Croker, here we come
IT’S GOING TO GET EMOTIONAL WITH THE SCRIPT SINGER DANNY O’DONOGHUE
They’re planning to call Garth Brooks and get him all wound up. That’s right; Danny, Glen and Mark are ready to play their largest gig yet – and it’s going to get emotional. By Eoin Murphy
IT’S been some time since an international pop act caused hysteria at the Bayerischer Hof Hotel in Munich. Way back in 1999, Michael Jackson shocked the world by dangling a baby from the penthouse in front of hoards of his fans and, unfortunately for the singer, the world’s media. According to Irish rockers the Script, that sort of publicity you simply can’t buy anymore. ‘We could dress Mark up as a baby and hang him over the edge,’ jokes drummer Glen Power, ‘I mean he has a bald head and at that height would anyone notice?’
All three members of the Dublin trio are in ebullient form when I meet them at the iconic hotel. The library room on the first floor has been their base for meeting the German press for the last four hours. It’s also the first opportunity they’ve had to talk about the news that puts them at the zenith of Irish music – next year they will join the ranks of U2, Niall Horan and Westlife as the elite of Irish pop who have headlined Croke Park. The gig is scheduled for June.
‘ Going there, doing the main show... my God,’ lead singer Danny O’Donohue says. ‘It takes a lot to get me exited these days. There are things that you do during the year like Jimmy Fallon or touring Europe that are brilliant but they don’t have you nearly dying with excitement. That’s what Croker is. I was running around the room fist pumping and fit to explode, though that was shortly followed by an overwhelming sense of complete fear at what we have to do. Because we have done Croke Park as a support act. I remember standing under the claw and saying to the lads, one day, we will do that, but for now let’s just pretend this audience is ours.’
Guitarist Mark Sheehan is also brimming with excitement. If Danny is the front of the group, Mark is very much the engine room— producing and driving the business. But the daunting aspect of selling 80,000 tickets is keeping him up at night. ‘I’m personally crapping myself over it because anything outdoors is just scary because for one you have the weather,’ he says. ‘This time around we have taken such a big venue on you have to deal with the doubts. Can we sell it out? We’re going to introduce a little bit of U2 into the act in Croke Park and make a phone call. Bono called Bill Clinton and we are going to call Garth Brooks and get him on the line. Then we may do one of his songs. Seriously though, for us to jump to a venue like that it is very daunting. Because you are not only thinking about can we fill it, but also can the show itself be larger than life. That’s why it is sometimes better to play a greater number of the Three arenas. But we are getting very used to those sized venues and as a band and a business playing to 20,000 is nice and comfortable. So this is what we need to get us out of our comfort zone.’
Most journalists dread interviewing a trio as it is almost impossible to get one direct voice but the Script have the technique down pat. As soon as Mark poses a question Glen is straight in to answer it.
‘But I don’t ever want to go backwards as a band,’ he says. ‘Yes, it is scary and we will all be in tatters before the gig but it is where you have to go to move on to the next level.’
Once again the practicality of selling that volume of tickets is back on the table. Danny quite matter of factly says he will be ‘whoring’ himself out to do it.
‘You won’t be able to get me off Irish radio,’ he laughs. ‘I’ll probably agree to go naked on stage to sell them. Sure we will probably have 40,000 family and friends looking for tickets so that will take care of half of the stadium. We could have done a separate gig in the Aviva afterwards for family and friends so God help us with this one.’
With a bigger venue comes a greater expense as the band will ultimately have to scale up their touring show. Already they have met with a team of top engineers, choreographers and pyrotechnicians and the race