Expect the Unexpected As The Flaming Lips Descend On Galway International Arts Festival

6 March 2018

Galway International Arts Festival and Róisín Dubh are delighted to announce that three-time Grammy Award winners and one of Q magazine’s ‘50 Bands to See Before You Die’ The Flaming Lips will play their only Irish gig at the Festival Big Top as part of Galway International Arts Festival 2018.

One of the most beloved live bands of all time, The Flaming Lips occupy a genre unto themselves, continuing to dazzle both on record and on stage, having carved out a reputation as one of the most original bands ever to come out of America.

Formed in 1983 in Oklahoma, The Flaming Lips recorded several albums and EPs on an indie label, Restless, in the 1980s and early 1990s.

The Flaming Lips' massive back catalogue

Coming to the attention of Warner Brothers as their "live" reputation grew, they released Hit to Death in the Future Head in 1992 with the label.

In 1993, they released Transmissions from the Satellite Heart, which lead to the band featuring on the major television series: Beverly Hills 90210, Late Show with David Letterman, Charmed and Beavis and Butt-head. The success of this record also led to long stints of touring, opening for bands such as Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Clouds Taste Metallic was released to much critical fanfare in late 1995, followed by the experimental Zaireeka in 1997, a four-CD album which is intended to be heard by playing all four CDs in four separate CD players simultaneously.

Their real breakthrough came with the 1999 release, The Soft Bulletin, which was compared by many music critics to the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds because of its inclusion of harmonies and orchestrated sounds. Named both NME's and Uncut Album of the Year, it was widely considered to be one of the best albums of the decade, marrying more traditional catchy melodies with synthetic strings, hypnotic, carefully manipulated beats, booming cymbals and oddball but philosophical lyrics.

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, which followed in 2002 was once again Uncut's album of the year and was widely considered to be the band's first critical and commercial success after nearly twenty years as a band. The final track, Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon (Utopia Planitia) earned a 2003 Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance, and the album was certified gold in April 2006.

In February 2007, they were nominated for a BRIT Award for Best International Act and, overall, the group has won three Grammy Awards, including two for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.

In 2009, the band released their twelfth studio album and first double album, Embryonic, which opened in the Billboard top 10 and was widely critically acclaimed for its new direction. They followed this with one of the most memorable performances the Pyramid Stage in Glastonbury had ever experienced.

They released a single a month in 2011, The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends in 2012, featuring collaborations with artists such as Kesha, Nick Cave, and Erykah Badu, and The Terror in 2013, a contemplation on a world without love.

They are currently touring the world, promoting their universally acclaimed album Oczy Mlody, featuring long time fan Miley Cyrus, which Rolling Stone called ‘a kaleidoscopic, trippy sojourn into The Flaming Lips sonic world’.

The Lips’ 14th studio album finds them following their creative muse three decades into a fantastical journey that remains ever predictably unpredictable.

Praise for The Flaming Lips

“If you were to make a list of bands that would be active three decades later –let alone ones that would eventually sign with a major label, sell millions of records, appear in TV commercials, and record with teen pop idols – the Oklahoman trio with bad haircuts and a bizarre sense of humor would have been very low on the list. If you were told they would accomplish all of that without changing their idiosyncrasies, that would sell millions of records while getting weirder and more eccentric along the way, it would have been utterly unthinkable. There was simply no precedent for a band like The Flaming Lips.” – Rolling Stone

Praise for Oczy Mlody

“Somewhere in the haze lurks their old knack for writing great, off-kilter pop songs that reflect and escape the bewildering world around us.” - The Guardian

“A kaleidoscopic, trippy sojourn into The Flaming Lips sonic world.” – Rolling Stone

“Oczy Mlody bursts with more of the Technicolor weirdness that has defined the band and earned it one of rock’s most passionate fan bases.” – Entertainment Weekly

“The Flaming Lips situate their music in extreme contrasts: humanism and horror, Day-Glo colors and widow’s black. Much of ‘Oczy Mlody’ is gentle but disturbing… whimsical.” – The New York Times

“Three decades into The Flaming Lips career, the Oklahoma City psych rock heroes remain difficult to pin down. The Lips output remains consistent in its urgency. ‘Oczy Mlody’ is as weird as you want it to be.” – Noisey / Vice

Tickets for The Flaming Lips go on sale on Friday 9 March at 9am, priced at €49.50 from www.giaf.ie and roisindubh.net.

Galway International Arts Festival’s Festival Big Top 2018 line-up is set to be the biggest in the festival’s 41-year history, with acts already announced, including The Stunning with special guests The Academic, pop legends Madness, indie sensation Caribou, the sensational Gavin James, alternative rock band Walking on Cars and one of Ireland’s biggest international successes of recent years, Kodaline. Tickets for both Walking on Cars and Kodaline have already sold out.

Galway International Arts Festival would like to acknowledge the support of its principal funding agencies the Arts Council and Fáilte Ireland, its Festival Partner Ulster Bank and Education Partner NUI Galway.