Q&A: Hothouse Flowers Guitarist Fiachna Ó Braonáin Talks to Knockdown Alley

Posted on Sunday October 25th in


With U2 in town to play the 02, another legendary Irish rock group, Hothouse Flowers (below, performing “Give It Up” on The Late Late Show), hits the stage at Brooklyn Bowl London. They were terrific last night, and you can catch them tonight and tomorrow before Bono and Co. go on next door, so you can maximize your rocking! And before Hothouse Flowers got here, guitarist Fiachna Ó Braonáin spoke to Knockdown Alley.

So a three-night residency at London’s Brooklyn Bowl — that’s very rock and roll, is it not? Yes, it is! Of course! But it will have a dash of trad., as well as gospel and African tones going on. It will be above all a musical adventure.

How has the audience reaction been to your U.K. tour so far? The audience reaction has been incredibly warm. We have been made to feel beyond welcome.

You are playing Brooklyn Bowl to coincide with U2’s residency at the 02. Do you still feel like Ireland’s second supergroup? No, we feel like Ireland’s first supergroup! It’s all about how you feel, and at the moment we are feeling great.

Bono was the first to sign you. Will he be popping over to see you preshow? He did call you “a masterpiece of a group” after all. I hope so. We have not been in touch yet, but I can’t imagine us not banging into one another over the course of the few days at the Brooklyn Bowl.

Will you be watching U2 post-show? Definitely!

I hear you’ve been back in the studio. Any new material on the cards? Yes, we have a about five hours of music to sift through and make sense of it all without taking away that “first-take magic.” We have been playing a new song, “Three Sisters,” during the concerts and it has been going over really well. It is very exciting to be writing new music.

What’s the chances of getting the supergroup you formed with Def Leppard back together? Brooklyn Bowl fans would love that. The Acoustic Hippies from Hell? Well, that would be a great thing to put together again. One of the first times I ever went bowling was with Def Leppard in Los Angeles as it happens! So, yes, you have planted a seed.

You say that every night you want to play the best gig you have ever played. Does that mean the best is yet to come? The best is always yet to come. Even if you feel you have been the best you have ever been. That’s what keeps the whole thing vital.

You are full of improvisational energy — so no night at the Brooklyn Bowl will be the same? Most certainly!

You have been together for nearly four decades. What keeps you together? Well … ahem … just over three decades as a band, but, yes, I guess you are right. Liam and myself go back over four decades! That’s an amazing thing. Friendship keeps us together — and this indefinable language called music that we constantly speak to one another.


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