A lot of people might have identified Liam O’ Maonlai as the lead vocalist/instrumentalist of a popular rock group Hothouse Flowers. I have one of their records. But like any thing that sounds mainstream, something in my chemistry does not totally respond to the sound of the band. Not that they aren’t Ok, Hothouse Flowers are in fact one of the most influential Irish bands around. The music has been what you would consider as distilled and at par with the likes Traffic, Van Morrison’s, The Boomtown Rats, Chris Isaak’s, Elvis Costello and far better than most British and American bands I have heard. In fact this band deserves a cover in a Rolling Stone magazine. But then again this is Rock and Roll and my musical preference has always been the other way around. Then came the Irish language project in the Irish Independent.
I rushed right away to download this file which was given for free. His speaking voice became a regular thing at home next to the evening news. I realized that like true artists, Liam is a conservationist of the Irish Gaelic language and music. He has a charismatic personality and this is evident in his stage performances. Wild hair and hypnotic gaze, this guy need so little effort to get his message across. Yes most singers are gifted to put audience in a spell, but then again there are few that have the gift of Bardic charisma, which is a stuff that most spiritual leaders possess. And he has all that-aura, personality, voice, talent in so many musical instruments, a talent for painting and amazing intellect. In fact singing in his native tongue and performing such music makes him a cut above the rest.
Liam is one of those outspoken in the preservation of Tara and has even recorded a song for it. You can listen by visiting: http://www.myspace.com/songfortara. You will really really love this song! Like anyone passionate about anything Irish I encourage everybody to please do our best to save Tara. Spread the word, blog about it, compose music and raise money. With unity we are invincible.
There is this wonderful interview here: http://www.newstalk.ie/programmes/all/therighthook/liam-o-maonlai/ I have it recorded.