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'When we started out,' recalled Adam at the weekend, 'Hot Press was the only place you could get information.'

Speaking at the 25th anniversary awards in Belfast, at which U2 won Best Live Performance and Best Band, Adam recalled that in U2's earliest days, 'There were a lot of young writers and people that really cared about music. Dave Fanning was just starting out at pirate radio and it was the very beginning of this thing of Irish music where people wrote their own songs and performed them as themselves rather than somebody else.

'Bill Graham was a writer at Hot Press. He was a visionary who introduced us to our manager, Paul McGuinness, and I think the dream of everybody who worked at Hot Press then was one day there would be a room full of talent as varied and successful as everyone here.

Thank you all very, very much. It's great to be here among such great company. Thank you Hot Press.'

In summing up the awards, Hot Press's own report acknowledges that U2 will be facing more and more competition for prizes as 'there's more heavy-hitters waiting in the wings.'

'U2 are no longer Irish music's only option... The fact that Ireland's biggest musical export didn't emerge victorious in every section in which they were nominated speaks volumes about how the standard and range of Irish music has both excelled and broadened in scope in recent years.'

More from Hot Press on their big night at www.hotpress.com

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