PERFORMANCES AND THOUGHTS ON U2’S SONGS OF INNOCENCE
FRIDAY JANUARY 23rd, 2015
CRINKEN CHURCH, SHANKILL, CO DUBLIN
(Free - with voluntary collection for Fields Of Life)
U2 are back. This year sees them back on another World Tour and Dublin gigs rumoured for November or December. There are even rumours of another album or maybe even two. This all kicked off when the biggest band on the planet gave away their record Songs Of Innocence to all iTunes users on September 9th; not without a little controversy. People are still seeing psychotherapists for the trauma they experienced being given the gift of Rolling Stone magazine’s Album Of The Year. Such a violation!
For me this is U2’s best song writing in the classic sense of the tradition. It is also the album where Bono seems to have taken most care over the lyrics. The record is filled with wee theological nuggets like the above. And… there is more… having decided to return to their younger years for inspiration there are stories throughout this album that became the foundation for the band’s career and spiritual journey. The death of Bono’s mum (Iris (Hold Me Close)); a UVF Bomb in Dublin (Raised By Wolves); a punk concert (The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)); and a neighbourhood family (Cedarwood Road).
As a spiritual biographer of U2 (Walk On; The Spiritual Journey of U2 made #99 on Amazon chart) who concentrated on their spiritual journey I am gleaning a lot of theological thought from the lyrics of Songs Of Innocence:-
I woke up at the moment
When the miracle occurred
I get so many things I don’t deserve
- The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)
Every shipwrecked soul knows what it is
To live without intimacy
- Every Breaking Wave
And I’m a long way
From your hill of Calvary
And I’m a long way
From where I was and where I need to be
- Song For Someone
The spirit’s moving through a seaside town
I’m born again to the latest sound
New wave airwaves swirling around my heart
- Lucifer’s Hands
On January 23rd in Crinken we will unpack the theological thoughts and spiritual journey of U2. I will be bringing to Dublin three singers from Belfast. David Thompson made his first album in 2013. Jonny Fitch is a young man starting out, raw and talented, so like U2 were in the days these songs were lived. Chris Wilson, originally from Indiana recorded and toured with his former band Connorsvine and has a big voice that will draw you in.
We will add to this a few Dublin guests including Jonny Rowen singer and songwriter with the sublime Lofires. The Rowen family actually play a huge role at the core of Songs Of Innocence. We will also have the wonderful genius of Eanna Hickey whose band White Cholera made one of my albums of 2014 and who also works with Camille O’Sullivan. We are delighted to announce the adding to the bill of Ronan Johnston, an author and broadcaster as well as songwriter, soundtrack writer (Moone Boy his most recent success) and Number 1 selling star with Dutin the Turkey, as well as his own solo album, albums with Emmaus and Black Velvet Band. How excited am I?!
The heart of the evening will be based around five songs from Songs Of Innocence but there will be other U2 songs too. I will then weave thoughts between in an evening that will do much more than entertain, though entertain it will!