The A List - Irish Mirror (19-25 février 1999)
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Corrs and wolf-whistles
Family affair is a real passion killer
The Corrs’ brand of Celt-pop has wooed world audiences, but the band themselves can’t find love
Pop juggernauts come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but no one quite saw the Corrs coming – three almost identical sisters and their brother playing a brand of Celtronica, a cool, contemporary twist on traditional Celtic music themes.
They were always liable to find an audience, but nobody expected the audience to be quite as big as it’s got.
The album Talk On Corners was the biggest-selling album of 1998. And there’s serious talk that Andrea, 24, Sharon, 28, Caroline, 25, and Jim, 34, could be bigger than U2 over the next 18 months.
Four years of relentless and disciplined work has paid off – but at a price. All four have found it hard to maintain personal relationships, especially as they’ve spent almost every waking hour in each other’s pockets.
‘I didn’t decide to make that sacrifice in terms of relationships but it is a product of the environment we work in,’ says lead singer Andrea. ‘If I get time off I want to be comfortable with people I know and love rather than go out and talk to new people. The problem is that when I meet someone new I don’t have any preconceptions, but they do. They’ve read articles and stuff about me and that really makes it difficult.
‘It’s not as rigid as it may sound – we just do what comes naturally in any given situation.
‘This may sound a tad corny, but it is true that siblings are similar in some ways. We share a common dream – to travel the world, to write good tunes and to perform to our very best. So far, our dreams seem to be coming true so I really have no complaints about the way we work.
‘However it can get a bit claustrophobic when you’re having to bump into each other all the time, and this can cause quite a strain at the best of times.
‘To get over this problem we each have our own little places to run back to at home. Of course, the main focus of our time in Ireland is the time that we spend at our parents’. But we also have our own little pads where we get to live our own individual lives for a change.
‘I have my friends around for videos and dinner, and basically indulge in all the things that please me, without having to bother about the needs of anyone else – it’s definitely a welcome change of scene.’
Such is the fanaticism over the band in their hometown Dundalk that Irish comic Patrick Kielty was recently force to abandon a gag about the quartet after the crowd started booing. Now that’s support.
The Corrs story proper began when James Steven Ignatius was born to Gerry and Jean Corr 34 years ago, and the musically-inclined couple encouraged their son on the piano. As they came along, Sharon, Caroline and Andrea followed the path carved out by the Jacksons and Osmonds before them, learning the violin, keyboards and tin whistle. They grew up listening to their parents’ records.
‘They passed on their love of music and taught us our instruments, but they never pressurised us, not like tennis parents or Michael Jackson’s daddy,’ Andrea says. They met their manager John Hughes when he was musical adviser for Alan Parker’s Dublin-based film The Commitments.
‘I ended up getting a part in the film,’ adds Andrea. ‘I play the manager’s 16-year-old sister and got to say a few rude lines.’
More friends in high places followed after JFK’s daughter Jean Kennedy-Smith, America’s ambassador to Ireland, saw their first proper gig at Whelan’s in Dublin.
She invited them to Boston to play at a VIP function. The story of how, during that trip, the band blagged their way in to the waiting-room of Atlantic Records boss David Foster has been well-documented. It took one listen before he signed them to the label on the spot.
By 1995 The Corrs had written an album, Forgiven Not Forgotten, bringing the newly trendy Celticness of Riverdance together with unashamedly romantic pop.
It sold over two million copies. It went nine times platinum in Australia and made them stars in Singapore.
Britain ignored them until March last year when BBC1 televised their St Patrick’s Day concert at the Albert Hall.
Talk On Corners suddenly went to No 1 after 30 weeks in the album charts, and the single What Can I Do followed it to the top spot. Today, such is public demand that the band are midway through their second UK arena tour in three months.
‘I suppose it’s fair to say that we’re doing OK,’ adds Andrea in what must surely be the understatement of the year.
* The Corrs’ new single Runaway is out now. They play Wembley Arena on Monday.
Transcript and Scans:GaëlleF
Le 31/07/2006 à 14:16 par GaëlleF