Lauren Laverne travels to Dublin to interview the world's biggest rock band - U2. With the record industry suffering hard times, massive expectations and rumours surround everything U2 do. Their new album No Line on the Horizon - their first for five years - is out on March 2nd. A global tour is expected this summer.
The Culture Show has been invited inside the band's private rehearsal space in the lead-up to the release of the new material. Produced by Brian Eno, Danny Lanois and Steve Lillywhite, sessions for No Line on the Horizon began in Fez, Morocco, and continued at the band's Dublin studio, New York's Platinum Sound Recording Studios, and London's Olympic Studios.
After forming in 1976, the band went on to become one of the most important acts of their generation. In 1987, the album The Joshua Tree sent them into the rock stratosphere. Throughout their varied career, their knack for reinvention has kept them on top of the pile. Their record sales - now approaching 150 million albums - are astonishing.
So does the album mark a new musical direction for U2? Or is it more of the same from a band with a massive and demanding fan base? And how do the band members - now nearing 50, super rich and world famous - square their megastar status with being the nagging conscience of global politics?
Featuring interviews with all the band and intimate performances, the programme promises a revealing insight into the continuing success and the off-stage life of one of the world's biggest music acts.