THIS week’s show at University Concert Hall is the first gig for The Hothouse Flowers since the hugely successful Féile Classical series at Semple Stadium. The band collaborated with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and delivered reworked versions of ‘Hallelujah Jordan’ and ‘Don’t Go’ for Féile Classical. Liam O’Maonlaí described the whole experience as nice to work and nice to chat and compere stories with the other headliners.
The band’s new album is ‘Let’s Do This Thing’ and up to now is available exclusively as a download only on the hothouseflowers.com website.
Just this week Liam revealed that physical copies of ‘Let’s Do This Thing’ on CD will be available for the first time to purchase on this tour which starts in UCH before moving onto an extensive jaunt around the UK.
The album was recorded in an eight day session given to the band, the new release is an edited version of those sessions.
“We have always been a musical journeying band,” says Liam.
“We have never really got to explore that with the luxury of studio time. And because it was a free session, there wasn’t any pressure, it allowed us to go there without having to have too much prepared earlier.”
One song properly written, the rest of the album came as the band recorded it. Simply a case of setting up the band, hitting the record button and allow freedom and space for the band to create. And what does Liam think of the recording?
“I love it. It is the sound of us listening to each other and holding a melody together without trying to adhere to any blueprint or anything like that.
“Just good music happening. That is what I think is quite valuable about that recording.”
The experience of a Hothouse Flowers concert is a similar uplifting experience, with no two shows ever the same. Since their days playing Limerick in The Savoy in the Eighties, the band has always delivered a soulful and energetic show where anybody in the band can start a song and jam out how it flows. It has never been the O’Maonlaí way to just deliver the hits by rote in the same jaded old way every night.
“I don’t really know, cause we just don’t do that.”
“Anybody is free to start a song – sometimes the nature in which the song has started, you wouldn’t even recognise it for the first couple of bars. The song takes a whole new colour and tone and I love that.
“We are over 30 years reading each other. A lot of the songs are etched into us. If you present the songs in a different way, they still have their foundations in the shape of the song. It would be a waste not to that.”