Monday, December 04, 2006

Ceol Beo-Na Flowers hit town

I've blogged here about Hothouse Flowers in the past. They're my favourite Irish band of the 80's, and they have remained consistently one of the hardest-working bands of the nineties and early 21st century. It's hard to believe it's 22 years since the lads appeared as 'Fonn Tonn' to win Slógadh, singing blues as Gaeilge with a batch of trumpets, sax players etc. in a Blues Brothers set-up. They won the Dublin final by beating a John Denver/Stockton's Wing sub-standard set-up fronted by the current Deputy Mayor of Kilkenny!!

Soon after they were playing a very popular support to Fleetwood Mac open-air in the RDS, and seemed set to follow U2 as our next big breakthrough in international music. Despite the success of 'Don't Go', and a string of great songs, it never seemed to quite happen on that scale, but the lads remained huge favourites with Irish listeners, playing some of the best live shows I've ever seen.

They put on a great show last night in Lyrath Hotel, despite a very disappointing turnout on the stormy night it was. The sign of true pro's is that they always give it their all, and this politician and music fan has sore legs today from the bopping.

Mar leaideanna a labhair Gaeilge go fliúrseach, mar an chéad ghlúin do Ghaelscolaiocht sa tir, bhiodar mar eiseamláiri domsa agus mo chomhleacaithe a raibh ag casadh ar ais i dtreo na teangan. Choimeádadar dilis chomh maith don gceol traidisiúnta, á mheascadh mar chuid lárnach dár gceol úr féinigh.

Tá baint ar leith agam féin leis an ngrúpa, mar gur thugas ceann dos na céad gigs dóibh a sheineadar go poibli, i gcoláiste Froebel cúpla seachtain i ndiaidh dóibh Slógadh a bhuachaint. Nios tábhachtai fós, mhúineas cailini Fiachna Ó Braonáin agus Jadzia dár ndóigh (Kasia agus Liadain) i nGaelscoil Osrai. Is daoine iontacha iad araon.

Liam of course also gave us great help with the campaign against RTÉ's removal of the Rattlebag programme.

Revisiting that particular episode, I have given Derek Mooney a very patient few months, but I have to say that the programme is dire. The mish-mash of reality singing lessons, inane quizes and MOR music is exactly what we all feared. The promise to include loads of coverage of local arts events has disappeaered from my limited listening. The only saving grace is the Friday afternoon 'Mooney goes wild' section, which was already there anyway on Saturday. Meanwhile, the late-night arts offering by Pádraig Breathnach has great content, but how many people are listening. Even sombody like me who loves the arts rarely has the energy or inclination to listen so late. It will be interesting to see the next detailed JNLR figures. Maybe RTÉ and Anna Leddy might then have the good grace to admit they were wrong, and give us back Rattlebag or a similar programme in the waking hours.


Liam Cahill (An Fear Rua) said...

Hi Seán,
I agree with you re the Mooney programme. Very bad. Very sad.
On the other hand, the new John F Kelly programme on Lyric, at around the same time, is truly marvellous - though 'muis-only'. So, there's no need to listen to Mooney.

Also, the late night John Creedon show on RTE 1 really grows on you after a will, and seems to be building a big cult following among insomniacs, taxi drivers, night workers, returning clubbers etc.

Great blog, Seán!
Keep up the good work
Liam Cahill (An Fear Rua)

Gar U. Luss. said...

I will NEVER understand how anybody can praise RTE programmes which play a bland middle or the road, wannabe English/American mix of music i.e. Ronan Collins, John Creedon, and, even if he's a little of the beaten track, John Kelly. What's the point of listening to Joe Dolan trying to imitate a watered down blues singer like Elvis Presley, or the half-baked Welshman Tom Jones, singing the same blasted songs every blasted day on RTE. GET A LIFE PEOPLE!!!!Don't spend your life listening to wannabe teenagers Collins, Creedon and Dungan! Move over to Moncrieff and Hookie on Newstalk in the afternoons. Get interested, and get a laugh into the bargain.

seankk said...

Alwaysd the controversialist Mr. Luss. Have you nothing better to do at six in the morning than resurrecting your anti-RTÉ bias. At least Mooney's doing one sensible thing today in focussing on energy reduction between 3 and 5. Are we still allowed to losten to a bit of ceol, in between the quality talk on Newstalk?