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Seventh in our series of profiles of 'Vertigo//2005' support acts just live.

Everything you need to know about The Thrills, who will be playing with U2 in Brussels (June 10th) and Gelsenkirchen (June 12th).

1. THE THRILLS

Think of a band from Dublin who started out as school friends, stuck together through years of thick and thin, and eventually made the transition from local heroes to international stars. Yes, the Thrills share a lot in common with the biggest band on the planet. But they are definitely not the new U2.

"When we were growing up in Dublin, U2 were like the Beatles," singer Conor Deasy said. "We were immensely proud of them, of course, but we were not particularly influenced by their music.

Curiously, perhaps, it was the sun-kissed sounds of America's West Coast circa the mid-1960s and 1970s that most inspired Deasy and his bandmates Daniel Ryan (guitar/bass/banjo), Ben Carrigan (drums), Kevin Horan (keyboards) and Padraic McMahon (bass/guitar). Such was their enthusiasm that, well before they secured a recording contract, the group spent the summer of 1999 living in a tiny rented apartment on a beach in San Diego, an adventure which was followed by a visit to San Francisco the next year.

The effect on their musical development was profound, and when they came to
make their debut album, *So Much For The City* (recorded in Los Angeles),
numbers such as *Santa Cruz (You're Not That Far)* and *Big Sur* married the
joyous spirit of the Californian summer to a Celtic rock'n'roll heartbeat.

In the UK, where it was shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize, the album became the feelgood hit of the summer. It eventually sold 900,000 copies worldwide. Without skipping a beat, the band returned to Los Angeles where they recorded the follow-up, an altogether darker collection entitled *Let's Bottle Bohemia*, in which the previous air of naive enthusiasm gave way to more cynical commentaries on the pitfalls of celebrity culture (*Whatever Happened to Corey Haim?*) and loss of innocence (*You Can't Fool Old Friends With Limousines*).

"The new songs were there, and we were playing so well live it seemed a shame not to capture it," Deasy said, explaining their unusually swift workrate. "It's probably not the healthiest way to live our lives. I can already feel the strain. But I would love to get three albums out in three years."

Official site: www.thethrills.com

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