By Desh Kapur, Rock At Night Manchester
Venue: Liverpool Academy-7th November 2018
In 1990 I emigrated from the UK to Australia with my best friend and we fell in love with a song we heard blasting out of a car stereo. That song was “Don’t Go”. Two days later, we tracked down the album the song was from and fell in love with a band. The album was “People” and the band were Hothouse Flowers. For the next 4 years Hothouse Flowers perfect blend of Irish Rock, Folk, Soul and Gospel was the soundtrack for my and my best friend’s adventures. Sunny days with beautiful people, listening to uplifting music; halcyon days indeed.
Street buskers and childhood friends, Liam O Maonlaí and Fiachna Ó Braonáin, were later joined by Peter O’Toole to form Hothouse Flowers. After writing and performing together over a 12-month period, Rolling Stone declared them the best-unsigned band in the world in 1986.
So tonight, for me, was a special night with a special band and they didn’t disappoint.
A perfect venue, small and intimate, the band were musically as tight as a band should be after playing together since they were teenagers. Liam O Maonlai’s voice was as beautiful and engaging as it was when I last saw them play in Australia over 20 years ago, but with all that said, it was the joy the band were putting out, the togetherness of the band members and of course the songs, that made this night special.
“Don’t Go”, “I’m Sorry” and “Love Don’t Work This Way” still stand the test of time and are as powerful as they were when they were first recorded. Throw in a delicate lilting Irish folk song or two, the brilliant Johnny Nash cover “I Can See Clearly Now”, ”This Is It (Your Soul)”, “Hallelujah Jordan” and “Christchurch Bells”, and it was perfection, for me at least.
Hothouse Flowers are one of the great Irish bands and in my humble opinion they recorded 3 of the best Irish albums of all time with “People”, “Home” and “Songs From The Rain” and should be hailed with the same regard as such bands as U2, The Pogues and the legendary Van Morrison.
I have nothing left to say now except thank you for the memories xx
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