March 2011 Archives

Even better than the real thing?

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Martin McCann puts in a star turn as the U2 frontman in 'Killing Bono'. It's no surprise, writes DONALD CLARKE

The Irish Times

EVERY NOW and then the brave cinemagoer emerges from a film and, after chewing over the intricacies of the plot, remarks: "But hang on. Who was that guy?" A few years ago, when Richard Attenborough released Closing the Ring , a strange, era-jumping melodrama set in Belfast, the reviews were pretty iffy about the story, direction and production values. But who was that guy in the lead? He was unbelievable.

It was Martin McCann. A 28-year-old actor from the Divis Flats, McCann also excelled in the recent Swansong: Story of Occi Byrne . Now he has got the chance to play the father of the nation as a young man. Nick Hamm's Killing Bono , based on a memoir by the journalist Neil McCormick, features McCann as the titular rock bellower. It's another fine performance. When he appears in the mid-1980s garb - pilgrim hat and girl's hair - you feel tempted to laugh, but McCann makes a fleshy, likeable character of the former Mr Hewson.

Mercury, the label which is the UK home of U2, Chase & Status, The Killers and Arcade Fire, has stopped releasing singles on CD and vinyl.

BBC News

The label made a loss on singles in 2010 and said it would now only release them physically as "rare exceptions".

Physical singles now make up less than one per cent of weekly sales, with digital downloads catching on hugely.

Meanwhile, overall sales of individual tracks have risen from 66.9 million in 2006 to 161.8 million in 2010.

But the option to buy any song from an album on its own as a download means it's not just officially released singles that account for that rise.

NME

Singer takes detour after wife's birthday bash

U2's Bono tried to become something of an off-season Santa recently, we read.

The singer supposedly attempted to give away copies of REM's 'Collapse Into Now' album to passers by on a New York street corner on Saturday (March 19).

Musical legend offers sympathy after show gets critical mauling

By Richie Taylor Exclusive, Sunday Independent

Tim Rice, one of the legends of musical theatre, has revealed how he thinks rockers U2 shouldn't have branched out into his territory with their currently much-troubled Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark.

And Rice, who shot to fame in the 1970s with co-writer Andrew Lloyd Webber on musical theatre hits such as Jesus Christ Superstar and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, knows exactly how it feels to be slammed by the critics on Broadway.

His own musical, Chess, which opens here later this month, was a massive flop when it hit Broadway in 1988 and had to be shut down after a very short run.

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