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Tale of homecoming as The Script hit Croke Park with the Cat in the Hat

It looks like normal service is about to be resumed.

After the kerfuffel earlier this year, when the City Fathers sensationally nixed a five day Garth Brooks jamboree, Dublin city looks set to re-establish itself as the music capital of Europe with yesterday's announcement that The Script will headline at Croke Park on June 20 next year.

Despite a somewhat muted response to the announcement yesterday from some sniffy commentators, surely it's brilliant news all round?

What better act to bring the music back to Jones's Road than one of our own. And what a crowning achievement for the personable trio who've worked hard to reach these dizzying heights.

On the face of it, you might think that none of the 400,000 who planned to hold a retreat at the feet of Oklahoma's stardust cowboy last summer will be throwing their stetsons in the air with joy at hearing that it's Danny O'Donoghue's turn to score in front of Hill 16.

But apart from Mark Sheehan's caipin, there should be plenty of sensational headwear on display next June.

Because also on the bill will be man-of-the-moment Pharrell Williams. And as everyone on the planet knows by now, Pharrell, whose song Happy has to be the single of the year, is the real Cat in the Hat, not Garth.

For the record, headwear honchos, Pharrell's titfer is called a Buffalo hat, a style pioneered by by the darlings of the punk rock elite, designer Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, manager of the Sex Pistols. Next summer it's likely to become the most famous piece of millinery since the days of corner forward Peter McDermott, aka The Man in The Cap, the only dude to have refereed an All Ireland final both before AND after he won one as a player with Meath.

At least Danny and the Super Dubs will be well aware of the honour and significance attached to playing in the best stadium in Europe. They'll fully appreciate the glorious layers of history that surrounds this hallowed ground. From the obliging lock-hards on the surrounding streets to the shining Sam Maguire itself.

And Brook's die-hard Irish fans won't begrudge them the honour, particularly since Garth's office coolly ruled out their man coming to Ireland at all next year.

With four No.1 albums to their credit, The Script are ready to step up to the next level. They're already an arena touring act and headlined a sold-out Aviva Stadium concert in 2011. And they won't be strangers in Croker, having supported U2 there in 2009.

Pram sandwich

Like I said, the guys appreciate that even one gig in Croke Park is a big deal. They know what's at stake here. Danny has revealed that his da used to sell sandwiches from an old pram outside the stadium back in the day.

Tragically, his father died of a stomach aneurysm six years ago. "It would be amazing if he was here to hear the news and see this," says Danny who wrote If You Could See Me Now for his memory.

So the stage is set. All that's left is for fans to get their hands on the tickets when they go on sale on Thursday next. It's unlikely that local residents groups will complain about one concert next June, particularly when it's a show by our own local heroes.

Music fans are used to mega-concerts at Croke Park. One Direction, Westlife, Robbie Williams and Take That have all rocked the old ground in recent years.

But it was back in 1985 that the school caretaker from a local school walked to Croke Park to complain that a band soundcheck was disturbing his students who were doing exams. The band was U2 and, obligingly, they promptly stopped. The following day, Bono strode on stage and announced to a full house, "The Jacks are back" before launching into 11 O'clock Tick Tock.

Since then U2 went on to become the biggest band in the world and influence musicians from Ticknock to Tierra del Fuego.

Who's to say The Script won't follow suit?

Croke Park is almost twice the capacity it was in the '80s and The Script has become the third Irish act to headline the stadium, describing the event as a "monumental occasion."

It's going to be one heck of a party.


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