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It would be like the Edge giving one of his guitars away. It is not something which will happen. -- Bono, in court, on Lola Cashman trying to sell his Stetson hat, 2005

Bellefire Gets the Seal of Approval from Bono and the Edge

Sligo Champion
To take a U2 song and rerecord it with the hope of living up to the supergroup's own standard is quite a task. To get the endorsement of Bono himself and the Edge for the finished product must surely be the ultimate achievement.

For all-girl group Bellefire, such is the dream start for the promotion of its own version of the U2 hit "All I Want Is You" to be released on March 1st, a launch that will have a distinctive Sligo flavour since one of the voices on the single is that of 22-year old Kelly Kilfeather, the youngest of eight children of Eileen and the late Paddy Kilfeather, from Cliffoney.

And in news that's sure to delight the group's legion of fans in the North West, Kelly revealed during an interview with the Sligo Champion this week that two days after the launch of the new Bellefire single, she and the other band members will be visiting Sligo.

"Bellefire is coming to Sligo on 3rd March, we will be at the Record Room at 4 p.m.," said Kelly, obviously chuffed that her hometown is among the first on the band's promotional schedule.

And although she was "not sure yet" about Bellefire doing a show in Sligo, she hinted that it was not beyond the bounds of possibility that she and the other group members -- the Newell sisters, Cathy, 18, and Ciara, 17, from Galway and 18-years old Tara Lee from Dublin - might strike up a quick impromptu performance while at the Record Room. If Bellefire's Sligo fans have any say in the matter, Kelly can be assured that she and her Bellefire comrades will not have much choice in the matter!

Bellefire's release of "All I Want Is You" as a single evolved from the group members' own love of the song, which was among the first they recorded.


"It's one of our all-time favourites," said Kelly. "People really do not cover U2 songs because they are just perfect. We ended up recording it just for ourselves and to get used to the studio."

But when Bellefire managers Louis Walsh and John Reynolds heard Bellefire's treatment of the number, they were obviously impressed.

According to Kelly, the band members gave a copy of the recording to the management duo, who promised they would not give it to anyone else.

"But the first person they played it to was Bono -- and he liked it," said Kelly.

Bellefire has since reworked and rerecorded the track, giving it their own all-girl feel, but without destroying the U2 magical aura.

"We just tweaked it a little bit," said Kelly.

Last summer, when Bellefire -- which takes its name from Bealtine, the Irish word of the month of May -- was featured in the Sligo Champion, the band had just released its debut single, "Perfect Bliss." Since then, the four girls have certainly accumulated plenty of frequent flier miles!

Huge crowds

"We have been all over the place," said Kelly. "Before Christmas, we spent three months in Japan and Germany. 'Perfect Bliss' took off so well in Japan that we thought it would be a good idea to spend some time there.

"We were just about everywhere in Japan," she said, adding that it was quite a shock that they were so well-known there. With huge crowds turning up to meet the group at airports, for example, it was the sort of welcome Bellefire members had until then only read about in relation to Westlife.

"Perfect Bliss" went to Number 2 in the Irish charts and to the Top Ten in Japan.

"The strange thing about the charts in Japan is that they are dominated by Japanese artistes," said Kelly, a point that makes Bellefire's first outing in the charts all the more noteworthy.

Despite all the travel, Kelly did make it home to Cliffoney for Christmas, but she was soon back on the concert trail again.


"We were in Germany on New Year's Eve, we did a concert at the Brandenburg Gate," she said, adding that thousands of people were present, including supergroup Bon Jovi.

"It was crazy," Kelly continued. "I's such a long street that you can only see the first few rows and when they cheer, the whole place is deafening."

Such is the type of reception that some in the music industry have been predicting for Bellefire since the group's beginnings. With Walsh and Reynolds in charge, there's the belief that anything is possible, particularly in view of the success of groups such as Boyzone, Westlife and, if expectations are realised, Pop Stars product "Six."

Bellefire itself has described its sound as a combination of pure pop sensibility with acoustic guitar and four-part vocal harmonies, which are carefully crafted by the band members themselves.

Whatever about the flowery prose of the PR gurus and the marketeers, Bellefire's Sligo fans will have the chance to judge for themselves on March 3rd, when it's a fair bet that those who turn up at the Record Room will be quite vocal in telling the girlband that "All I Want Is You."

For Bellefire, such a reception would surely be perfect bliss!

© Sligo Champion, 2002. All rights reserved.