11 Fantastic Songs To Get You Pumped For Hothouse Flowers This June

Hothouse Flowers

When it comes to Irish rock one name that everyone is familiar with is that of the Hothouse Flowers.

Famed for their songs Don’t Go and I Can See Clearly Now among others, the band will be playing the Holywood Harmony Festival at the Holywood Rugby Club Festival Marquee on Saturday, June 3.

This popular Irish rock group combines traditional Irish music with influences from soul gospel and rock.  Formed in 1985 when Liam Ó Maonlaí and Fiachna Ó Braonáin began performing as street musicians on the streets of Dublin as The Incomparable Benzini Brothers.  

Hothouse Flowers 3-piece byPattiMonaghen (1)They were soon joined by Peter O’Toole, winning a street-entertainer award within a year. They renamed the group Hothouse Flowers and began writing songs and performing throughout Ireland.

In 1986, U2’s Bono saw the Flowers performing on television and offered his support. They released their first single, Love Don’t Work This Way, on U2’s Mother Records label, which quickly led to a deal with the PolyGram subsidiary London Records.

Most recently the band played a live version of their cover I Can See Clearly Now on the premiere episode of Amazon Prime’s The Grand Tour.  As a result they have enjoyed a bit of a renaissance with I Can See Clearly Now going to No. 1 on the iTunes Rock Chart Singles in the UK.

In November last year they released a new Studio Album, Let’s Do This Thing, recorded at Windmill Lane Studios Dublin. It is currently available by download only from their official website.

So, to get you pumped up ahead of their appearance in Holywood, here are our 10 favourite Hothouse Flowers songs:

1. Don’t Go

The first single off the album Feet on the Ground, Don’t Go, shot to the No. 1 slot in Ireland on March 19, 1988. The international success of the album received a boost when a music video for Don’t Go was played in the interval between contestants and the scoring in the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest.

This propelled the song to No. 11 in the UK Singles Chart, the highest position the band would ever achieve in this chart.

2. I’m Sorry

From their first album, People, released in May 1988, I’m Sorry, reached No. 53 on the UK charts and No. 14 on the Irish charts.  

People was the most successful debut album in Irish history. It reached the #1 slot in Ireland within a week and eventually reached No. 2 in the UK Albums Chart.  

3. Easier In The Morning

With the success of their first album, People, containing great songs like Easier In The Morning the band was boosted to stardom.  

In September 1988, the band appeared on the bill at the Reading Festival.  In June 1989 they played at the Glastonbury Festival and appeared there again the following year.

4. Give It Up

Though the album Home did not have the overwhelming success of the first record, it did reach No. 1 in Australia in 1991.  The single, Give It Up, reached No. 30 on the UK Singles Chart.

5. I Can See Clearly Now

Also from the album, Home, the single I Can See Clearly Now (a cover version of the Johnny Nash song) reached No. 23 on the UK Singles Chart.

6. Movies

The single, Movies, was another great song from the album, Home, which was released in June 1990. It was recorded sporadically during extensive touring; with sessions in Dublin, London, a rented house with a mobile recording set-up in Carlow, Ireland, and one day of work with Daniel Lanois in New Orleans, while Bob Dylan was taking a break from his sessions with Lanois.

7. An Emotional Time

From the album, Songs From the Rain, released in March 1993, An Emotional Time, reached No. 38 on the UK charts and No. 5 on the Irish charts.  

In an attempt to boost record sales for the album the record label and the band’s management kept the group on the road almost continuously for the entire year.

8. One Tongue

Also from Songs From the Rain, One Tongue reached No. 45 on the UK charts.  The year the album was released, the band also participated in the Another Roadside Attraction tour in Canada and collaborated with The Tragically Hip, Crash Vegas, Midnight Oil and Daniel Lanois on the one-off single Land to protest forest clear-cutting in British Columbia.

9. This Is It (Your Soul)

Trivia:  During the band’s official hiatus between Songs From the Rain and Born, band members had both written songs individually, and sporadically got together to write collaboratively.

Some of these songs were never released, while others altered significantly to become some of the tracks on Born.  In 2003 the Flowers collected these unreleased recordings and issued them as Vaults: Volume 1.

10. You Can Love Me Now

In May 1998 they released Born. Joined by Wayne Sheehy on drums and Rob Malone on bass guitar, this album contained extensive songwriting contributions from O’Toole, who (freed from his bass responsibilities) played mostly guitar, bouzouki and keyboards on the recording. The music also incorporated more elements of electronic loops, synthesizers and studio effects.

11. Your Love Goes On

In February 2004 the band released their latest album, Into Your Heart, produced by the band and John Reynolds. The first single, Your Love Goes On, reached No. 3 on the Irish charts. The album also reached #3 on the Irish Album Chart. The record was released on the RubyMusic label in Europe and distributed by Redeye in the United States.

Formerly known as Holywood Blues and Jazz Festival, this year’s Holywood Harmony Festival will feature whole host of local and national artists in addition to Hothouse Flowers.  For more info go to their Facebook page or for tickets click HERE.

The Hothouse Flowers will play at the Holywood Rugby Club Festival Marquee on Saturday, June 3


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