Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Set List of Show:
Snippets of Other Songs Performed by U2:
The exact date of this show is not known, but it was a Sunday night in Belfast according to people who attended. And Annie Roseberry, of Island Music, who was in attendance that night shares that it was January 1980. U2 played at Queen’s University. (Note: The band has no known performances on Sunday nights in January in 1980, so it could have been any of the dates.)
Roseberry was there in an official capacity to see the young band perform as part of her job with the A&R Department at Island. Island representatives had seen the band perform in London at the end of 1979 and were interested in the band. Roseberry was sent over with two representatives from the publishing branch of Island, Blue Mountain Music.
In Uncut Magazine, Roseberry relates, “They’d done their shows in London but everybody had passed. So we kind of got in on the tail end of that and my impression was they had gone back to Ireland very depressed. I think the other record companies had passed because they didn’t necessarily hear hit singles, and Paul McGuinness was asking for a pretty heavy deal for a band who didn’t necessarily have hit singles in their set at that time.”
Of the show itself Roseberry says, “They played a great show. They’d been playing together for a long time and they weren’t all great players by any stretch of the imagination. The timing was pretty appalling, but it didn’t matter. They just had something unique.”
During the show U2 are heckled by the audience in places. Bono rolled with the heckling knowing Roseberry was in the audience. After the show U2 joined Roseberry in partying back at their room at the Europa Hotel. They returned to the hotel with Adam in the trunk of the car, and stopped by police, Adam was forced to get out and walk to the hotel. Annie was witness to the band ‘shafting’ Paul McGuinness by stealing a key to his room, splattering the bathroom with shaving cream, and turning the furniture upside down. But the joke was on them, they got someone elses room. “Adam was chasing somebody else with a pint of beer, but instead of going over them it went all over me. I remember McGuinness saying, ‘I’m so sorry! This is terrible!’ He was obviously terribly worried that this was their last chance of a deal and there was me, covered in beer. It was like something out of a Carry On film. Ha ha! You don’t throw beer over the last record company that could possibly give you a deal.”
Roseberry returned to London praising the young band. Island would next send over Roseberry’s boss Nick Stewart to the show at the National Stadium in Dublin on February 26, which lead to the band’s eventual signing with Island records.
Officially Released Tracks