Cro­ker, here we come

IT’S GO­ING TO GET EMO­TIONAL WITH THE SCRIPT SINGER DANNY O’DONOGHUE

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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