Flowered Up

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Flowered Up
OriginCamden Town, London, England
GenresBaggy, alternative dance, indie pop
Years active1989–1994
LabelsHeavenly, London

Columbia/Sony/Heavenly Records

Because/London Records
Past membersJohn O'brien
John Tuvey
Liam Maher
Tim Dorney
Joe Maher
Andy Jackson
Barry Mooncult
Simon 'Sly' Lovechild
Andrew Ireland
Michael Leader Polo

Flowered Up were an English indie pop-alternative dance band, formed in Camden Town, London, in 1989, active during the Baggy movement. Their 13-minute single "Weekender" reached the UK top 20. The band split up in 1994 amid drug problems. Following a failed reformation attempt in 2007 and a solo record deal that fell through, frontman Liam Maher died from a heroin overdose in 2009, followed by his brother Joe from complications of long-term ill-health, in 2012.


The band was formed in mid-1989 by singer Liam Maher along with lifelong friend, Darren 'Des' Penney. Des would co-write lyrics and manage the band.[1] The original line up included the late John O'brien on drums, Joe Maher, Liam's younger brother, on guitar and bass player Andrew Jackson. Simon Gannon would guest on keyboard and this line up would play the first two gigs. After a few changes in personnel, the settled line-up included keyboardist Tim Dorney and drummer John Tuvey, with dancer Barry Mooncult adding to their live shows.[1] After releasing two singles ("It's On" and "Phobia") on Heavenly Records, both of which were minor hits, Flowered Up signed to London Records and recorded their only album, A Life With Brian, in 1991.[2] "Take It" had lyrics from Joe Strummer.[3] The group appeared on the covers of both Melody Maker and NME before releasing the album.[2]

A Life With Brian contained many of their popular live songs, as well as new versions of the previously released singles. Not long afterwards, Flowered Up released the 13-minute-long single "Weekender" on Heavenly,[2] with a video directed by W.I.Z. starring Lee Whitlock and Anna Haigh. Despite the group's—and Heavenly's—refusal to compromise on a standard-length edit for radio play (although two "radio edits" were circulated, neither really addressed the needs of radio programmers, as one was merely the full-length version but with the two instances of the phrase "fuck off" muted, while the other reduced the length of the intro, but still ran for over 12 minutes), the track went on to become their biggest hit, reaching number 20 in the UK Singles Chart. After much-publicised drug problems with some members of the band, and unproductive (and some unreleased) studio work, the band split up. Keyboardist Tim Dorney went on to form Republica.[2]

A Life With Brian was re-released by London Records as The Best of Flowered Up, and included the original version of "Weekender". Flowered Up tried to re-form in 2007, but Dorney refused, and the planned reunion tour was cancelled.

On 20 October 2009, Liam Maher died of a heroin overdose, aged 41, followed in November 2012 by Joe Maher.[4]

Heavenly Records released a limited vinyl run of Weekender in 2021 to coincide with the release of their book 'Believe in Magic' celebrating the labels 30th anniversary.

The much lauded and critically acclaimed film accompaniment to the song 'Weekender' that stars Lee Whitlock and Anna Haigh was given a fresh sonic and visual update by director Wiz in 2019 with the intention to re-release it on DVD for the first time.

Covid and lockdown enabled production of a celebration of the song and film with the documentary 'I Am Weekender' featuring Lynne Ramsey, Irvine Welsh, Jeremy Dellar and many more talking about its influence and cultural significance.

Directed and edited by Chloe Raunet the documentary, film and many extras were released in June 2023 by the BFI in partnership with Heavenly Films.

Screenings followed in Glasgow, London, Glastonbury, Belfast and New York.

Also in 2023 'A Life With Brian' was remastered.



Title Release date Label UK Albums Chart[5]
A Life with Brian

'Best Of'

26 Aug 1991


London Records

London Records




Title Release date Label UK Singles Chart[5]
"It's On" 1990 Heavenly Records 54
"Phobia" 75
"Take It" 1991 London Records 34
"It's On" (re-recorded version) / "Egg Rush" 38
"Weekender" 1992 Heavenly Records/Colombia-Sony

Heavenly Records

"Don't Talk Just Kiss" (from the Right Said Fred covers EP The Fred EP) 26
"Better Life" (limited to 500 copies) 1994 n/a


  1. ^ a b Strong, Martin C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0, p. 742
  2. ^ a b c d "Biography by Heather Phares". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 7 July 2009.
  3. ^ "Flowered Up - A Life With Brian (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  4. ^ "Joe Maher from Flowered Up RIP". Louder Than War. 25 November 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  5. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 206. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

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