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The Script at the Fox Theatre

The Script at the Fox Theatre

  • 1807 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, CA 94612
  • Neighborhood: Uptown
  • Visit Website


The Script were on a high – a glorious, global high, and rightly so. With worldwide streams numbering 10 billion, 12 million albums sold, two platinum-selling US singles, six Number One UK albums and global ticket sales north of three million, the Irish band were touring the planet with their greatest hits collection Tales From The Script. It was 2022 and, 16 years after Danny O’Donoghue, Mark Sheehan and Glen Power formed the band in Dublin, this was a well-earned victory lap for a much-loved band.

“We felt that was the right time to do it,” says Danny. “After Covid, I just wanted to go back out, doing things that I love doing. Coming out of that, everybody wanted familiarity again. And it was just one of our best world tours. It was like a big get-together with our fans – The Script Family.”

That tour had been marked, during its opening, springtime leg in North America, by the absence of Mark. As Danny explained at the time of his friend of 30 years: “His children needed a father and his wife needed a husband.”

“That’s pretty much it,” the frontman reaffirms now. “He’d spent half of his life dedicated to the band and always put the band first. And he said: ‘Look, I need some time off.’ He needed to recharge his batteries. It’s not that he didn’t love what we were doing in the band – that was his life’s work. But I could see from him that his family really needed him, so Mark took the time off he needed.”

The tour finally wound up in November 2022, and the band went their separate ways, taking a well-earned break for all. Then, in spring 2023, Danny booked time in a residential studio, “because we hadn’t played as a band in a while”. But before they could get going with what Danny had envisioned as pre-album rehearsals. “I got the call to say that Mark had suddenly been admitted to hospital.”

After a short illness, tragically, Mark died. As with any grieving family, Danny is doing right by his best friend’s memory and right by his best friend’s wife and children.

“I’ve known him 30 years,” says Danny quietly, “but I’m not his family. So I absolutely respect their wish for privacy whilst they grieve, and I know our fans feel the same.”

A couple of months later, in Wolverhampton and Blackpool, The Script played two small shows dedicated to their brother. The thinking, says Danny, was: “We need it. As much as I wanted to just go into a room and cry for the rest of the year, we realised that his life has affected a lot of people for good. It wasn’t a tribute concert, but just a way for us all to get to a place and feel emotion together. And it just felt like a place where our fans could come and show their support and cry it out together.”

There was more collective grieving, more joyous communion, on a string of 2023 dates supporting P!nk. Then, that Christmas, Danny went home to Dublin. After a festive reunion with his siblings over a Guinness or 10, the singer flew back to London with a new resolve. Several resolves, in fact. He was done with alcohol. He was done with mindless hours watching mindless content online. He was done, in fact, with all the apps on his smartphone – and with the phone itself.

“I got a really basic new phone! Anything in my house I didn’t like, I got rid of that, too. It was a shedding of something. New Year, new attitude. Last year was one of the hardest, worst, weirdest years I’ve ever had in my life. I needed, a new skin, a reset.”

He started training at the gym daily. He re-embraced therapy. He went to church. And Danny O’Donoghue, finally, started writing. His attitude could be summed up as: “Let’s go. Stick a date in the diary, that’s when the album’s coming out. And let’s work our way back from that.”

Because The Script were never not going to continue. “We built this together. And for me to now tear it down because Mark’s not here?” He shakes his head. “That’s an insult to his memory. Better to carry on the thing we’ve built together.”

Or, as Glen says: “Mark wouldn’t want us to go: ‘We’re just going to stop now, The Script are over.’ The feeling is: we’ve got to get up, rally and pull it together. And not just for ourselves but the thousands and thousands of fans we have out there. We’re really lucky with the fanbase we have – it really is The Script Family.”

So, in January this year – yes, that recently – Danny knuckled down. Now alone in the studio he and Mark had maintained in Metropolis in West London, he cut loose.

“I went into experimentation mode. I got a bunch of 808s and messed around on them. There was a trap session going on at Metropolis, 30 trap artists in different rooms. So I got involved in that, all these cool beats and stuff. None of that made the final cut for the new album, but I needed a chance to experiment a bit.

“But I didn’t think I could have written on my own because it’s been me and Mark forever,” he continues. “And trying to sit in the studio on my own would have been the worst thing to do. I form ideas all the time – I’ll write three ideas a day – and I had a lot of those. But I couldn’t finish them, for obvious reasons: the guy I would normally finish them with, my lyrical and musical sparring partner, wasn’t here.”

So Danny broke with the habit of a creative lifetime: he reached out to a friend who knows a lot of different writers and producers. His message: “I think it’s time. For me to go out into the world, and just see what it’s like to write with other people.”

One of his first sessions was with Steve Robson – a writer/producer with, as Danny puts it “fucking 30 number ones” on his discography, a hitmaker for everyone from Take That to Olly Murs via Rascal Flatts. His priority: upbeat, not downbeat. “After my Christmas time and then coming out with that fresh outlook, I just couldn’t do it – I couldn’t come out with an album that was sad.

“So we said: let’s just have a fun day and write a song with loads of energy, that’s uptempo…”

He and Steve wrote the beginnings of a song that, it turned out, worked perfectly with another song idea that Danny and Glen had been writing called Both Ways, with further input from another solid-gold songwriter, Wayne Hector (One Direction, Nicki Minaj). “And we ended up taking bits of that song, transplanting it into this kick-ass idea. It had this fun, Black Eyed Peas-meets-Bruno Mars’ Locked out of Heaven vibe – as it happens, favourite records and artists of Mark. And it was something that you wouldn’t expect from The Script.”

A few quick weeks later Both Ways is, entirely appropriately, the first single from the new album from The Script. True to the band’s intentions, the only way is up on a fast-paced, finger-snapping pop-funk song. According to Glen, it had to be that way.

“That kind of grief coming up against you,” says the drummer, “and it being so sudden, there was only one way out of that, one way to deal with it, for us: get in and make music as a defiant act in the face of such loss. And to create music that brought a positivity into the situation – one that we feel that Mark would be proud of.”

Both Ways, he adds, is full of “high energy, and maybe not what people might expect from us. But we’re The Script, and now we have something to prove: that there life and light after the darkness. It’s why we’re coming fast and strong with that one.”

Another fruit from the Robson sessions: the quiet epic that is At Your Feet

Explaining the origins of the lyric, Danny say: “I was watching Match of the Day and one of the pundits was talking about one of the football players: ‘He plays with the world on his shoulders when it should be at his feet…’ And I was like: brilliant! I’m having that! You can totally turn that into some kind of connotation with love: I’d rather take the world off your shoulders and put it at your feet. And I went in to the studio the next day with that and in five minutes we penned the chorus.”

You want more speed, more exuberance? Unsaid is a two-minute blast of pure pop. “There was a third chorus but we played an edit where it was fast and tight. And I was like: I don’t know if we need to go back into another chorus again. It just felt really snappy and really current. It just felt like a great fit for these short attention-span times.”

If The Script were going fast, they were also, of course, going deep. Home is Where the Hurt Is a rock-leaning anthem perfectly scaled for the arenas and stadiums the band will be playing this year, both on their own tour and on more shows with P!nk where they’ll play to over two million fans.

“That’s a powerful song,” nods Danny. “It’s about my upbringing, about how the things that break us make us who we are.” He highlights the line “Ohana ohana, no one left behind, we’re broken in pieces but the pieces are mine…” Ohana, he explains, is Hawaiian for nobody gets left behind. “And that’s the name of our family Whatsapp group. Because after all the shit that we’ve been through in our past, it’s just important that our family sticks together.”

Deepest of all is Gone. It’s Danny’s tribute to his gone-to-soon brother. Defiantly celebratory, it’s a song he needed to write. Painful though it was, he was determined to honour Mark.

“As soon as I had the chorus – ‘like a shooting star across the sky, in a second you were gone’ – I knew I was on to something. But it’s the second half of that line I’m more proud of: ‘Why do stars that shine twice a bright only burn for half as long?’ I’d been dying to do something with those two lines since he passed.

“I remember saying to the lads in the studio: ‘Look, I need to write this song because it has to be written…’ Then, finally, it was finished. That day, he was headed to Steve Robson’s studio ­– near, as it happened, to the cemetery where Mark’s funeral was being held, “and the Uber driver, instead of going the usual way from my house to the studio, went the actual funeral procession way. It was very odd, but it also felt very right.”

Then, after it was recorded, Danny took a copy home with him. “I had the headphones

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Event Info

  • Dates: September 10, 2024
  • Location: The Fox Theater
  • Address: 1807 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, CA 94612
  • Time: 7:00 PM
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