JEDWARD are on the phone. We sigh, take a breath, and dive into a world of hyper-activity, big hair and pop tunes.
We first met the irrepressible, monster quiffed duo John and Edward Grimes when, fresh off the back of their success in the X-Factor, they launched a career that has seen them repeatedly tour Ireland to massive success, selling out shows wherever they go, fan hysteria reaching almost Beatles-like proportions.
Then, we were ushered into the penthouse of a city-centre hotel while the rest of the local media waited outside, the Leader was granted a fleeting 10 minutes in the company of a duo who were bouncing - on a sugar-rush - so high on the double bed that were worryingly close to the ceiling. Our photographer duly captured them in the act, and was left scratching his head afterward at the duo’s antics.
Let’s face it, back then they were a bit of a joke. However, thanks to Louis Walsh’s careful management, they have become very successful, conquering Europe through their participation in the Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf in June. They didn’t win, but their engaging, off the wall antics caught the hearts and minds first of all of the media, and then the people of Europe.
‘Lipstick’ has become a smash hit across Europe, and, fittingly, their second album will be called ‘Victory’. They certainly captured the heart of local girl Leanne Moore, who witnessed their Eurovision assault at first hand, accompanying the duo as a backing singer at the Eurovision.
Leanne returned from Germany as a “huge fan” of the duo, who secured an eighth place finish in the competition. “They are what people see; they are always hyper, always full of energy,” said Leanne, almost an understatement in our book.
“We are really excited about coming to Limerick - again! It was so crazy on our last visit - the whole place had to shut down because we were in town. It is so cool because we always have a big crazy audience and dancers,” chatters Edward when on the phone to the Leader.
“We can’t wait for the Carnival tour because - I know it’s summer - and there are circuses around, but we are going to have the biggest circus, with lots of tricks, pyrotechnics - everything. We have acrobats and Twist and Pull from the UK are our opening act. I know our fans sometimes don’t like us having opening acts, but we think it is cool for them to warm up the audience.”
The twins’ own father is from Limerick, as are their grandparents, who they insist upon meeting whenever they are in town.
“We love coming to Limerick, our Dad’s from Limerick, so that is really cool. We usually get to meet up with our family and say hi and they come to the show.. We are really excited about the tour because it is going to be our last of 2011,” explains Edward. For their follow-up album, Jedward have worked with “some of the world’s finest songwriters and producers” to produce an original album.
“We didn’t write them all, but we went into the studio and contributed - we have bits here and there. The songs are really good, there are no fillers, they are all good tracks and potential singles, we are finding it really hard to pick the next single, because they are all so good,” says Edward.
He claims the Eurovision was the best thing the duo could have done at that point in their career.
“I remember people were saying to us that the Eurovision is only for people who aren’t doing anything, but we always wanted to do it, because we always wanted to represent Ireland. We didn’t know what was going to happen. After Eurovision, no one thought Lipstick was going to explode all over Europe, so it is really cool that we have a full diary until late next January.”
He adds: “I think it is so cool, it has brought a whole new life to the whole thing. I know we have done lots of different things in Ireland and the UK and we have the new album, but everyone needed to catch up around Europe”.
n Jedward play in the UCH on August 8.