I only own a few singles or tracks on compilation LPs but it strikes me that Flowered Up made the sort of music that perfectly captures the feel, mood and ambience of the baggy movement. The shuffling drums, rinky-dinky keyboards to the fore and occasional 60s style guitar solos and a vocalist who would nowadays be laughed off the stage on the telly talent shows searching for the next big star when all the while he has more charisma and style in his little toe than they have in their entire genetic structure.

The backbone of Flowered Up were brothers Liam Mahey (vocals) and Joe Mahey (guitar) augmented by Tom Dorney (keys), Andy Jackson (bass) and John Tuvey (drums). This most Madchester sounding of bands were from London and are probably best known for the song Weekender, a 13-minute long epic which preached the virtues of a full-on hedonistic lifestyle in which the band were keen to drive home the message the drugs do work. Despite a near universal lack of radio play, Weekender went Top 20 in the UK in 1992.

I much prefer however, one of the band’s flop singles from a couple of years earlier.

mp3 : Flowered Up – Phobia (extended play)
mp3 : Flowered Up – Flapping
mp3 : Flowered Up – Phobia (paranoid mix)

The real tragedy of the band is not that they weren’t nearly as successful as they deserved but that the Mahey brothers couldn’t shake the lifestyle long after the band broke up in the mid 90s with Liam dying of a heroin overdose in October 2009 while Joe passed away in November 2012, both in their early 40s.


  1. That’s the first time in years I’ve listened to any Flowered Up that wasn’t Weekender or Better Life. It’s quite startling how it sounds like Squirrel & G-men era Mondays but with a much better keyboard player. Tim Dorney went onto Republica but you all probably knew that.

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