Leo Barnes - saxophone, background vocals; Jerry Fehily - drums; Fiachna O'Braondin - guitar, background vocals; Liam Ó Maonlai - keyboards, vocals; Peter O'Tool - bass, background vocals; Claudia Fontaine - background vocals
When the Hothouse Flowers create their earnest Celtic rock, it is as if the Doors, the Boss, and '71-era Van Morrison morphed into one soulful ensemble. Hailing from Dublin, Hothouse Flowers became critics' darlings in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with a rockin' mix of Irish folk and gutsy rock/gospel.
This show was recorded on the band's first U.S. tour for People, their debut stateside release. There is plenty of energy here, but some of the songs, such as "I'm Sorry" do get a bit repetitive. But just one listen to "Don't Go" and its pretty clear how much of an influence Bruce Springsteen was over this band's live show.
Hothouse Flowers began as a trio of street musicians in Dublin, with schoolmates Fehily, O'Braondin, and Ó Maonlai. They were originally called the Incomparable Berzani Brothers, but changed their name to Hothouse Flowers when they enlarged to a sextet. The band received rave reviews from U.S. press outlets including Rolling Stone, when their Irish import indy discs filtered into the hands of journalists. Eventually, they landed a slot on a late night Irish TV show, which caught the attention of Bono. A phone call later, the band was on their way to being signed to U2's Mother label, and in the U.S., Polygram Records. With the PR support of U2, the group landed the top spots on both British and Irish pop charts.
Still, despite great reviews and the backing of what was soon to become the biggest band in the world, Hothouse Flowers never bloomed commercially in America. They released albums stateside through the early 1990s, and continue as an on-again, off-again band.