Race-goer Bono's on to another winner as U2 album passes finish line
Ireland may be in the grip of a recession, but that didn't stop the masses descending upon Leopardstown for this year's races.
And it was here that U2 frontman Bono told the Herald all about the supergroup's new album.
The rocker said the elation that came from finishing the band's 12th album felt "like pouring brandy on the pudding".
Given that their first album since 2004 has been plagued with setbacks, it was little wonder that the world-famous star was kicking back and relaxing in Dublin this week.
But in a clear sign that no industry is immune to the global credit crunch, Bono revealed how the legendary UK studio where they recorded their most recent material has now shut its doors.
"We were working very hard in London at a place called Olympic studios and that's where U2 was recording, but they closed down just before Christmas.
"That was a little sobering for everybody: a lot of people lost their jobs and it was a great studio. The Stones recorded Sympathy for the Devil there, The Who recorded there, as did Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles.
"So we didn't really get home until just before Christmas, but we're making up for it now."
U2 fans, who have been clamouring to hear their new material, will be delighted to with the news that the band were all thrilled with the final product, called No Line on the Horizon.
"There's a particular sound that we were looking for on this album that really suited that studio and we went there and we got a great result, we were very happy," Bono added.
"The album's finished, over and done with now. And you know the way the pudding arrives and you pour the brandy on it and set it on fire? That's pretty much what I'm doing now -- to myself!"
He explained how he's now looking forward to relaxing with his wife Ali and their four children, ahead of the album's release in March.
The renowned humanitarian was among the throngs of racing fans who hoofed it out to Leopardstown for their annual St Stephen's Day flutter.
And despite all the talk of doom and gloom, this year's attendance figures were a mere 250 down on last year, with an impressive 16,744 making the trek out.
Business was brisk at the turnstiles as a decidedly young and trendy crowd headed out to try to make some easy money.
As usual, the fashionistas were out in force, with most choosing style over comfort ahead of tomorrow's Ladies Day event.
This season's hottest trend was clearly evident with plenty of wet-look leggings, coloured tights and seven-inch heels on display.
Down in the parade ring, there was no shortage of movers and shakers, despite organisers deciding to do away with the reserved enclosure area.
Horse Racing Ireland's Michael O'Rourke explained that they wanted to make the racecourse "more egalitarian" and to give the crowds a larger area to move around in.