VIDEO: "Man, do Scarborough people sing loud!" says The Script frontman Danny O'Donoghue

The Script frontman Danny O'Donoghue has spoken to The Scarborough News ahead of their greatest hits tour which visits Scarborough on July 14.

The Irish band, which comprises Danny, Mark Sheehan and Glen Power, has released seven albums, six of which made number one in the UK album charts

In an interview with reporter Louise Perrin, Danny, 41, spoke affectionately about the town, the tour, his bandmates and plans for new music in the future.

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Danny on returning to Scarborough

The Script are currently on the UK leg of their Greatest Hits world tour

“I love Scarborough. Obviously I’m not from England, but I’m always astonished by how different each place is.

“In Scarborough, we went into a few boozers, and everybody was so welcoming.

“Sometimes, because I live in London, it can be a little bit standoffish, but the Scarborough people, for me, might as well have been from Dublin. They’re so forthcoming and really nice and very giving.

“They absolutely love our music as well, and man, do they sing loud! Scarborough people sing very loud.

The arena tour will visit Yorkshire venues the First Direct Arena in Leeds, Utilita Arena in Sheffield and the Open Air Theatre in Scarborough

“One of the first songs I ever learnt in music was Scarborough Fair, I love that song, probably has nothing to do with the place! But I just love it!”

Who chose the songs for the Greatest Hits tour?

The public did really. It actually makes the greatest hits easier when you can kind of see online what the reaction is.

“You can look at streams and your top ten songs on Spotify, or any streaming platform, and then the rest are down to privately which ones you want on there.

The Irish rock band comprises Danny O'Donoghue, Mark Sheehan and Glen Power

“Certain songs have certain meanings to us as a band. They may not be the biggest hits, but for us, for other reasons, they tend to be songs that stick in the mind as far as big lynch-pin songs for our career, so they kind of pick themselves.

“There’s only maybe one or two contentious songs that we were kind of like ‘let’s flip a coin’.

“There’s other songs, the outlier songs, a song called 'The End Where I Begin' which I absolutely love.

“Because we write so many songs, there’s even one, one that I keep going back and listening to, and it’s actually a song called No Sound Without Silence that never made the album which was titled No Sound Without Silence.

The tour will feature hits from the last 14 years

“It just didn’t fit with the mood and the mode of what’s going on. But I still continue to go back to it, so I would have liked to add it as a kind of hidden gem.

“It’s a great position to be in to be able to say we have so many hits that it was tough to get them all onto that one CD.

“ It’s funny to think about it, I kind of age myself by saying it, but also I feel like, wow! What a body of work we’ve done over the past 14 years, it’s been a hell of a ride.”

Danny on anthem Paint the Town Green

“We tried to do the set without it, and that’s a song that didn’t chart, it wasn’t a single. But on St Patrick’s Day, all around the world, every radio station plays it as a staple diet.

“It’s almost like Christmas time, you know, when they play the Pogues, it’s kind of like that vibe now.

They're not fans, they're family!

“It’s just been like the wallpaper of St Patrick’s Day. It’s almost like a national anthem at this stage.

“It’s like a call to arms for any Irish person around the world.”

Danny on when the band will release new music

“We write so many songs and our output is just ridiculous. We probably write maybe 200 songs a year or something.

“I’d say after the tour, maybe next year some time? We’re going to be touring all round until September, take some time off at Christmas, record while we’re on the road, so probably early next year, maybe spring next year.

“The fans are amazing, even from this interview someone will be like, [draws breath], ‘he said that new music will be coming out next spring….so let’s work back from that… they’re going to do this… then they’ll probably be doing a thing at Christmas time… then they’ll have their whole thing working.. so we’ll start saving now and we’ll get the money …and they’ll get the whole year planned out.”

Danny on Covid

“Everything can change. I had all these plans for releasing new music and then Covid hit, so I’d say, don’t be so sure of the future.

“It’s kind of led me to where I am now, which is living, not even day by day, it’s moment by moment.

“I’m just enjoying every single moment that I have, that we have, on this earth.

“Just getting out there and walking through the streets of Liverpool, taking it all in, really taking it in, the sights, the sounds, the smells.

“If you see something nice, don’t just walk past it and say ‘oh, that’s nice’.

“Sit there and look at it, soak it in.

“I went to the cathedral, and it’s so easy to just walk past it and go ‘Woah, that’s tall’ and then you’re onto the next thing, but I stood there in awe for 15 minutes, but I still couldn’t take it all in, the windows, the details, and then you’d notice a gargoyle, wow!.

“I didn’t really do that kind of stuff before. I’d kind of just take it in and then go and walk on to the next thing, but that’s what being locked up in your house with Covid kind of does to you, you know. It just shows you life is so short and so precious.

Danny on songwriting

“Some of it is based on imagination and imaginary situations, but most of it is based on real people.

“You’re recalling your past, or you’re projecting to your future.

“You may change the names of the places and the names of the people, but you’re writing about people who are very close to you.

“That’s where the real conflict is, you know. The situations that you’ve been through, times you never thought you’d feel good again, but now you do.

“Times you never thought that you’d have your heart broken, but then it's smashed to pieces.

“I think these are things that are very common themes around the world.

“You know everybody’s been through that, no matter what race, religion or sex you are.

“I feel like that’s probably why we’ve stayed around so long, we’ve never really wandered past that.

“We don’t really write abstract songs, we don’t write stuff that’s like okay, ‘I’ve just said this word and that word’ but nowt really makes sense, but the tracks a vibe.

“We like to write stuff that's like he said this, she said this, this messed up, then this happened and here’s the outcome.

“We’re story tellers at the end of the day. If you leave anything out of a story, people are left guessing.

“Yeah, we wear our heart on our sleeve and I suppose that’s what we are known for.

“Like I said, you can’t really please everybody with that type of stuff, because a lot of people like different things.

"Some love abstract art, some like pop art, some like pastels, some people like different types of colours and brushes and stuff like that. I think we’re a very open band."

Danny on Mark Sheehan’s return to the band

“It’s just as bad as having him there the last time we had him!

“He’s an engine, he’s a fiery guy and that comes because he puts coal in the engine, so it’s great to see him back, he just took a little bit of time out for his family, that’s his story to tell, “I’m glad he was able to come back in time to do what I’m classing as the lap of honour.

“He’s always fun, he’s always a great projector of ideas and instigator of the future.

“You need those people around you.

“I take a lot of things at my own pace, but he takes a lot of things at lightspeed, so I think between the two of us, there’s a good balance there, a good speed.

“It was weird, there was one stage where Glen wasn’t in the band, Mark wasn’t in the band and, I think it was Strictly Come Dancing, and I was the only original member that was on the TV show, so that was a bit weird.

“It’s like secretly what you’ve always wanted to, that you know, you don’t have to answer to anybody else, but I missed the boys.

“I grew up with these people, it’s not The Script without the boys, so having everybody back for these big tours now, it just feels right, it just feels like where it belongs.”

Who coined the phrase “Script family” ?

“There’s no real who coined the phrase between me, Mark and Glen.

“We kind of said at one point, you know, my mam had passed away and I had to cancel a few shows, and I remember they did a candlelight vigil and on a tweet I just said it (we’d been calling them family behind the scenes for a while, me and Mark).

“We were like, you know what? These people have been there since the birth of our children and the deaths of our parents.

“We had to grow up with these people and we’ve experienced them as well.

“All these people have had these things happen in their lives as well, you know, it’s not just ours.

“We write about stuff that happens in our lives, but it's also reflected in our music.

“People use our music as a mirror for their own lives. We know a lot of our fans, hundreds and hundreds of fans, by first name.

“They’re not fans any more, it’s almost disrespectful to call them fans, they are family.

"They’re part of the tribe.

“So we called them the Script family and it just got adopted.

“To be honest, and I don’t mean it in a bad way, it’s a bit of a cult. We’ve a bit of a cult following that is just… you say one bad word about any of us, or any of them, and there’s hell to pay, do you know what I mean?

“We stick together like glue, we’re brilliant, they’re a great bunch of people.”

Does Danny ever slip into any of the online fan groups?

“No, I’ve heard Glen a few times goes on a fake account and goes in and tries to see what people are talking about or whatever, but for the most part, it’s kind of like eavesdropping.

“If people are talking about you, you may not want to hear what they’re saying.

“I let them say whatever they want to say. Let critics say whatever they want to say, it means nothing to me.”

Danny on kickboxing

I’ve got a great coach in Knowlesy Academy down in London, and when I travel around, I'm a big fan of fighting. I can normally pick a spot and call ahead.

In Liverpool, there’s a place called the Masda Gym and there’s some really great fighters that come out of that gym. I’d always wanted to train there.

“That’s my hobby, during the daytime I go and do a little bit of training and then in the nighttime I get to be a rockstar.

“It’s good fun. The mornings are way worse than the evenings, I get all of the hard work out of the way.

“It's fighting in the ring in the morning and then it’s fighting with the rest of the band later on. [laughs]

“We play music, we don’t work music - you know what I mean?”

The Script play Scarborough Open Air Theatre on Thursday July 14. For more information and tickets visit https://scarboroughopenairtheatre.com/artist/the-script/

The tour will also visit Europe and Australia.