Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

The (latest) great U2 debate

There’s a very good piece in today’s Ticket featuring Hugh Linehan (Irish Times features boss and the founding editor of The Ticket) and Stuart Bailie (BBC Radio Ulster DJ, Oh Yeah music centre dude and former NME album reviews editor) …

Fri, Jul 18, 2008, 07:27

   

There’s a very good piece in today’s Ticket featuring Hugh Linehan (Irish Times features boss and the founding editor of The Ticket) and Stuart Bailie (BBC Radio Ulster DJ, Oh Yeah music centre dude and former NME album reviews editor) exchanging views back and forth about U-know-who.

There are plenty of choice, juicy remarks in the piece from the pair. Hugh takes the view that U2 play “vacuous, self-satisfied stadium rock garnished with trite sloganeering”, while Stuart sees them as “an astonishing band” who can “summon up the transcendent – a place out of linear time and rational thought” and believes that “the survival of U2 is a fascinating aspect” to observe.

The pair have been exchanging emails about U2 over the past few weeks and it’s obvious that they’ve both put a lot of time and thought into it.

To my mind, one of the most striking statements comes from Stuart: “we probably wouldn’t have the interest to sustain this kind of argument about another rock and roll band. That’s an indication of the band’s presence on our cultural landscape”. In some ways, though, the arguments about the band are a lot more interesting than any of the music they’ve produced in the last 17 years.