January 22nd 2002
Hi, how ‘s she cuttin’?
We are into rehearsal full swing again. We were in Cannes at the weekend. It was our first gig with Noel since Dec. 2000. It was a buzz and a half, everyone was on a high. All is well with Noel’s family now and will stay that way hopefully. It’s incredible how much we all missed him. This band has an incredible bond and if one person isn’t there, you kind of feel like a body-part is missing and there is a kind of vulnerabillity there which normally doesn’t exist. But we are back to normal now and preparing set lists for our upcoming world tour.
We have been running through a lot of old songs that we haven’t played in years such as “I Still Do”, “Empty”, “Daffodil Lament” , “How”, “Still Can’t..”, “Disappointment”, and ”Put Me Down”. We want to keep things interesting for ourselves and to make this tour a little bit different. We are thinking of re-introducing “the old acoustic set” again as it’s been a while since we did that and people seemed to like it, plus the fact that it gives us a chance to catch our breath in the middle of the show. (We ain’t as young as we used to be!!)
We have been working with Slim (our lighting designer) on a stage set and it’s coming together nicely. I’m getting excited just thinking about it (the tour that is). Only three weeks to go and we are off, “bring it on I say, bring it ooaawnn!!!” Not much other news for now , talk to you soon!
Oh ya, here’s the list of songs that we played in Cannes: (in the right order!)
1. HOW 2. ZOMBIE 3. TIME IS TICKING OUT 4. FREE TO DECIDE 5. WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE 6. LINGER 7. ANALYSE 8. ANIMAL INSTINCT 9. ODE TO MY FAMILY 10. RIDICULOUS THOUGHTS 11. I REALLY HOPE 12. (encore) DREAMS.
February 14th 2002
Hello again! At last! Rehearsals are over and now it’s time to load up the gear and send it to Copenhagen! First show is 3 days away, and we are so excited to be touring again! As I have said before, for me playing live is what it’s all about! I can give you a rough idea of our touring plans up to the end of August. The European leg will run til the end of April. May thru early July will see us in North America. Mid to end of July we will be in South America (at last!!) and mid to end of August is dedicated to Asia! There will be more touring after August, we just have not confirmed where yet! Anyway, enough banter, here’s some foto’s taken while all the gear was being dismantled and loaded into the trucks! -Bye! Fergal. [...]
February 26th 2002
Hey there, yes we are back on tour!! Coming soon to a city near you! We are in Geneva today and are playing a show here tonight. We had a day off here yesterday which was great as it gave me a chance to look around a bit and also to do some shopping. It’s my son’s birthday next week so I bought him a little tractor and trailer (I’ll make a farmer out of him yet!!).
The gigs have been going really well. It takes a while to get a rhythm going and settle back into the touring lifestyle although some days it feels like you’ve never stopped, which is a bit freaky. The gig in Vienna the other night was fantastic, everything really fell into place and everyone was “on” as they say.
We are home for a few days on Thursday and then we are performing at the Meteor awards in Ireland on my birthday. The following day we head off to Paris to shoot a video for our new single “This Is The Day”. We are working with Olivier Dahan again, which is great. He has incredible vision and it’s always a good laugh working with him and his crew.
That’s it for now, talk to you soon, -Fergal. (By the way, check the NEWS section. Plenty news coming today, I believe!)
March 13th 2002
Well, here we are in beautiful Madrid, having a ball! I just spent the afternoon strolling around near the Palace, refreshing ahhh!! We are back into the whole rhythm of touring again, it takes a few shows to get into the swing of it but then it’s basically easy enough.
Weezer are opening up for us for the next three shows which hopefully will be mega ’cause I love them, so I’ll definately go down early and check them out. We have had some brilliant nights on the bus thanks to Noel’s gifted D.J.ing. We’ve been listening to “Ed Harcourt” a lot, he’s kind of similar to “Jeff Buckley and “Radiohead”, also “Puddle of Mudd” kind of a “Pearl Jam” vibe.
We have a day off in Barcalona tomorrow which is always a good thing as it’s one of my favourite cities.I’m definately going to check out the ” Sagarad Familia” also known as THE HOLY FAMILY Temple, which I’ve only ever seen from the outside but I’ve been told that it’s mind-blowing inside. The architect “Antoni Gaudi” was an absolute genius. Oh! I just spotted the time I’d better go or I’ll be late.
Take care ,
April 11th 2002
How’s it going,
I’ll begin yet again with an apology for not writing for so long, but I have a valid excuse this time!! I got a new computer for my birthday and I’ve had major grief trying to get my e-mail account sorted , but with the assistance of the various techno-boffins in the crew I am back on the “information superhighway, dude” !!!!!! I’m a bit giddy so bear with me.
We are in Lisbon. The absolutely gorgeous capital of Portugal. I decided to come down to the gig early just for a change. Joe, our soundman was E.Q-ing (sound-checking to us common folk) the P.A. and he played a few songs form the previous nights gig. Hence the giddy-ness!! I was sitting a few rows behind him and the speakers were at full tilt, for the first time ever I felt like I was at a cranberries gig, what a buzz! Unfortunately that’s the closest I or any of the others can get. (adopt country accent here) “But I ain’t a whingin’ no sir.” We have more than enough fun onstage and I get great pleasure from seeing other bands perform.
A few weeks back I wrote from Madrid and we were on our way to Barcelona, anyway we went to see the “Sagrada Familia” (deep breath , exhale). I couldn’t even begin to describe the beauty, the sheer size of the undertaking, I really was totally blown away. It has to be one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen!!! Those gigs in Spain were excellent aswell, although I started to come down with the ‘flu in Barcelona. Nearly all of the band and crew have had it at some-point , and believe me there is nowhere worse to be sick than on-tour. The show must go on!!!
“Weezer” were fantastic by the way. A few of us went out front to watch them for all three gigs and they were really powerful. I heard that “The Strokes” dropped by to check them out in Barcelona but had to leave early to play their own gig in town. Pity, I would love to have seen them play too! We just got the finished version of the video for “This is the Day” a few days ago and it’s the best one since “Salvation”. I can’t wait to see it on t.v. I’ll see if we can get it up here as soon as possible.
That’s it for now, I ‘ll try not to leave it too long next time (when have you heard that before??)
All the best, Fergal
May 10th 2002
Hi how goes it y’all, Your life wouldn’t want to depend on me writing on a regular basis would it?? But that’s just the way I am; as soon as I sit in front of the computer and start to write it ’s easy, the trick is to get me here!!! We are in the lovely Montreal, and we have a gig here tonight. We had a week off, so everyone is really relaxed and recharged. It’s such a pleasure to tour this way, you feel more healthy and enjoy the whole experience a lot more. I’m really looking forward to touring in North America for a while again, it’s been a while since we spent a lot of time here, plus it’s coming into summer and I must admit; the weather definitely has an affect on my mood, maybe I should strap one of those u.v. lights to my forehead in winter to combat the problem.(Either that or possibly some electro-shock therapy!!). We flew in last night from Ireland so I got to watch a couple of movies, “A Beautiful Mind” being the first. Oh wow I’m getting emotional even thinking about it, well worth checking out although have a box of handkerchiefs at the ready. The other movie was “Oceans Eleven” which for some reason the critics gave a raw deal, so here’s a little message for them, *********!!!! I thought it was really clever, really “cool” and thoroughly entertaining and as the great Forest Gump once said “That’s about all I gotta’ say ’bout that”. All the other gigs we have done since I spoke to you last were great, it was really great to play in Poland especially as we have not played there before. They are lovely people who are finally starting to get back on their feet after years of oppression and hardship. Katowice reminded me a lot of what Limerick used to be like when we were growing up, unfortunately a lot of unemployment but people there seem to make the most of the situation, which is a very admirable trait!! I really enjoyed our time in Prague as it was my first time having a day off there and it was a nice sunny day. I just wandered about the old part of town checking out little shops and cafes. At one point I came across a local man sitting out in his back yard playing his box accordion. It was all Czech traditional music and it was incredibly beautiful. I stayed listening, entranced for about half an hour, I was just lucky to stumble upon him, but whoever you are thanks a million you made my day!! I’m trying to remember more stories so bear with me for a few minutes………Oh yeah when we were in Munich a few of us headed off to a traditional bier-hof. (beer-house/yard) It was highly entertaining. There was a band playing traditional German songs all dressed up in the “Lederhosen” and the beer came in huge glasses about 2 1/2 pints in size and the food was mashed potato, sauerkraut and 100 varieties of pork. Boy did we pack on the pounds that night but it has to be done in the interest of culture!! I’d better go now as I have a couple of phone interviews to do, so I’ll talk to you soon, take care,
May 29th 2002
Howdy, Well here we are back in the good ol’ U.S. of A. and all is well! We’ve been here for a few weeks now and all the gigs have been great. We weren’t sure what to expect as some (not all), members of our record company informed us that in their eyes, “Wake Up And Smell The Coffee” is “over” in America, and they have moved on to other things. Not exactly the words of encouragement you would like to hear as you are about to embark on a U.S. tour!!! But thanks to you, our incredibly supportive fans we say F*** ‘em!!! We are here to play music and enjoy every minute of it, and thankfully that’s the way it’s been working out!
We were in New York a couple of weeks ago. It was our first time there since September 11 and I was happy to notice the strength of the people in that magical city. Everyone has really made an effort to try and get on with their lives and be as positive as possible; thus (in my opinion) defeating those small minded terrorist bastards!! New York we salute you.
On a lighter note I went to see Star Wars last night and as expected it was a feast for the senses. I think I’ll have to go again in a few weeks as it’s such a spectacle that you would need to see it a few times to take it all in! Thank you Mr.Lucas and co. Dolores bumped into Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam), (a hero of ours) the other night in Chicago and said they had a nice chat. I’d love to see them play live again as it’s been a long time, but I did manage to pick up a live DVD which “Rocks”.
We are playing in Vienna , Virginia tonight and then off to Atlanta. Thankfully the weather’s picking up a bit and we are headed further south towards Miami and a five day recording session. The new tracks are developing nicely, so our plan to record a new album in spring of next year should work out accordigly. That’s about the size of it so I’ll talk again soon!
-Fergal. (28th May 2002)
June 13th 2002
Back in Atlanta again. We played here last night and it was great, although I lost a couple of bucket’s worth of sweat!! The gig was outdoors and the fires of hell would be runners up in the heat-stakes! Dolores’ voice is back to full strength again, thankfully! If you were at the concert last night thanks a million for changing your plans to come see us. Much appreciated.
We recorded two songs in Miami. “New New York”, which Dolores wrote the lyrics for when she got back to the hotel after the gig in NYC. The music is chunky guitars with heavy bass’n'drums, and to top it off a beautiful melody. The second song is called “Stars”, which is a love song and I must admit it is really catchy. We played it live for the first time last night and the audience seemed to be into it, so that’s a good sign.
This paragraph is devoted to all you World-Cup soccer fanatics!! What about Ireland going through to the next round eh? I am delighted! I’ve been trying to watch as many games as possible but the time difference makes it pretty difficult. We have to play against Spain on Sunday and that ain’t going to be an easy game, but I have to be optimistic, there is always a chance!! I can’t believe France and Argentina have gone home, they were two of the teams I’d have expected to be getting into the final! But what can you do, there’s always a next time!
We are flying home today for a week off and then we’re off to lovely Mexico. So I’ll talk to you soon.
Take it easy
P.S. “COME ON YOU BOYS IN GREEN!!!!!!!!!!”
July 02nd 2002
26 June .Ola! from Mexico City!
My God it’s crazy down here!! Crazy in a good way of course, we got here three days ago and it’s been “all go” since then, we did a press conference and an in-store signing and a load of t.v. and radio stuff. The record store was great as we got to see loads of fans and they were all really excited and appreciative of the fact that we travelled down here. The first gig was last night and it was brilliant we played “The Stars” (our new song) again last night and it went over really well (no doubt it will be available somewhere on the net by now!) I went for a few “casual drinks” after the show and ended up sampling the local “Sangrita” which is a shot glass of Tequila followed by a shot glass of tomato juice, orange juice and tabasco. It’s best when sipped and not “shot”, as a few members of the crew will vouch for!!! I have to go to soundcheck now so I’ll write some more later.
28 June.Ok it’s the next day (or so) now and we’re in Las Vegas (or “Lost Wages” as our bass tech likes to call it). The audience in Guadalajara were one of the loudest we’ve had for ages, it was an absolute adrenaline rush. I don’t think many international bands go there so they were really appreciative.
01 July. We are about to head off to the desert near the Hoover Dam to do a photo shoot for the cover of the album. We are going to stay there ’til about ten o’clock tonight so that we can get some daytime and nightime shots. It should be good , we usually have a laugh doing them and “slag each other off” constantly, as it helps relieve the boredom of standing there posing!! It’s 44 degrees (celsius) here by the way so it’s not as glamorous as it sounds!
We are looking at rescheduling our South American tour for January 2003 so I’m really excited as it’s going to be a first for all of us. It’s always been a dream of mine to see that part of the world.
Ok I’d better go and get ready, I’ll write again soon. Take it easy,
August 22nd 2002
Hey there, we are in Jakarta, Indonesia for the first time and all is well. We’ve been really busy for the past few weeks, doing a lot of interviews etc. We played in Singapore, Hong Kong and Korea and they were all amazing gigs. We weren’t sure what the reaction was going to be, as we haven’t been on this side of the world for a long time but we were in for a pleasant surprise!! The first two shows we played with “No Doubt” which was good fun. They were really nice people and they had a great crew working with them. Needless to say we had a few nights on the town in Hong Kong!! I heard ‘Guns ‘n Roses’ were playing the night we arrived into Hong Kong so a few of us went over to see them. I was a big fan of theirs before and had seen them live with the original line up, so I am sorry to say that I found there was just something not quite right. I tried my hardest to get into it but, it just wasn’t the same. All the new musicians were fantastic players but they ain’t ‘Slash, Duff, Izzy and Matt!!
We haven’t had much time to do touristy stuff unfortunately but we had one day off in H.K. so I went wandering around the food markets and antique shops. The market was fascinating, loads of mad live fish and unusual vegetables, if only we weren’t staying in a hotel, we could have picked up some fresh groceries and cooked a big meal together. But that’s just the way touring is!!
We have been discussing our future plans and we are enjoying Asia so much that we would love to return here as soon as possible! We are doing a video for ‘Stars’ a few days after we get home to Ireland, and then some more promotional T.V. shows interviews etc.. until the 17th of October.
I’ve been playing the new ‘Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ album pretty much non-stop since I got it and I’m not getting bored with it yet. I’ve been a huge fan of theirs for a long time and really admire them all as players / performers. Hopefully I’ll get to see them play live soon!
That’s it for now!
September 17th 2002
14 Sep 2002
How’s it going?
We are in Europe on a promotional tour for “Stars”. I am writing this from the back seat of a van as we travel from Milan to Bologna. The traffic is ‘brutal’, but Lloyd Cole is on the cd player and Noel, Mike and Sett (our illustrious Tour Manager) are here too, so things could be worse. We are playing a thirty minute set for MTV-day Italy tomorrow and we are on our way to soundcheck. There are rumoured to be thirty to forty thousand people coming so I can’t wait!
We saw the new video for “Stars” yesterday. It was fantastic and we didn’t have any changes to make which is unusual. It was our first time working with director Jake Nava. He was a really cool guy, very up-beat and easy to talk to. We shot it in different locations around Dublin and Wicklow and boy was it cold!
We have mainly been doing lots of interviews and a couple of acoustic sets at radio stations, but to be honest I can’t wait to get back to playing proper shows again.
We are taking a month off soon, as my wife is due another baby in two weeks, so I’m thinking about that more than anything. It’s going to be great. I’m sure my plate will be full for the next few months but I’ll try to write when I have time!
Take it easy!
PS. Did you notice that the WUASTC area of this website has changed today? (17 Sep) It’s now the STARS area!
October 21st 2002
19 Oct 2002
Well I’m sure you’ve read the news of my second son Nathan being born. A fantastic experience I must admit. But it’s time to go back to work and start saving for the college fees!!
We are in Berlin. Gig number two of the new tour. We felt a little bit rusty at the Paris show to be honest but everyone we spoke to afterwards said it sounded really tight, but then again they would hardly say it was shite!! We played “New New York” for the first time ever. It felt good but we need to play it a few more times to get really confident. We also did “Hollywood” for the first time in about six years and it rocked and therefore, will be a regular fixture in the set. There is a new stage-set designed by Slim, as with the “Wake up..” tour which has now evolved into the “Stars” World tour but don’t panic there are no explosions and special-effects, subtlety is the key!
I got a test copy of the “Stars – Best Of Video” collection and it’s turned out really well. There is a load of extra stuff on it, old interviews and footage from years ago and an array of dodgy haircuts and clothes, mine being the worst!! But it’s great to finally have all our videos on one disk as we haven’t seen most of them for ages!
We were planning our new schedule yesterday for 2003 and we are going to be touring until the beginning of April and then we will be doing some shows with some other artists in June and July to wrap up a great 2 years on the road. We also have been discussing our next record a lot lately and everyone is of the opinion that if we record in the normal way then it’s going to be very un-exciting and stale so we have decided that Dolores and Noel will go into the studio in May with a producer and play around with some ideas, then when we finish touring, we will all go in and play around with some different ideas. We want to do something that really challenges us and push ourselves into unchartered territory. Normally, we have the songs written and ready when we go into the studio, but it’s going to be frightening and exciting to write in the studio. If none of us did things we were frightened of, then we would never advance in life, so here we go!!
We’re all excited about the upcoming gigs (especially, in Croatia, Hungary and Turkey) as we have spoken to people who have visited these countries before and loved them. It will be great to see the reaction of the audiences seeing us for the first time. This year has been amazing seeing so many new cities and fans around the world.
That’s all I’ve got for you I’m afraid!
Take it easy!
November 01st 2002
Still in Zagreb, although we are due to fly to Budapest in a few hours. Last night was our first concert in Croatia and the audience went ape-shit! ( That means they went wild!) I thought we might have to stop playing for a while as the crowd swayed twenty feet left and then twenty feet right like a big swell on the sea, but luckily they settled down after four or five songs! Also, Dolores wore a witches hat and broom for the encore and it looked like the “Promises” video. It was the first time ever playing on Halloween, so why not!!
We had a day off before the show here, so I got a chance to wander around the city. It’s really beautiful here and the people are very nice. I managed to locate a nice winter hat for myself, complete with ear-flaps! It doesn’t really get that cold at home in Ireland, but I hope to get to use it in the colder climates abroad early next year!
The Spanish and Portuguese shows went brilliantly as usual, so we would like to officially thank all of you for your support!! Granada is a really beautiful city, however, l could not tell you what La Coruna is like, because I spent the whole of my day off in bed due to food poisoning, a very unpleasant experience!
I’ve been feeding my habit of purchasing cd’s recently and I got my hands on Beck’s new one; Jeff Buckley ‘Songs To No One’; Peter Gabriel’s ‘Up’ and Beth Orthon’s ‘Daybreaker’. I’m afraid I haven’t listened to any of the others that much as I find myself putting on ‘Daybreaker’ and can’t seem to bring myself to remove it! It is one of the most incredibly georgous albums I’ve heard for ages!
Talk to ya later!
November 25th 2002
I hope you are all well. First and foremost I would like to apologise for us not getting to play in all the countries we originally thought we would. We have been away from home quite a lot in the last year and a half and we all agree that December is a good time to finish up the tour. If we continued on any longer there would be the danger of repeating what happened to us during the “Faithful Departed” tour, and nobody wants to make the same mistake twice! We need to take some time with our families and then start writing new material in a nice relaxed atmosphere.
There is truth to the rumour that we will be out playing live again by next summer, only I cannot give you any details yet as nothing has been finalised!
The gigs here in Italy have been phenomenal! Every single night has been mind-blowing, the singing, the energy from the audience, our sincere thanks to you all! One of the plusses of touring here is that on days off you can eat in some of the most homely restaurants on the planet. An important thing to have when on the road!
I’m afraid I have to go now as I have a few telephone interviews to do and then we have soundcheck. We are playing in Ancona tonight and then it’s off to Treviso for a couple of days off. Treviso is quite close to Venice so some of us are going to do the tourist thing.
December 20th 2002
It’s finally arrived…..the last gig of the tour. It’s quite a mix of emotions to be honest. We have spent the last year and a half travelling the world with a fantastic bunch of people and now it’s time to move on to different tours or in our case return home and then,to the studio. But the most important thing is that the tour was a success and everyone enjoyed themselves (some people a little bit too much!!) We’ll be back playing live at a town near you before you know it…….
The gig in Dublin the other night was incredible. Everyone was a little bit tense throughout the day but we were all trying to hide it as not to put the others off. By stage -time the nerves had manifested into excitement and from the first chord on we received an outstanding reception. We couldn’t get over the reaction. We didn’t expect anything like it as we didn’t think we were that popular in Ireland anymore.
Thank you to everyone who came, we are unbelievably grateful!! The Glasgow and Manchester shows were also a pleasant surprise. The Glasgow show was in a seated theatre which is always a bit of a challenge as the environment can be intimidating for the audience to ‘rock out’, but Dolores encouraged everyone to stand up and come to the front of the stage like only she can, resulting in a great gig. The London show was the last of the tour and it was also a big surprise, a really receptive audience. To be honest we had forgotten how good it is to tour in the U.K. When we first began touring over ten years ago, we did months of touring there and we were always well supported. It was amazing to see some familiar faces from those days in the crowd, thank you for sticking by us.
We are at home now in fact I’m in my kitchen having a nice cup of “Barry’s” tea. We (the band) were all out to dinner last night and we were talking about some offers to play gigs in the U.S. in April which we all agreed we should do, as we haven’t spent enough time there in the last few years. We are just going to chill for January and then get working on our new bits and pieces in February. I was browsing some sites recently and YET AGAIN there are rumours that we are splitting up. IT IS NOT TRUE!
Have a safe and positive Christmas and New Year!