By Eileen Murphy
Anyone who’s hoping for giant video screens, huge disco balls or extremely large lemons on the next U2 concert tour will be sorely disappointed. The band, who will release their new album, "All That You Can’t Leave Behind," next month, has announced that they plan to play smaller venues. Which means no monster props.
"We’re going to have some fun," said Bono. "[We’re going to be] indoors for the first time in years."
The band will probably hit the road in the U.S. early next year.
"It’s all about reaching out to the audience, keeping an open heart," he said.
The band isn’t worried about diving into the current metal/rap/teen pop-dominated music scene.
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"We are the men. They are the boys," said Bono. Amen, brother.
Women of Ireland: it’s time to strip down to your skivvies again!
At least, that’s the message that Playboy magazine wants to send to the Emerald Isle. The men’s flesh ‘zine, which, as everyone knows, guys just read for the articles, is sending photographers back to the land of saints ‘n’ scholars to snap more pictures of pretty girls – in various states of undress.
Playboy, as you will recall, launched a marathon model call a few months ago, looking for Irish lovelies to grace an upcoming issue. Hmmm . . . we smell a St. Patrick’s Day special!
Jeff Cohen, a spokesman for Playboy, says he was thrilled by the original group of photos, and can’t wait to see what crops up in the next batch.
"I knew that the Irish were beautiful," he gushed. "But even I was surprised."
How would you describe them in culinary terms, Jeff?
"There were some real peaches!" he crowed.
The last photo session yielded 200 prospective models, but, as Pierce Brosnan noted in the last Bond film, even the world is not enough. The original group of flowers has been weeded, one might say, and now the boys would like to see more stems. In skimpy lingerie, please.
‘Big Brother’ smiles on Irish survivor
Well, they’re down to the final group of three on the smash UK hit "Big Brother." And wouldn’t you know it, Anna Nolan, the happy-go-lucky Irish lesbian ex-novice nun, is standing toe to toe with her two British flatmates.
Forget the Olympics with all that swimming and running and tossing of things. Anna’s the one who should get a gold medal and a lucrative endorsement deal when this is all over. Not only has she survived audience votes and managed not to kill her whiny, conniving flatmates – she’s also very homesick.
"She’s missing her mum and dad very badly," revealed ex-roomie Mel Hill.
"She can’t wait to come home and see all her brothers and sisters again."
Of course, Mel knows firsthand about Anna’s loneliness.
"Do you fancy a shag?" Anna asked her. We don’t think she meant a trendy haircut.
Mel politely declined Nolan’s suggestion But then, the British are known for their good manners.
Anna, an audience favorite, has a good chance of winning the whole enchilada. But she needs her countrymen and women to get out and vote for her. The only rub is that they have to call the UK hotline from their mobile phones.
A spokesman for the program hopes that the Irish will vote in large numbers.
"It could make a big difference to the outcome," he said.
Patsy heads to Ireland for ‘Karma’
Patsy Kensit’s marriage to rocker Liam Gallagher may have been more of a mirage than an Oasis, but it’s over now, and the two of them have moved on.
The monobrowed singer (that’s Liam) is busily snogging All Saints chanteuse Nicole Appleton. Not to be outdone, the thrice-married (or is that, thrice-divorced) Patsy has already split with her rebound boyfriend, actor Jamie Foreman. Talk about not letting the grass grow under your feet.
But Patsy, who’s now a mother of two – she and Liam had a baby last year – has decided to swear off romance for 10 or 15 minutes. The good news is that she’s throwing herself into her work, and will travel to Ireland next week to star in a movie. The bad news is that the movie has the rather forbidding title "Bad Karma."
Don’t worry about Patsy being out of the glamorous rock world now that she’s dumped her bratty husband. Kensit is good friends with her ex, Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr, and is still quite friendly with her former Dalkey neighbors, U2’s Bono and his wife, Ali.
Boomtown Rat’s love trap
In America, he’s regarded as something of a saint, but in his hometown, he’s described as grungy and "spectacularly hairy."
No, we’re not talking about Daniel O’Donnell. Sir Bob Geldof, who brought the world both the Boomtown Rats and "Live Aid," is in the news again – well, sort of. After a nasty breakup a few years back with former wife, Paula Yates, the famously iconoclastic Geldof has found love with a dainty French actress named Jeanne Marine. Friends are astounded, because the two seem as alike as chalk, er, and Camambert
But Jeanne sees nothing odd about their relationship. In fact, her love for Bob is a two-for-one deal, because she’s also bewitched by his adopted hometown of London.
"Meeting Bob and falling in love with him was the catalyst which made me completely change my life," she told the Sunday World.
"When I fell in love with him, I fell in love with England, with its landscapes and with London. I adore the city."
The tough go shopping
As Billy Ocean, and, later, Boyzone famously observed, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Of course, the Boyz put their own shpin on it, ash anyone who lishens to their cover vershun (and Ronan’s annoying vocalsh) already knowsh.
But we’re getting off the subject. Boyzone manager Louis Walsh’s new superstars, Westlife, have decided that what the tough actually do is . . . go shopping. The Sligo lads, who have recently earned their first £1 million paychecks, confess that they’ve been doing their bit to boost the world economy – one leather jacket (or 10) at a time.
Heartthrob Nicky Byrne, 21, confesses that he can’t tell his mum how much he spends on clothes.
"We come from a normal family," he confided to the Sun newspaper. "And £700 for a pair of trousers is a lot." Well, that depends on whether alterations are free, Nick.
But what would he do if his mum asked what he paid for them?
"I’d probably say £450," he said, modestly.
Also suffering a bit of shopper’s remorse is 20-year-old bandmate Kian Egan.
"I’m pretty ridiculous when it comes to buying clothes," he admitted. "I’ll get 10 different leather jackets if I like them."
"You feel guilty when you buy 10 £1,000 jackets and then go next door to buy a diamond ring," he said. Well, Kian, that depends on whether the diamond is for you or your favorite gossip columnist.
Naturally, Kian won’t be doing any shopping with his father any time soon.
"If he found out I was spending money like that, he would go mad," he said.