Irish trio The Script wasted little time in becoming one of the best-loved bands in the world. Capable of uniting both rock and dance fans with their lighter-waving stadium anthems, the trio of singer Danny O'Donoghue, guitarist Mark Sheehan and drummer Glen Power weren't green to the ways of the music industry, with two thirds of the band having already worked as producers, session players and boy band members. Chief string-pullers were O'Donoghue and Sheehan, veterans of young Dublin male quartet Mytown, who enjoyed moderate success on home soil with their early singles but whose self-titled debut LP in 2000 failed to generate the international acclaim that their label Universal demanded. While their bandmates Terry Daly and Paul Walker licked their wounds, Sheehan and O'Donoghue decamped to the sun-stroked environs of Los Angeles. After working as producers alongside seasoned hip-hop and R&B hands Teddy Riley, The Neptunes and Rodney Jerkins they decided the time was ripe for another attempt at the band business, albeit with a more adult approach and their own self-composed blend of contemporary R&B and polished, anthemic rock. Trafficking in the arena of piano-led uplift that radio programmers love, their classic song constructions and gritty contemporary narratives saw them mining their own unique take on Celtic soul, as though early U2 were being remixed by a fired-up Timbaland.
There was certainly an air of optimism and we-shall-overcome spirit to The Script's debut single, 'We Cry', released in April 2008. The single excited heavy airplay in both Ireland and Britain, with influential BBC Radio DJ Jo Whiley an early banger of the drum. Shortly after its release the group relocated to London, booked studio time to record their debut album and prepared to perform at the Glastonbury Festival. Released in the height of summertime, their self-titled debut topped both British and Irish charts in 2008, and eventually sold more than two million copies worldwide after they took it to the road with high profile support slots with U2, Take That and Paul McCartney. Their template of crafted mid-tempo guitar rock, state of the art production and O'Donoghue's masterly soaring choruses helped them negotiate the perilous second album syndrome with ease on 2010's follow-up Science & Faith. The album reached the number one spot in both the UK and Ireland, while it entered the Billboard charts at number three and spawned a huge radio hit in 'For The First Time'. For all their stadium pretensions, O'Donoghue wasn't above making sweet observations like 'If you ever come back, there'll be a smile on my face and the kettle on' as he did on third single 'If You Ever Come Back', promoted via their stint as house band on Jason Manford's Comedy Rocks! ITV show. All the while the shows kept on getting bigger and bigger. They found themselves playing to crowds of 18,000 in South Africa, while their tour of Australia was extended right across Asia. Biggest of all was the 55,000-strong crowd who packed out a historic hometown show at the Aviva stadium in Dublin on July 2nd 2011, a performance later released as the live concert DVD Homecoming.
The Script's sales and popularity were further boosted when O'Donoghue starred as a coach on BBC TV talent show The Voice alongside Tom Jones, Jessie J and will.i.am. The move was calculated to make the make the band much more visible and give them a human face, with the singer mentoring first series runner up Bo Bruce and second series victor Andrea Begley before band commitments prevailed. His success on the show undoubtedly helped 2012's #3 continue their platinum-starred run. A set seemingly crafted with a stadium's huge echo in mind, the band looked to the live hip-hop bands they loved growing up such as A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul to give it a more loose and rhythmic base. Written within a day, its first single 'Hall Of Fame' was The Script's most positive song yet, and featured a very familiar face trading lines on the verses in will.i.am, O'Donoghue's co-star from The Voice. While that went top in 21 countries the album's centrepiece was 'If You Could See Me Now', a spirited and heartfelt tribute to the dearly departed, with the singer imploring his late father 'Would you pat me on the back or would you criticise me"' More jarring was O'Donoghue's new party trick of filling out gaps by rapping in a slightly suspect American accent.
In September The Script embarked on the headlining #3 World Tour, their biggest yet, the dates spread out over 11 long months with shows throughout Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. Mostly written and recorded on the special studio installed on their luxury tour bus, 2014's forthcoming fourth album No Sound Without Silence has been described by O'Donoghue as a prequel to their debut. When pushed to explain further, he claimed it was a concerted attempt to bottle some of their raw onstage intensity, previously lost amid the studio's sterilised confines.
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