- 29 May 09
The band turned up last night in London.
U2 made a surprise guest appearance last night in London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire at the first in a series of events to celebrate Island Records’ 50th birthday.
Senegalese singer Baaba Maal had the sold-out crowd up and dancing when he stopped and announced: "I have a friend, a brother who really takes care of everything. We share the respect of Nelson Mandela's vision. We need people to understand. We didn't make it yet but we are on the way. As we continue fighting poverty especially on the continent of Africa.”
That was the cue for Bono and the rest of the lads to take to the stage for an Afrobeat verson of ‘One’, which included a snatch of Bob Marley’s ‘One Love’.
Maal then exited to allow U2 to play a semi-acoustic version of ‘Vertigo’, during which Bono gave a shout out to the Island Records founder: “Chris (Blackwell) once said to me, ‘All of this can be yours, all of this can be yours… just give me what I want and no one gets hurt!’”
Bono was back later to introduce The Artist Formerly Known As Cat Stevens, Yusuf Islam.
“A seeker,” he pronounced. “A troubador. A pilgrim. A poet. A guitar picker. A natty dresser. A family man. A popstar. An icon. An iconoclast. A singer and writer of some of the best songs ever written. A serious Cat.”
Hot Press’ Olaf Tyaransen was in the crowd, and will bring you a ringside report in our next issue.
Pictured: Chris Blackwell