No tape recorders on the horizon
Security was extra-tight at the first official playback of the new U2 album No Line On The Horizon. The venue was the Residence private members' club on St Stephen's Green where the upstairs Piano Bar was taken over for the airing by their record company, Universal.
After signing in at the front door, the entrance to the Piano Bar was blocked by two bulky security men who relieved everybody of their mobile phone. These were tagged and put in plastic bags, and there then followed a series of questions about whether you might have some recording equipment secreted on your person. Once they were satisfied with your answers, you were then admitted to the inner sanctum.
The title track of the album soon rang out around the room, but many of those attending seemed more intent on chatting to each other, and between that and a slightly muffled sound from the speakers, it was difficult to really get a handle on the album.
But while no reviews are allowed before February 15, we can report -- on just the one listen -- that it sounds like a lively affair, with some exceptional guitar-playing from The Edge.
Meanwhile, back at the Piano Bar there was talk of a how prominent newspaper man had been refused admission at the front door because he hadn't been invited to the exclusive listen. There's no messing with U2!