I have seen the band so many times I actually have lost count (actually I haven’t this was the 11th time in one form or another). This though was the first time seeing them live for five years and gave me an opportunity to see them in a great Dublin venue. The Academy usually provides a superb atmosphere and is only outweighed in that respect by Whelan’s, Vicar Street and The Olympia in Ireland’s capital city.
This version of the Hothouse Flowers includes only two original members although the band, led by proud Irish men Liam O’Maonlai and Fiachna Ó Braonáin, are always good value and drummer Dave Clarke has been with the group for ten years now.
I dragged the wife along to her first experience of a Flowers gig and she got to meet Über fans Grainne and Aine. These two are sisters who follow the lads everywhere. I have mentioned them before in a previous review where I spent the day with them at a band video shoot but in truth I have actually been to pretty much all the Flowers gigs, barring the first couple, with the pair. It shames me to say that I hadn’t seen them since a Liam solo gig in 2005. Losing contact due to a change in job (I used to work with Grainne) I stepped into the venue a little sheepishly as I spotted them straight away in their usual spot by the right of the stage…two from the front. Introducing Lorraine to them and making small talk filled in the time although I got the feeling they felt I had let the Flowers down by not following them all round the country instead only going to Dublin gigs and then only when they suited. Sure enough they half-jokingly called me a ‘fair weather fan’. Lorraine however thought otherwise and told me later that she thought they were strange for following them everywhere. I think the truth lies somewhere between the two. I am a geek for seeing as many gigs as I do but nowhere near as others. I say hats off to fans that go to every, and I mean every, single gig. I want to be like them but don’t have the time and money to do it. One day. One day.
The gig itself was a good one. As I say the band always give good value and are often great. Tonight they were very good playing to a not capacity crowd (which is always a shame to see). Being so close near the front of a crowd can be a little off putting at times but tonight it was great that we got to see the band perform up close. Liam was in good form as was the band.
A band that should have gone on to be huge…you get the feeling they don’t really care though.
Ticket: November 19th 2009
Ticket Price: €24.00