The U2 says the Northern Irish capital "is really happening at the minute"...

U2 frontman BONO has thrown his weight behind BELFAST’s bid to become EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE in 2008.

The city is battling it out with a number of others in the UK, and is currently joint favourite with Newcastle and Liverpool.

Speaking last night (April 25) ahead of the Hot Press Music Awards in the city, Bono said: “Belfast is really happening at the minute. I’m looking around and the people are looking good, the place is looking good – it’s the perfect time for it to be happening with the Capital of Culture 2008 bid.

” Driving into Belfast today I drove past The Odyssey, which is a huge professional arena which they have in America and I was thinking ‘Hey, we should be playing there.’”

The shortlist of possible winners will be announced in September, with the final winner will be announced in Spring 2003.