The first thing Pedro (proprietor) asked me to do when I arrived at the Sunflower Bar was sign a copy of a 12’’ vinyl called Open Those Gates by Moving Hearts. I had forgotten that Moving Hearts had released this in 1983 while Nicky Kelly was still in gaol. Just seeing the record triggered an emotional throwback that I wasn’t expecting. Whatever about the darkness of today’s recession…there seemed to be a darker, more sinister feel to the eighties? Intransigence, despair, fear,….for me the music was the constant….the lighthouse in the teeth of the storm.
I reckon that there are very few copies of this particular record around….Pedro tells me it’s going on the wall of the Sunflower.
I never expected to hear of The Sunflower again, never mind play it. The good news is that it’s alive and well, and resides at 65 Union Street, Belfast. Their blag is: “No Themes No Gimmicks”. I can vouch for the no gimmicks part but the theme is definitely ‘enjoy yourself’. Is it the only tvless pub in the world? I don’t know but if a no tv, no poker machine, no pinball, pub…..where you can hear yourself speak, floats your boat, then the Sunflower is the place.
You can also add live entertainment to the list. Comedy, Folk, a Monthly Jazz club are all on the menu…and how do I know this?….well, I played there myself on Thursday and was reluctant to leave the warmth.
Great people…. and no shortage of talent from the floor to bring the upstairs alive. Downstairs, you can see photographs of the same performers with hair?
Thanks for the gig guys. Looking forward to the return visit,