THIS Friday night September 28, Bar Habana will be hosting Pat McManus, made famous from his participation in popular 70s band The Mama’s Boys.
Pat made a huge impression on music fans in Portlaoise when he performed in Bar Habana last April and brought the house down. This time around he will be supported by popular local musician James O’ Connor. For those who can’t make Friday’s gig, James is also performing in Bar Habana on Saturday evening as well.
The McManus brothers Pat, John and Tommy from Fermanagh, started off their musical career as award winning trad musicians, but were inspired by The Horslips, and decided to form a rock band. In the late 70s they were huge fans of The Horslips and went to many of their gigs. It was around this time that they formed The Mama’s Boys, orginially called Pulse.
Although their heroes The Horslips mixed traditional music with hard rock and the McManus brothers were top notch traditional musicians, Mama’s Boys didn’t really go for the celtic fusion sound, apart from the occasional fiddle solo by Pat, but went for a harder edged more heavy metal sound. By the 1980s Mama’s Boys had a bootleg circulating and were touring extensively in Ireland, as well as supporting Hawkwind on tour. They recorded and self-financed their first album, entitled ‘Plug It In’ in 1982 and had an Irish hit single with ‘Needle in the Groove’. The second album Turn It Up was released in 1983 and the same year they toured with Thin Lizzy on their farewell tour, played at the Reading Rock Festival and signed a worldwide record deal with Jive Records.
One of the new songs, a cover of Slade’s ‘Mama Weer All Crazee Now’ was released as a single and reached number 54 in the American charts. The video for the song got a lot of airplay on MTV and helped the band to become known in the US. The brothers enjoyed great succes through the 80s and early 90s, but also suffered tradegy as drummer Tommy passed away from lukemia in 1994. As well as performing in other projects since, Pat McManus now has his own band with Gordon Sheridan on bass and Paul Faloon on drums. Check out Bar Habana’s Facebook page for more information.