- 12 Jun 12
Ahead of a Dublin gig, the Northern Irish trio talk about their self-imposed hiatus, success in Japan, and that Westlife cover...
Everyone over 25 remembers Relish, the Downpatrick group who hit the ground running back in 2001 after landing a record deal with EMI and releasing their platinum-selling debut, Wildflowers. Four chart-topping Irish singles followed, a top spot on the Japanese most-played list, and an unlikely request from Westlife to cover their single ‘Rainbow Zephyr’.
Ken Papenfus, the band’s lead singer, laughs at the recollection, “Yeah, we did a number of gigs in Sligo and Westlife were there, hanging around local pubs at the time. They were big into Relish. They came up to us one night and asked for a copy of our album. Then a year later they called us up and said they really liked the album and wanted to do a cover of 'Rainbow Zephyr'. We were like, ‘Yeah why not?!’”
Reworked as ‘Hey Whatever’, the Westlife cover was a UK top 5 and an international hit, but were the band happy with their psychedelic lyrics being changed? “We knew they were going to change the words. I’d actually have been really surprised if they’d gone for the original lyrics to be honest, I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing! I was glad they stayed true to the energy and the vibe of the track, and yeah, we loved what they did.”