- 16 Nov 17
The Flag Listeners came into being as Eamonn Hehir, one of Limerick's veteran singer-songwriters was working on his 2012 solo LP of the same name.
"I'd launched The Flag Listeners with a session band, but about a year later, I started thinking about putting a proper group together. I guess somewhere along the line it stopped being a solo project, and evolved into something completely different. A real band, basically."
Originally the lead vocalist for Toucandance, during the '80s and '90s, Hehir reunited with the band's rhythm section, before bringing in John Steele on vocals, guitar and lap steel.
"Getting John in was the moment we morphed into the Flag Listeners. He brings a lot of aggression and ambient music into the mix. John has really shaken up our style.
"We then spent a year playing locally in Dolan's to tighten things up. Where we are now, how we sound and the songs we have all came from that period."
The result is their debut album, And Other Short Stories, which Hehir says was described by one regular at their shows as being "The Psychedelic Furs fronted by Richard Hawley and Paddy MacAloon of Prefab Sprout". Releasing a double A-side single in 2016, 'Birds Fly'/'Well Played Mr. Lemmon', which places Hehir and Steele's distinct styles of songwriting back-to-back, the Flag Listeners' album now arrives as a taut and fruitful collaboration by a gang of musicians still determined to challenge their own established sound at every opportunity.
And Other Short Stories is out now