Today, U2 performed live on a French TV show for the first time. The band were special guests on Le Grand Journal, and the first song they played was Get On Your Boots. It was similar to recent performances at awards shows, and at the start, the screen displayed "Gros baiser", French for "Big kiss". This time, the pre-recorded intro included an instrumental sample of the Marseillaise and "I don't want to talk about wars between the nations" spoken in French.
Boots was followed by an interview with Bono and The Edge. Both spoke in English with French dubbed over the top. The first question was "how do you manage to be successful?", to which Edge responded "we have the right shoes". When asked about the creation of the new album, Bono spoke about the significance of being in Fez. They were asked what other bands inspire them; The Clash were cited as a "public service announcement with guitars" and Edge mentioned Coldplay. Edge also talked about the band's disco influences and said that some disco songs were better than rock, at which point Bono pretended he would leave the stage. The interview then moved on to Bono's political work; Edge expressed pity for politicians who are face-to-face with Bono due to how persuasive he is. The music industry was also discussed; the vinyl edition of No Line On The Horizon was displayed; Bono even mentioned playing music loud at his beach house in southern France.
After the interview, the band performed a second song, Breathe. It had an extended drum intro and a keyboard backing track. Bono managed to handle the pace of the verses, but tired a little by the end of the song. During Edge's solo, Bono ventured out and stood on the table where the interview took place. The performance was uplifting and finished U2's appearance for the episode. There are rumours that a third song may be taped for broadcast on a later show.
Thanks to Renato M. for assisting with this article. For the record, this was the first truly public performance of Breathe, but not its first listing in our database: the band played it for some El Salvadorean fans visiting the Hanover Quay studios back on the 12th of February
. See the end of this article for video of both songs.
Not long after Le Grand Journal, U2 appeared on French radio station NRJ for an interview. You can listen to it here
. The band's responses are in English with French translation. The interview asked a lot of detailed questions that put the band on the spot, though there were moments of humour too. It was revealed that Fez-Being Born was going to open the album but the band wanted to open with a high energy song, hence the title track taking first place in the tracklist. U2 were asked about the forthcoming tour; their responses were cagey and didn't give away much, but they hinted there will be information to come soon. Bono said they are working on a way to play outdoors that has not been done before. At the end of the interview, he also revealed that Magnificent was originally titled French Disco.
Meanwhile, across the English Channel, BBC Radio 1 broadcast a pre-recorded interview of Bono and Edge by Zane Lowe. The interview was broken by studio versions of U2 songs, including selections from No Line On The Horizon. Video from this interview is now available on the BBC's website
, but cannot be viewed in all territories.
The performance of Breathe on Le Grand Journal can now be viewed on YouTube:
As can Get On Your Boots: