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The Big Geraniums

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The Big Geraniums
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)


Richard Read wrote on 2023-05-17 00:00:00:
cousin great you are. I love this band with its uplifting tunes that always makes me feel happy ever 30 years later - a nice Wonderstuff feel about them.
Paul B wrote on 2022-12-04 00:00:00:
A regular at the Midnight at the Olympia, complete with dog, children and seemingly endless musicians wandering on and off stage. Great days!
Pat wrote on 2022-09-19 00:00:00:
I have a memory of seeing them in the Harriers Tullamore live once or twice maybe i going mad. Can anyone confirm they played the Harriers when it was live bad venue
Bill wrote on 2022-02-01 00:00:00:
'performed' not 'beformed'
Micky Sean Tom wrote on 2021-04-02 00:00:00:
Moll can be a bit of a dick tbh , seriously angry person nowadays , I suppose when propping up the bar in Naughtons can't be done, Moody Moll takes to the streets ...groaning
Ramon Longan Solsona wrote on 2020-02-20 00:00:00:
Mi grupo preferido de Folk Rock, los descubri en un viaje por Irlanda en el año 1992, en el coche solo sonaban ellos. Fantasticos Big Geraniums!!
Norm wrote 2017-11-11 wrote on 2017-11-15 00:00:00:
Loved the group when four of us American lads on a golf tour saw them perform at a club on Leeson Street near St. Stephen's in September, '91... must've been early in their career. I'd agree they were a super live band!
Mike wrote on 2017-06-19 00:00:00:
Saw them at the Fleagh in Finsbury Park. Joyous time. Loved their celtic/ska mix. Brilliant
Mike wrote on 2017-06-19 00:00:00:
Saw them at the Fleagh in Finsbury Park. Joyous time. Loved their celtic/ska mix. Brilliant
Tom wrote on 2016-01-18 00:00:00:
Great memories, lovely tunes, lost my Tall Tales cassette years ago (~95) and searched and searched for years until in about 2009 when a friends GF secretly found a cd for me online and gave it to me for my birthday! Best present! He married her x
Maurern wrote on 2015-12-07 00:00:00:
Great band! Met them when they came to NYC in 1996.
Eidin wrote on 2013-03-06 00:00:00:
Ahhh now there is memory worth having- I remember them playing at Trinity and at the Rock Garden in Templebar where I was working at the time. The dog was a big hit w everyone and the sheer size and energy of the band and Dara being the pint size hottie!
kevin wrote on 2013-02-05 00:00:00:
i remember when the busked in dublin in fact i got some of them train for them and there dogs
kevin wrote on 2013-02-05 00:00:00:
i remember when the busked in dublin in fact i got some of them train for them and there dogs
Phil wrote on 2012-03-14 00:00:00:
I remember this band Playing at Blachthorn Bar in East Durham NY back in 1995.. Great kickass night..
David Giordano wrote on 2011-10-06 00:00:00:
Jenny, So happy to see you doing your thing. The music is awesome...So sweet. Brings back memories of Bayberry. Playing in the snow when school was closed. e mail me if you like. YOU ROCK !!!!!
Gillian Nash wrote on 2011-09-21 00:00:00:
I first saw the big geraniums in Mullingar.. I was hooked!!! loved them, If they ever play in Ireland again , please someone let me know.. thank.
eenod wrote on 2011-01-07 00:00:00:
they are on facebook
Wendy wrote on 2010-11-24 00:00:00:
I also remember you guys from the Cock Tavern in Holloway Rd, Jonas and Dara both stayed in the Nurses residence with me.. Great fun, fab band, glad to find you
ultan beare wrote on 2010-09-10 00:00:00:
just a hello to dara long time way back in past we knew one another good old days i hope your well and life is good , just the bear asking ya
Scrumpy wrote on 2010-08-31 00:00:00:
Maurice plays the piano now in the bar in the Radisson Hotel Galway
Greg wrote on 2010-01-20 00:00:00:
always remember the dog sleeping under the amps at the gigs! great band
Sonja wrote on 2009-04-11 00:00:00:
Yes they were sooooo goood! We saw them quiet a view times in Switzerland... its a while ago ... uffff we get older...
Mike wrote on 2009-03-19 00:00:00:
lol Kate! When the Geraniums first came to Galway my flatmate found them sleeping rough and brought them all back to our place for two months. You got off light with one night. :)
sinead whelan wrote on 2008-08-27 00:00:00:
ooooh i remember dara the guitar player, what a spunk!an awesome band he he he!
Kate wrote on 2008-02-15 00:00:00:
I met Jonas & Maurice way back in 93 in the Cock Tavern in Holloway Road, London. What a fantastic night! No where to stay the poor little lambs so I had to bring them home and we shared a mars bar for breakfast!!! Ah, good times!!!! :-)
Lisa Storey wrote on 2008-01-05 00:00:00:
Neil is now singing in Scruffy Murphys in Bangla Road, Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand. Awsome!
dave darcy wrote on 2007-11-22 00:00:00:
they were awesome in whelan's in the 90's their records wern't great but best live band touring in ireland!!!!!
paul wrote on 2007-11-11 00:00:00:
they were amazing!!havn'y they reformed? they played in ireland in july!
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