This is the first time we’ve done something of this scale, really; it’s a bit of a monster,” confides The Script’s chatty guitarist, Mark Sheehan. “But the initial shock has worn off a little bit and we’ve put together what we feel is a great show.”
We are in the Dublin trio’s dressing room, backstage at the Birmingham Arena, chatting about the difficulties in transferring their live show from modest venues to the monster stadiums they find themselves currently playing on this, their debut arena tour.
“It can be scary though, and it’s not like we can rely on costume changes and pyrotechnics,” Danny O’Donoghue, the band’s frontman, says. “I was reading an article about Elbow today, who have also just started their first arena tour and they were having the exact same issues. If it’s taken you a long time to get to the arena, you’re going to be worried about how you can connect with people at the back.”
But The Script haven’t exactly taken a long time to reach the arena stage of their career. In fact, they’ve positively sprinted here. Unlike Elbow, who needed five albums and 20 years of hard graft, only three years have passed since The Script released their first single.
“It’s been crazy,” Sheehan says. “It’s been a proper journey for us: from the reaction the first single got to having the roll of hits that we’ve had. But I suppose the biggest shock for us is the tours – they’ve just got bigger and better and we’re playing in places we’d never thought we’d get to.”
They have also done the seemingly impossible and broken America, where the band now get recognised on the street and their songs seemingly play on loop over various television shows. “If we’re honest, it was not expected,” says their drummer, Glen Power. “It was a massive surprise.”
To be fair, suggesting it has taken the boys, now all in their early 30s, just three years to get to where they are today ignores the best part of a decade that O’Donoghue and Sheehan spent toiling in LA, writing and producing for other artists. By they time they asked Power to form a band, they had years of experience in the music industry. Those were valuable years, though, and something of which they are proud.
“You appreciate all of this so much more because there’s a lot of hard work behind it,” Sheehan says. “Even towards the end of our time in LA it was really, really hard for us professionally, really demoralising. To know that we’ve made it through blood, sweat and tears, that’s great. O’Donoghue adds: “Now when we go on stage, you’ll see us taking the moment in. We’re genuinely thinking how brilliant it is.
“I’m going to take those extra couple of seconds on stage and enjoy it because for a while there, we didn’t really think we were going to make it.”
While the band might have a considerable fan base (their 2008 eponymous debut album and last year’s follow up, Science & Faith, charted at No 1), they have yet to win over the critics, who routinely blast their soft-rock love songs for being bland or cheesy.
“I can take it a little bit personally,” Sheehan says. “But you learn to just let it go because for every one person that might have something bad to say, you have 1,000 people who have something good to say.”
“Personally, I love it,” O’Donoghue says. “When critics say bad things it galvanises our fanbase and they go after them, they really do.”
Later that evening, the band decide to mark St Patrick’s Day by chugging bottles of beer onstage while 16,000 people egg them on and cheer. With such a reception, you suddenly understand why the band couldn’t care less about critics or being cool. Why would they?Reuse content