Ireland's Hothouse Flowers made a name for itself during the late '80s and early '90s with a passionate, bombastic fusion of rock & roll with the rootsy sounds of Irish folk and American gospel.
The group was founded as a Dublin street-performance act called the Incomparable Benzini Brothers by schoolmates Liam O'Maonlai (vocals, keyboards) and Fiachna O'Broainain (guitar), the former of whom had played in My Bloody Valentine forerunner Congress. After winning the Street Entertainers of the Year award in 1985, the Incomparable Benzini Brothers added bassist Peter O'Toole, saxophonist Leo Barnes, and drummer Jerry Fehily and changed their name to Hothouse Flowers. The group received a glowing write-up in Rolling Stone before even landing a record deal, but that drawback was rectified when U2'sBono saw them performing on a late-night television show. A single on U2's label Mother got Hothouse Flowers signed to PolyGram. Their 1988 debut, People, cruised to the top of the Irish charts and peaked at number two in Britain. Their follow-ups, Home and Songs From the Rain, continued their success, but the band has never been able to break through in America to anything beyond cult status. Hothouse Flowers has been quiet since 1993; several members have guested on other artists' albums. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi