Wednesday, June 30, 2010

’Intimacy on a Grand Scale’

Tom Krueger has been a fan of U2 since The Unforgettable Fire back in 1984 - and now he’s directed ’U2 360° Live at the Rose Bowl’. In Part 1 of a two-part interview for, we spoke to Tom about he got first came to work with the band, his role during the live show and how he ended up shooting the Rose Bowl show for the DVD/Blu-ray.

How did you get involved with U2?
I shot some very intimate portraits for the band for the video of Original of the Species, and they liked the way those looked. It was a leap of faith on their part then to make me director of photography on the 3D movie. But I think they felt they had found someone who understood their aesthetic. So, we did U2:3D, which was a very intense and intensive process, and as that went so well Willie Williams, the band’s Show Director, asked me to design the photography and video coverage for the 360 tour. That was an incredible challenge: to figure out how to cover the four band members at all times, through 360 degrees, in a dynamic way - not just in the usual way that most bands have employed, until now, with a lock-off, long-lens camera on each member of the band. Willie has since told me that it was my lack of experience on a rock-and-roll tour that persuaded him I’d be the right person for the job, because I’d approach it in a different way. And I’d ask for things that no one with experience would ask for, believing I’d get them.
How did you know where do you start?
I worked closely with the band to design the way it works. We built cameras into the stage – rail cameras that elevate, called ‘televators’. They can go almost entirely around the stage. I have 13 cameras altogether, just for the show. It was as important to put on a great show for the people at the back, as the people down the front. It’s a different show at the back, but great nonetheless.
Are you hands-on, during a show?

Stefaan Desmedt – aka ’Smasher’ – makes sure all the cameras are working by day, and is the vision mixer by night. I provide a connection to the band. So I watch, take notes, talk to the band after, discuss how they can change the choreography - and then I work with Smasher to make it happen next time.
There must be pressure, to get it right on the night…
There is high expectation from the band that we do great work. At the end of the night, they watch the shows back - especially Bono and the Edge. Bono is all over it, always wanting to better it, to capture every important moment. He remembers them. I’m shocked at the details of the choreography he’ll discuss, and then nail next time.
Was directing the DVD a natural step for you, then?
Absolutely. Our in-depth and thorough experience with the live show and its design was indispensable as we set about designing the DVD. If you tried to bring someone else in and install a second shoot on top of the existing one, it would have been a mess. And we would have missed out on some of the things we’d worked very hard to establish and achieve: which was this incredible intimacy, on a grand scale.
It must be a challenge, logistically and artistically, to capture ‘intimacy on a grand scale’.

t’s what the band and Willie have always wanted – and it was our role to capture that. That was the base from which we built the DVD shoot. The cameras round the edge of the stage are the most intimate. In most DVDs and shows, cameras are further away, with a much longer lens. You get a separation. With ours, you feel like you’re standing feet away from the band, because you are. You hardly see these cameras, yet they’re right there in U2’s faces, and they perform to them. A huge difference between this DVD and most others is that the band is performing for the viewers. That was the approach of the entire film.
It doesn’t feel as if it has been chopped about too much – it feels like a film, not a music video.
The intention was to capture the band members interacting with one another. And this is another benefit of the way the cameras are situated. We’d begin an edit by observing closely what was happening between the band – their looks, their gestures - and between the band and the audience. We’d then build our edits around that. So you feel not only the performance they’re giving to their audience, but to each other. It’s palpable. That was a mandate laid down by the band.
So that’s the intimacy. What about the ‘grand scale’?
Thirteen cameras capture the close-up aspects of the show. But you’re not seeing ‘the show’ itself through them - you never see the claw in any one of those cameras. For the DVD, we needed to sweep with cranes up and above the audience, capture the crowd, the claw, the screen… So I added more cameras; I had 27 in the end. Primarily, the others were there to capture the audience perspective. But then, all that technology had to ‘interface’. Some of those cameras were being used both for the DVD and the show; that’s an incredibly complex feat, to have two switchers going at once. I had a vision mixer working in the truck with me, and we were getting all 27 cameras. Meanwhile, Smasher was still doing his show in the stadium. On top of that, I was filming the show live for Youtube...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Bono offers measured praise for PM's maternal health plan

TORONTO -  U2 frontman and anti-poverty advocate Bono has called Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s maternal health plan “a start” on a big job that needs more urgent work at the highest political levels.
In a statement released Sunday, Bono, who co-founded the ONE organization, urged world leaders to do more when they meet at the United Nations in the fall.
“Prime Minister Harper’s plan for the G8 on maternal mortality is not everything that’s needed to tackle the moral affront of millions of mothers dying in childbirth, but it is a start on a job that world leaders need to finish when they gather at the UN in September for a special session on the Millennium Development Goals,” he said.
“The MDGs are far off pace in Africa, but the millions of activists around the world who campaigned for them won’t be easily discouraged. Neither should the world leaders whose nations signed on.” Bono noted that U.S. President Barack Obama has promised to deliver a concrete global action plan at the UN that will make the MDGs a reality.
“The MDGs must stay at the heart of the G8, G20 and UN until leaders agree to a concrete plan to get them back on track. Time is ticking away,” he said.

"Bono will be all right for the Turin Gig"

After his guest appearance with Muse in Glastonbury, Edge talked to BBC2. "Bono is OK but disappointed", he said but "concentrating on rehab." It's gonna be a race to get him fit for the opening show in Turin, but I'm sure he'll do it," Edge said.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Edge in Glasto!!!

The Edge was the surprise guest of Muse tonight, at the end of a blinding set headlining Glastonbury.

After a pulsating hour-long performance, with the massive audience crowning Muse Kings of Glasto 2010, Edge walked out on stage for the encore - and the opening chords of 'Where The Streets Have No Name'. 

'I can't believe this is happening, ' said Matt Bellamy, as Muse and their guest guitarist delivered a sensational cover of the U2 standard, joined by 140,000 festivalgoers on backing vocals. 

At one point Bellamy gestured with his hand in the direction of Edge, before bowing low to his pedals in tribute.

Edge was the second U2 member to participate in the festival, since Adam guested with Houthouse Flowers in 1989.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Edge Played in Glastonbury!!!

There were  rumours going that The Edge would play in Glastonbury. This pic was taken rehearsing with Muse  earlier.

And this is the video that shows Edge and Muse playing "Where the Streets Have no Name".Awesome!!!!

Watch live video from glastonbury_audio on

Bono and Edge Invited to Become Members of The Academy

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 135 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures. Those who accept the invitation will be the only additions in 2010 to the Academy’s roster of voting members.

The work of these individuals has been appreciated by moviegoers all around the world,” said Academy President Tom Sherak. “The Academy is proud to invite each and every one of them.”

New members will be welcomed into the Academy at an invitation-only reception at the Academy’s Fairbanks Center for Motion Picture Study in Beverly Hills in September.

Among the 2010 invitees are Bono and Edge in the category Music  noted for their musical work on Gangs of New York, and separately recognized for In the Name of the Father and Goldeneye, respectively.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bono to return to stage in weeks

BONO will be back on stage in a matter of weeks despite his recent emergency surgery, according to U2's manager Paul McGuinness.
The Irish rocker (50) was operated on after becoming temporarily paralysed -- forcing the band to cancel the start of the US leg of their 360° Tour and their headline slot at Glastonbury.
An optimistic McGuinness told the Diary: "He's making a full recovery. The doctors told me he's going to be fine. It was serious surgery but we expect him to make a full recovery. He's pretty fit."
McGuinness said there was no reason to believe the tour's massive stage production had anything to do with the singer's injury.
"It's a big stage to run around, but no," he said. "I'll be very relieved when I see him running around the stage again. The European leg of the tour starts in Turin on August 6 and that has not been postponed.
"Rescheduling the American leg is quite difficult because it is an outdoor show; we can't do it in the winter because it's the northern hemisphere.
"So what we're doing now is trying to seek availability of the buildings that we had already pretty much sold-out, so we're getting availabilities and routing a coherent tour for next summer in the US and Canada. We've nearly done it so I hope we'll be able to announce that shortly."
McGuinness insisted the rest of the band hasn't been enjoying an impromptu holiday while Bono recovers.
"No not really, they're doing some work and planning to do some recording. It never stops really," he said.

 Aoife Anderson

Rock star Bono's fashion wife on an 'Out of Africa' mission

Ali Hewson, the co-founder of the eco fashion label, Edun - a for profit business with a social agenda - is a woman on an ‘Out of Africa’ mission. She and her rock star husband, Bono, launched the men’s and womenswear brand five years ago with a remarkable agenda: trade for aid, the creation of jobs to alleviate poverty, to raise awareness of the possibilities in Africa, and to encourage the fashion community to do business there.
The acquisition of a 49% stake, by the luxury conglomerate, LVMH, in May last year, has brought Edun into a world-renowned fashion family, in a position to work for good and to achieve global awareness on a scale never-before envisaged. “It’s given us more muscle,” says Ali.
Edun’s latest collection, launched this week at the London department store, Liberty, demonstrated just how far-reaching the all-embracing mission has become and the breadth of the sustainable, community-based projects in Uganda, Tanzania, Tunisia and Kenya which have been initiated and which focus on the environment, health care and education.
The pre-fall collection on sale at Liberty, for example, includes a capsule range of T-shirts designed by the children of the Bidii School, in Nairobi, Kenya. The designs include giraffes, zebras, village life, rastas, dancers, flowers and market scenes and cost £45 each.
Ali visited the school in February and described for me the grim conditions. “The school is in Kibera, one of the worst slums in Nairobi, with over a million people living in less than one square mile. The teachers do not get paid, and there are 90 children, 35 of whom are orphans, in one classroom. We were introduced to the school by Cristina Cisilino, the founder of MADE (the unique, FairTrade jewellery collection made in Nairobi), who now has some of the Kibera people working for her. The proceeds from the sale of the T-shirts will go back to the school. It’s another way Edun can get involved; not just in manufacture, but in creativity that has a lasting impact. We’re planning to do more T-shirts with the children for next season.”
A second set of T-shirts represent the output from Edun’s Grow To Sew organic farming project, established last year, in Northern Uganda, in conjunction with the Wildlife Conservation Society, and 800 farmers, displaced by civil war. “Here, Edun is involved in the most elementary way, starting with the growing of cotton. We guaranteed to buy the first year’s production, enough to make 70,000 T-shirts, and now we’re in year two, with 2,300 farmers, so we’ll be able to use some cotton for Edun T-shirts and then sell the rest. 100% of the proceeds go to the Conservation Cotton Initiative (CCI) Uganda CCI.”
To celebrate these projects, Edun has launched another T-shirt design competition with pupils from the Homeleigh School in East London, with entries currently on display in Liberty to be judged by the public. The winning T-shirt design will go on sale at Liberty in November.
It’s taken five years to get where we are, but now we have a strong team, creative vision and each year we seek to grow more in Africa and make more in Africa.” Ali says. “There’s a lot of complications, a lot of corruption. But we are establishing the aesthetic of Edun and little by little we are getting there. This summer’s collection for example, has a lot of beading and leather details from Africa. When we started we were so naive; we thought we could do more. But we were on the road alone. Now, with LVMH, it has given us more muscle. We can see we will achieve our missions. To have everything made there would be a dream. It’s not impossible, it is just going to take time”.
In line with Edun’s objectives, the pre-fall collection proper, takes its inspiration from Africa and the effortless style it evokes of travellers on a journey through the Sahara Desert. In sand tones, in a mix of cotton, hemp, denim and linen, the collection is available from Liberty, from £44 - £635.
The recent appointment of the Paris-based, Irish designer, Sharon Wauchob, as Edun’s creative director, is intended to further broaden the brand’s fashion offering and to make more use of the African connection. Wauchob, who has made several visits to Africa, will show her first Edun collection at the forthcoming New York Fashion Week in September - coincidentally also the first time Edun has ever staged acatwalk show. Included on the runway will be some of the Bidii School T-shirts. Out of Africa indeed!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup 2010 ESPN Commercial

After teaming with ESPN for its coverage of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, Bono pulled aside ESPN senior director of sports marketing Seth Ader and said, "This is just a warm-up for the one that really matters: South Africa."

In 2006, U2 licensed songs and concert footage to the network for use in marketing and programming. Four years on, it's forged an even more ambitious two-pronged promotional deal for the 2010 tournament. Ader and the band selected songs from the group's catalog for the "One Game Changes Everything" series of ads, written by New York ad agency Wieden+Kennedy, promoting the network's tournament coverage. "We wanted that big, global, anthemic stadium sound," Ader says, "and Africa has a very meaningful place in the band's hearts and minds."
Shown on all ESPN channels, the first ad-which started airing in January-featured "City of Blinding Lights." Download sales for "City" spiked in January to about 2,000 per week, up from nearly 1,000 per week in December 2009, before leveling off at slightly more than 1,000 per week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Total scans for the track stand at 331,000. Other ads feature "Magnificent," "Beautiful Day," "Desire," "Where the Streets Have No Name," "Unknown Caller" and "Out of Control."

In 2006, U2 licensed songs and concert footage to the network for use in marketing and programming. Four years on, it's forged an even more ambitious two-pronged promotional deal for the 2010 tournament. Ader and the band selected songs from the group's catalog for the "One Game Changes Everything" series of ads, written by New York ad agency Wieden+Kennedy, promoting the network's tournament coverage. "We wanted that big, global, anthemic stadium sound," Ader says, "and Africa has a very meaningful place in the band's hearts and minds."
Shown on all ESPN channels, the first ad-which started airing in January-featured "City of Blinding Lights." Download sales for "City" spiked in January to about 2,000 per week, up from nearly 1,000 per week in December 2009, before leveling off at slightly more than 1,000 per week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Total scans for the track stand at 331,000. Other ads feature "Magnificent," "Beautiful Day," "Desire," "Where the Streets Have No Name," "Unknown Caller" and "Out of Control."

Elsewhere in the world, South African music is in demand for synchs since broadcasters want to add instant local flavor to their coverage. In the United Kingdom, commercial broadcaster ITV is using Afro-folk musician Vusi Mahlasela's "When You Come Back" for its main World Cup theme song, and Sony U.K. will release a compilation of the singer's work after the tournament to capitalize on the expected interest.

"Not only is this song getting a new audience," Sony Music Entertainment Africa label manager Lance McCormack says, "but, together with his performance at the Kick-Off Concert, it means he now has a wide audience primed for the release of a new studio album."

Sunday, June 20, 2010

In Ireland, Tuesday’s Grace

Another column signed by Bono for the New York Times...

One of the most extraordinary days in the mottled history of the island of Ireland was witnessed on both sides of the border last Tuesday.
The much-anticipated and costly Saville report ... the 12-years-in-the-making inquiry into "Bloody Sunday,” a day never to be forgotten in Irish politics ... was finally published.
On that day, Jan. 30, 1972, British soldiers fired on a civil rights march in the majority Catholic area of the Bogside in Derry, killing 14 protesters.
It was a day that caused the conflict between the two communities in Northern Ireland -- Catholic nationalist and Protestant unionist -- to spiral into another dimension: every Irish person conscious on that day has a mental picture of Edward Daly, later the bishop of Derry, holding a blood-stained handkerchief aloft as he valiantly tended to the wounded and the dying.
It was a day when paramilitaries on both sides became the loudest voices in the conflict, a day that saw people queuing to give up on peace ... mostly young men but also women who had had enough of empire and would now consider every means necessary -- however violent or ugly — to drive it from their corner.
It was a day when my father stopped taking our family across the border to Ulster because, as he said, the "Nordies have lost their marbles." And we were a Catholic-Protestant household.
Contrast all this with last Tuesday ... a bright day on our small rock in the North Atlantic. Clouds that had hung overhead for 38 years were oddly missing ... the sharp daylight of justice seemed to chase away the shadows and the stereotypes of the past. No one behaved as expected. The world broke rhyme.
A brand-new British prime minister, still in his wrapping paper, said things no one had imagined he would ... could ... utter ....
"On behalf of our country, I am deeply sorry."
And there was more ....
"What happened should never ever have happened," said the new prime minister, David Cameron. "Some members of our armed forces acted wrongly. The government is ultimately responsible for the conduct of the armed forces. And for that, on behalf of the government, indeed on behalf of our country, I am deeply sorry."
It was inconceivable to many that a Tory prime minister could manage to get these words out of his mouth. It was also inconceivable -- before he uttered the carefully minted phrasing -- that he would be listened to by a hushed crowd gathered in Guildhall Square in Derry, a place not famous for its love of British leaders of any stripe, and that he would be cheered while speaking on specially erected screens that earlier had been used to relay images from the World Cup.
Thirty-eight years did not disappear in an 11-minute speech -- how could they, no matter how eloquent or heartfelt the words? But they changed and morphed, as did David Cameron, who suddenly looked like the leader he believed he would be. From prime minister to statesman.
Joy was the mood in the crowd. A group of women sang "We Shall Overcome." There was a surprising absence of spleen -- this was a community that had been through more than most anyone could understand, showing a restraint no one could imagine. This was a dignified joy, with some well-rehearsed theatrics to underscore the moment.
As well as punching the sky and tearing up the first "Bloody Sunday" inquiry -- a whitewash by a judge named Lord Widgery who said the British troops had been provoked -- these people were redrawing their own faces from the expected images: from stoic, tight-lipped and vengeful to broad, unpolished, unqualified smiles, unburdened by the bile the world often expects from this geography.
Derry is a community and these Derry people looked like guests at a wedding -- formal only for as long as they had to be, careful of their dead but not at all pious. Some began to speak of trials and prosecutions but most wanted to leave that talk for another day.
Figures I had learned to loathe as a self-righteous student of nonviolence in the '70s and '80s behaved with a grace that left me embarrassed over my vitriol. For a moment, the other life that Martin McGuinness could have had seemed to appear in his face: a commander of the Irish Republican Army that day in 1972, he looked last week like the fly fisherman he is, not the gunman he became ... a school teacher, not a terrorist ... a first-class deputy first minister.
Both Mr. McGuinness and Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn Fein, seemed deliberately to avoid contentious language and to try to include the dead of other communities in the reverence of the occasion. Though a few on the unionist side complained that the $280 million spent on the inquiry, commissioned by Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1998 and led by Lord Saville, a top judge, could have been used to improve Northern Ireland's schools or investigate unionist losses, they mostly accepted the wording of the report that the deaths were "wrong" and "unjustified"; Protestant clergymen spoke of "healing" and held meetings with families of the victims.
Healing is kind of a corny word but it’s peculiarly appropriate here; wounds don't easily heal if they are not out in the open. The Saville report brought openness -- clarity -- because at its core, it accorded all the people involved in the calamity their proper role.
The lost lives rose up from being statistics in documents in the Foreign Office to live once again. On the television news, we saw them ... the exact time, the place, the commonplace things they were doing ... William Nash, age 19, shot in the chest at close range, his father wounded trying to reach him ... William McKinney, age 26, shot in the back while tending the wounded ... Jim Wray, age 22, shot twice, the second round fired into his back while he was lying on the ground outside his grandparents’ house. We saw their faces in old photographs, smiles from 38 years ago ... the ordinary details of their ordinary and, as Lord Saville repeatedly pointed out, entirely innocent lives.
It's not just the Devil who's in the details ... God, it turns out, is in there too. Daylight ...
Even the soldiers seemed to want the truth to be out. In the new report, some contradicted statements they had been ordered to make for the Widgery report.
It is easily forgotten that the British Army arrived in Northern Ireland ostensibly to protect the Catholic minority.
How quickly things can change.
In just a couple of years, the scenes of soldiers playing soccer with local youths or sharing ice creams and flirting with the colleens had been replaced by slammed doors on house-to-house raids ... the protectors had become the enemy ... it was that quick in Derry.
In fact, it can be that quick everywhere. If there are any lessons for the world from this piece of Irish history ... for Baghdad ... for Kandahar ... it's this: things are quick to change for the worse and slow to change for the better, but they can. They really can. It takes years of false starts, heartbreaks and backslides and, most tragically, more killings. But visionaries and risk-takers and, let's just say it, heroes on all sides can bring us back to the point where change becomes not only possible again, but inevitable.
A footnote (some light relief), November 1983:
U2 is in a studio in Dublin, playing its new song, "Sunday Bloody Sunday," to the record company. The melody is a good one but the lyric is, in hindsight, an inarticulate speech of the heart. It's a small song that tries but fails to contrast big ideas ... atonement with forgiveness ... "Bloody Sunday" with Easter Sunday. The song will be sung wherever there are rock fans with mullets and rage, from Sarajevo to Tehran. Over time, the lyric will change and grow. But here, with the Cockneyed record company boss at the song's birth, the maternity ward goes quiet when the man announces that the baby is "a hit"... with one caveat: "Drop the 'bloody.' 'Bloody' won't bloody work on the radio." 

© The New York Times Company, 2010.


The genius behind Jamhuri Wear, Jeffrey Kimathi, will have the privilege to work with Alison Hewson, an activist and the wife of U2's lead singer Bono, in an Africa For Africa charity T-shirt campaign. 
Zazzle - the leader of on-demand retail manufacturing - announced that it has expanded its partnership with Edun Live, the sustainable T-shirt brand founded by Alison and her husband Bono. Edun Live and Zazzle are now engaging artistes to create a wide range of designs related to Africa and football. 
Kimathi is among the five designers chosen. “The T-shirt made will be sold during the World Cup season, but since they will not be available for Africans, I plan to make some specifically for the Kenyan fans,” Kimathi told Hot Secrets.
All designs will be submitted by African designers, and will be sold only at African Edun Live blank T-shirts events. Ten per cent of all proceeds will be donated to Invisible Children, a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing financial help to children by documenting their true untold stories in a creative and relevant way, resulting in positive change.
The new designs will be available online They will be printed on Edun Live's 100 per cent certified organic cotton T-shirts, and each of the designers will receive income from each sale, consistent with Zazzle user terms. 
Other Kenyan designers chosen for the project are Bonk run by Ashi Kariuki, Aika-Grace Temu and Fady Rostom; they are all known for their funky tees and bags.
Then there is Paul Douglas Kihiko, a graffiti artist and designer who works as an artist co-ordinator with the British Council in Kenya.
Also represented are Ugandan artist and graphic designer David Ssengendo and design company G1 Media and finally ZetuzakaleProductions, a group of East African designers.


Saturday, June 19, 2010


A very interesting article published in about Bloody Sunday and the U2's song inspired by such terrible event in Irish history.

 FEW songs take their title from that of a historical event, the occasional mining disaster aside. Even fewer can draw a line directly to that event and yet resonate in the wider world. Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2 is a child of its time, yet its themes enabled it to survive, indeed grow stronger, in the years afterwards.

It was recorded in the depths of the Troubles - 1982 - and released as the opening track on the 1983 album War. Two years before its recording, Irish republicans had begun the latest wave of hunger strikes, this time in protest at their loss of status as political prisoners. Bobby Sands was the best known of the 10 who took their own lives through starvation. A couple of months after War's release, Gerry Adams was elected member for West Belfast for Westminster. In 1984, British prime minister Margaret Thatcher narrowly survived the Brighton bombing by the IRA.

Bloody Sunday occurred on January 30, 1972, in Londonderry. British troops shot dead more than a dozen civilians and wounded many more during a civil rights protest. In the aftermath, the Widgery report cleared the army.

This week, a report by Lord Mark Saville, commissioned by then prime minister Tony Blair in 1998, brought down its findings: the shootings were unjustified; the dead and wounded were not to blame for their fate.

U2's Bono was 11 at the time of the killings. Then he was just Paul Hewson. The Edge, then David Evans, was 10. They lived in the south of the island. Tony Blair was 18.

When their paths crossed later in life, all three were leaders: Blair of one of the most powerful countries in the world, and the others as part of one of the most powerful republics on earth - the empire of the song.

To quote Australian singer-songwriter Graham Lowndes: ''Survival's a song.'' It sustains the spirit. African-American chain gangs knew this.

One of Blair's favourite songs, reportedly, is U2's Where the Streets Have No Name. Bono also became a knight of the realm under Blair's watch.

It's ludicrous to think the song would have had a causal link in the chain that led him to appoint Saville to investigate Bloody Sunday. Indeed, there's no hint of it in his speech to the Commons on January 29, 1998. Nor should there have been. The inquiry was the result of tireless work by many parties to have the scales of justice reweighed. New evidence was presented to the British government that couldn't be ignored.

The wheel of history was being pushed by an invisible hand. Its force can't be quantified, but governments have risen and fallen by its touch. Mass movements have felt it, embraced it.

When the Saville findings became known in Derry this week, people gathered in the town centre broke out into We Shall Overcome, the anthem of the oppressed.

Four years before Bloody Sunday, civil rights protesters sang it on a march from Coalisland to Dungannon in Northern Ireland. The organisers had modelled their campaign on the US movement (300,000 sang it, led by Joan Baez, at a march on Washington in 1963). Thus the song flew across the Atlantic. It would also have blown through the corridors of power, too. Truncheons and bullets cannot stop it until every voice is silenced.

Artists know this.

When U2 wrote Sunday Bloody Sunday, they would have known they were getting into dangerous waters. Indeed, mentioning paramilitary groups such as the IRA and the UDA didn't last long in the performance.

Bono also prefaced it at times with ''This is not a rebel song''. But by making it more universal, while retaining its core theme, the band gave it a greater depth and strength.

Bono has made activism an artform. The band's concerts are in part high-volume, large-screen information nights. It's mass awareness. It's watering the garden. From little things big things grow.

It's true few people would sing Sunday Bloody Sunday on marches, but just in the listening, cogs are turning. Midnight Oil, and before them Redgum, used song not only as entertainment but as mass awareness campaigns. There are many bands and solo performers in America and Britain, for instance, who use their medium as the message.

Critics rail against the irrelevance of the effort. After all, an artist rarely has a voice in the boardroom or cabinet. But they miss the point. Survival's a song.

Warwick McFadyen is a senior writer.

The Top 10 Songs About NYC

Consequence of Sound lists the their top 10 songs about the world’s cultural mecca. U2's "The Hands That Built America" is ranked  NÂș 2 following close not other than the ultra famous and iconic Sinatra's "Theme From New York, New York" .

Here's the complete list:

Frank Sinatra – "Theme From New York, New York"
U2 – "The Hands That Built America"
The Velvet Underground – "I’m Waiting For The Man"
John Lennon – "New York City"
Interpol – "NYC"
Beastie Boys – "No Sleep till Brooklyn"
The Ramones – "53rd and 3rd"
Billy Joel – "New York State of Mind"
Bob Dylan – "Talkin’ New York"
Jay-Z and Alicia Keys – "Empire State of Mind"

"The Hands that Built America" was released on the soundtrack to the film Gangs of New York.It was one of two new songs on their The Best of 1990-2000 compilation. It was nominated for Best Original Song at the 75th Academy Awards which didnt win but got the Golden Globe for Best Original Song.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

WAKA WAKA: Let's All Dance For 1GOAL

Shakira has a challenge for all of us: can you do the Waka Waka dance? They´re looking for as many Shakira fans as possible to do the dance for the organization 1GOAL in support of their project to promote universal education.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


U2 bassist Adam Clayton is launching a High Court legal war which could rip the world's leading rock band apart, the Irish Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Clayton is suing the band’s financial mastermind Gaby Smyth for alleged negligence in a case that  could see U2's labyrinthine finances exposed before the world.
Dublin-based Smyth is often described as 'financial controller' of all U2 group companies and knows every detail of the band's earnings.
He is also thought to have masterminded the highly controversial decision to avoid Irish taxes by moving the U2 publishing operation to Holland, which has a far lower rate of tax on royalties.
That decision, revealed by this newspaper three years ago, has led to furious and sustained criticism of the band -- especially given the anti-poverty campaign of their currently injured frontman Bono.
The prospect of Clayton lining up in court against the band's financial mastermind will alarm those who already fear that musical tensions, coupled with Bono's crippling back injuries, threaten to tear the group apart after more than 30 years together.
It will be 50-year-old Clayton's second High Court action in the space of six months.
In January, the High Court agreed to freeze the assets of Clayton's former housekeeper, Carol Hawkins, after the court heard claims that she had defrauded him of up to €1.8million.
Now Clayton has lodged papers at the High Court signalling his intention to bring a negligence claim against Smyth and two other accountants -- Jill Percival and Pat Cleary -- in Smyth’s company.
The papers, lodged by Clayton on June 4, confirm the plenary summons relates to alleged 'negligence.' However, the detail of the claim is not yet known, as Clayton has until July 4 to issue formal summons to Smyth and his co-defendants.
It's thought the case has its roots in issues brought to Clayton's attention in his case against Carol Hawkins.
The ease with which his former housekeeper was allegedly able to take €1.8million from his accounts, taking €600 a day from his debit and credit cards for up to three years, alarmed Clayton.
The housekeeper allegedly used the money to go on a spending spree, which included the 2007 purchase of a $465,000 New York apartment, cars and jewellery, as well as living a rock star lifestyle far beyond her means.
At one stage, she was spending €900 a month maintaining racehorses.
A source close to Clayton said: 'It would be unwise to assume that this case relates to the case against his housekeeper, but that's not to say it has nothing to do with her.'
In preparation for the case against Mrs Hawkins, Clayton instructed two accountants, including Kieran Wallace of KPMG, to review his financial arrangements and all his personal accounts.
While it is not clear if his negligence claim against U2's accountant relates to matters which arose in this review, the claim does concern investments made on the musician’s behalf, and professional advice offered by Gaby Smyth & Co. A fourth defendant in the case is Bank of Ireland Private Finance.
This branch of Bank of Ireland handles investments on behalf of high net worth individuals, offering 9 per cent annual returns on minimum investments of €250,000 or more.
Clayton has retained Gleeson McGrath Baldwin to act on his behalf against Smyth and the bank.
The managing partner at Gleeson McGrath Baldwin is Frank Murphy, an expert in commercial law, who specialises in media and entertainment contracts.
He was called as an 'independent expert' when celebrity chef Conrad Gallagher was sued by the Fitzwilliam Hotel over the alleged theft of paintings.
Mr Murphy's evidence proved crucial in the case, casting doubt over whether the hotel actually owned the paintings at the centre of the case.
It was that evidence which ultimately helped secure an acquittal for Gallagher.
Murphy is overseeing Clayton's case against U2's accountant and Bank of Ireland, together with Geraldine Clarke, head of the firm's litigation department and a former president of the Law Society.
In addition to Gaby Smyth and Bank of Ireland Private Banking, there are two other listed defendants.
Jill Percival and Pat Cleary are both accountants who work for Smyth, with the latter noted for his expertise in advising television and film industry executives about tax efficiency.
Smyth & Co. acts for Screen Producers Ireland as a tax adviser to producers and artists engaged in the visual arts.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd., 2010.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

World Cup Craze

While we wait for tomorrow to see how the World Cup  kicks off, we can enjoy a version of "Get on your Boots" by the Soweto Gospel Choir .

Waiting for the World Cup

The greatest football tournament in the world gets underway tomorrow. ONE suggests that...

There is something  positive we can do to create a lasting legacy that could see millions more kids receive an education...

South African President Jacob Zuma has just announced that he will hold a global leadership summit during the World Cup. The aim? Push leaders to give the 72 million children still out of school an education by 2015. Something that’s not hard to support. So ONE is teaming up with 1GOAL, bringing together footballers and fans, to give world leaders the extra kick needed to make it happen.

Please join millions of people around the world by taking action:
Make sure to write your own personal message with the petition as 1GOAL will be delivering these ‘yellow cards’ to world leaders on 7 July.
Sign the petition and give your yellow card here:

Since 2000, 42 million more children are in school thanks to effective aid and other policies. As the world turns its attention to Africa for the first football World Cup held on the continent, let’s enjoy the game and help give every child a basic education.
Now wouldn’t that be a legacy for the World Cup.

1GOAL from ONE Campaign on Vimeo.