Wars fanatics are in for a treat.Twitter has teamed up with Disney and People magazine to live steam an exclusive special ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' event with a behind-the-scenes sneak peek from the hugely anticipated new movie on Friday.Read More
Nirvana, R.E.M., Elvis, Rod Stewart, along with David Bowie and Prince - who both sadly passed away this year - are among 25 artists going to have one their songs inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, it has been announced.Read More
The critically acclaimed musical ‘The Train’, which is inspired by a remarkable true story involving a former Hot Press writer and has a score composed by Bill Whelan of Riverdance fame, is to be staged at The Abbey next spring.Read More
The rumour mill has gone into overdrive with recent speculation that the First Lady Michelle Obama was planning to run for the presidency in the future. But outgoing US President Barack Obama has now debunked the notion of his wife making history by becoming the first woman elected to the White HouseRead More
Ex-Take That star Robbie Williams has bravely admitted that he started taking anti-depressants this year after a “weird summer”.Read More
Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher has revealed that she still loves her ex-husband’s music – even if she feels he has personally insulted her in some of his lyrics.Read More
The US's First Lady-elect is threatening YouTube with a major lawsuit over a video on its site that claims her son Barron is autistic.Read More
Lady Gaga wore her heart on her sleeve on Sunday in an interview on US TV in which she touched on the subject of love following her break-up with actor Taylor Kinney after being together for five years.Read More
There will be a vigil to mark the death of Fidel Castro in Dublin this evening (Monday, 28, November) at 6.30pm at The Spire on O'Connell Street, according to a tweet put out yesterday by Sinn Féin's newspaper, An Phoblacht.Read More
RTÉ has announced a new partnership with the RTÉ Choice Music Prize for next year's event, which will see both RTÉ2 and RTÉ 2FM play a lead role in supporting what has become one of the highlights of the Irish musical calendar as part of a new agreement.Read More
Hothouse Flowers are riding high in the iTunes charts with one of their old hit singles – and it’s all thanks to Jeremy Clarkson and Co’s new Amazon online streaming show, ‘The Grand Tour.’Read More
Irish superstar Niall Horan might be focusing on his solo career right now, but he’s confident One Direction will reform in the future. “We’ll be back,” the Mullingar native vowed yesterday, which the band’s fans will surely be thrilled to hear.Read More
President Michael D. Higgins leads the Irish tributes this morning to the breaking news of the death of former Cuban leader, Fidel Castro.Read More
Gilmore Girls makes its much-anticipated return today on Netflix with four memorable chapters from the lives of Lorelai, Emily, Rory... and many more stalwarts from the fictional small town of Stars Hollow.Read More
Popular radio DJ Nikki Hayes has bravely revealed that she gave up alcohol last year because of its negative side effects of being mixed with medication to deal with a mental health condition.Read More
To help celebrate Thanksgiving, Aretha Franklin was invited to sing the American national anthem before yesterday’s big football game between Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings at the Ford Field stadium.Read More
It’ll probably come as no surprise to hear that the teenager filmed being hit by the Canadian popstar prior to one of his gigs on Tuesday is now planning to take legal action.Read More
Media reports that Elton John is set to perform at President-elect Donald Trump’s Inauguration ceremony are “not true,” according to a spokesperson for the British star.Read More
Vladimir Putin’s top media advisor in the Kremlin has used disgusting racial slurs to attack US President Barack Obama on the state-owned national television.Read More
The French composer’s new single Oxygène Pt. 17 has just been stuck up on YouTube without any fanfare, shortly ahead of his much anticipated new album on 2 December.Read More
Justin Bieber lashed out at a fan shortly before going on stage for his “Purpose World Tour” concert in Barcelona last night.Read More
The USA might have had a very different President-elect right now – if it wasn’t for the fact that Donald Trump's grandfather was booted out of Germany, according to a legal decree that was recently discovered.Read More
Ex-Neighbours star Jason Donovan says he would prefer if his teenage children wanted to experiment with drugs that they would do so in the more safe environment of the family home in front of him – describing it as a form of “reverse psychology”.Read More
Phil Collins revealed back in 2015 that he was “no longer retired”... and now true to his word he plans "some comeback shows" next year.Read More
Kanye West was forcibly taken to hospital for his own safety after suffering a "psychotic breakdown", according to US media reports.Read More
Former Sex Pistol Steve Jones has opened up for the first time about being sexually abused by his stepfather in his autobiography.Read More
A three-day auction of Marilyn Monroe’s personal and career items has just fetched a staggering $11million dollars, which is being described as a “another word record” for the LA-based Julien’s Auctions who organised the event.Read More
The Police have been offered a whopping $9million US dollars to reform for a one-off festival in California next year, according to reports.Read More
It’s hard to believe that it’ll be 25 years since Queen’s charismatic frontman was cruelly cut down in his prime this coming Thursday (24 November).Read More
As part of the celebrations for the upcoming 50th anniversary of their debut album, the Grateful Dead have announced plans for a comprehensive reissue of their entire discography.Read More
Outgoing US President Barack Obama has for the first time revealed that he strongly warned President-elect Donald Trump that he should tone down some of his radical political stances during their chat at The White House last week.Read More
The much-anticipated new show by ex-Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson is now uploaded for streaming. The first episode of the new show called 'The Grand Tour' – featuring hosts Clarkson, Hammond and May – premieres exclusively on fee-paying Amazon Prime Video today (Friday 18 November).Read More
Defeated US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gave her first public speech in which she not only opened up about her pain at her shock defeat, but she also made a rallying cry for young people not to get disillusioned with politics.Read More
Fans of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events look set to be in for a real treat if the exciting new trailer just put up on YouTube for an upcoming series created by the book's author himself is anything to go by.Read More
It’s hard to believe how time flies. Jeff Buckley – who will probably be most fondly remembered for his haunting cover version of the late Leonard Cohen’s elegiac song ‘hallelujah’, which was released posthumously to much acclaim – would’ve been celebrating his 50th birthday today on 17 November … if only he hadn’t been taken away so tragically young at just 30-years-old.Read More