U2 surprise at Island anniversary event


U2 made a surprise appearance on stage in London tonight in support of the record company that first offered them a recording contract.

Island Records have been celebrating their 50th anniversary with a week long series of gigs in London and U2 made an unscheduled appearance at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire venue in between sets by Baaba Maal and Cat Stevens, who was introduced on stage by Bono.

The band joined the Sengalese singer Baaba Maal for a version of their “One” song before seguing into a cover version of Bob Marley’s “One Love”. The band then played a largely acoustic version of their hit “Vertigo”.

U2 have often spoken of their huge debt to Island Records — a predominantly reggae label — who signed them to a contract in 1980 after a series of other labels turned them down. The success of U2 in the mid-1980’s largely kept the Island label afloat. For security reasons U2’s appearance couldn’t be publicised — the venue they played in only fits 1,000 odd people but they received an ectastic reception from the audience.

U2 will make an apppearance on tomorrow's Late Late Showbefore beginning their world tour in Barcelona at the end of June. A further set of tickets have just been released for the band’s third show at Croke Park on July 27th.