Folk rock ensemble originally formed in London in 1990 but moved back to Ireland, still going strong after multiple lineup changes
About The Big Geraniums
The Big Geraniums were formed in London in 1990 by Neil Mc Cartney and Jonas Read where they berformed as buskers. They were joined by Dara O'Donoghue, Seanin Hawthornthwaite and Jenny Wood, John Hicks and Laura Forrest-Hay. They then moved to Galway where they met Sykes and Moll. After much busking, rehersing and gigging around Ireland they moved to Dublin where they were joined by Maurice Culligan and secured a deal with Polygram records. They recorded their album 'Tall Tales and Short Stories' in Ringsend Road studios with Andrew Boland and Donal Lunny. The release of the album generated massive radio play in Ireland and abroad especially the songs 'Home Again' and 'Sweet Way' (which had not been released as a single). 'Home Again' reached no 3 in the irish singles charts and the album was top 5 for 8 wks. This secured them a spot on Feile festival lineup which also included Bryan Adams, Extreme, Christy Moore and EMF.
After 3 years touring in Ireland and England, they were offered their first major tour to Australia sponsored by Guinness. Tours in europe quickly followed due to their relocation to Holland, playing alongside the likes of The Wailers, Nenah Cherry, Van Morrison, and major festivals climaxing with their show stopping Montreux Jazz Festival appearance which secured them a release in the US with PRA records in California. The band at this stage moved to New York and toured relentlessly across the eastern seaboard with the release of their second album 'Girls on Sheep'. Although their live shows were critcally acclaimed for their craziness, frenetic mix of Irish/ska/punk and rock the band found it increasingly more difficult to translate this onto record and the album did not do as well as the first.
Lineup (including past members)
- Neil McCartney - fiddle, lead vocals
- Jonas Read - guitar, vocals
- Dara O'Donoghue - lead guitar, backing vocals, tambourines
- Jenny Wood - lead vocals, triangle
- Seanin Hawthornthwaite - lead vocals, mandolin, guitar
- Seamus Sullivan (aka. Sykes) - drums
- Mark Molloy (aka. Moll) - bass
- Laura Forrest-Hay - violin
- Jon Hicks - mandolin
- Ian O'Donoghue - bass
- Maurice Culligan - piano, keyboards
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