Formed in December 1987 for a few parties: they made records until 1997.
The Moonflowers emerged in 1988 defiantly painted , green around the gills, a cacophony with antics. Originally they formed to play a few parties when Sean O’Neill moved to Bristol from his native Liverpool, and hooked up with fellow scouser bassist Paul Waterworth. But their wild, psychedelic and quuite silly live show soon showed flair and stirred the local scene which was mostly a shoe-gazing one at the time. Sean started a record label “Electric Stars” in 1989 and the band released their first EP “We Dig Your Earth” at that time.
The record made little impact on the National scene but they’re next EP , “Get Higher” 1990 certainly did. The record combined a dance/ psychedelia sound and was licensed to Heavenly records. It featured mixes by Rocky and Diesel and transported the group to a national then international platform. The bands live shows and faux-hippy attitude poked fun at themselves, the music business (and anyone else taking themselves too seriously) struck a profound sympathetic chord with audiences far and wide who allowed themsleves to be forced to hold hands while they watched the group cavort and leap about in an effort to obtain world peace by the year 1999. The music press treated them like hippies bundled them in with a ‘crusty’ wave of groups such as The Levellers, Back To The Planet etc
The band started a label and called it Pop God from which they released further efforts from themselves and other bands (PSE, ME, Ecstatic Orange, Mammal etc.). They toured and sold produce and artefacts such as home made T-shirts and badges.
Moonflowers maintained constant touring, honing their live show which featured backdrops designed by internationally acclaimed artist Liam Yeates and in 1993 released their second (though first really good) LP called ‘From Whales to Jupiter and Beyond the Stars to Rainbohemia’ which mixed folk, dub, rock and dance influences.
Yet still they aimed higher and dreamt they could free themselves -and us all- from the bonds of commercial modern existence and so decided to remove themselves from society to create their own utopia, their ‘Rainbohemia’, a place where days are spent in creativity with music and art a way of life.
The band waved goodbye to their friends and drove away in their yellow bus across the sea and far away…
In 1995 masters for an LP were sent to Pop God offices (from an unknown destination) which was the masterful ‘Colours and Sounds‘ LP. This record was released and though not well known, very worth tracking down for its incredible range and orchestration.
Fewer performances were reported from across Europe. The group was variously seen busking acoustically across France from a broken down old coach; performing as a three piece in Windsor with the singer, guitarist and a casio keyboard taking it in turn to play the drums, and gigging in Japan.
By mid 1996 the band considered themselves/ the world too far gone for further performances and decided to leave the world/ themselves one more album for now and then concentrate on helping/ growing another generation that may lead the world to more happytivity, healthdum and creatness.
Meantime though they have given their chains to a highly trained music force called the Rainbohemians, to dwell in our lands, play concerts and make records.
So these Rainbohemians did as they were bid and played some concerts and recorded an LP but still the waves were breaking upon the spirit of the moonflowers and so this force retreated to Rainbohemia and told what they had seen and done to the moonflowers there, now quite settled and ageing.
Then it came to pass that the moonflowers once again raised their standard (no pun intended), rallied round and made another LP for their most staunch supporters – the Japanese. This record is called Brainwashing and Heartists Blue Life Stripes as each member wrote a word and these words were pulled from a hat.
Another two forces were released from the rainbohemia stronghold: the first, called Morning Star was led by the moonflower with the guitar and he went to the land where the vain but gentle young men, the leonard cohenists and the troubadours dwell. And he did perform with accordion and acoustic instruments and made records also. And this continues unto this day.
The second force has been called solar mumuns and is led by the one who was the eye of the little storm known as the moonflowers. Now these mumuns have only been seen once but have left a recoding in their wake called breaking waters. They appear and disappear as soon as they are seen, something new is forming, or is it something very old, ancient in fact.
By the end of the millennium one last album occurred. From vaults thought lost to humans but unearthed in the mid-winter storms of late 1999, a new record of moonflowers has been found. With instructions reading ‘do not open until 2000’ these recordings, complete with cover are now online for release. They have been titled Dont Just Sit There, Fly! spectral folkers and contain psychedelic glimpses of their gypsy-like existence and the world as they have seen or imagined it.
On June 1st 2002 a door closed forever for the moonflowers when Toby Pascoe tragically died. obituary …