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Category Archives: The Flowers Of Romance

THE MISSION – At War With The Gods

The Mission - At War With The Gods (Cover)

RELEASE DATE:  26 MAY 2014

A written documentary of the first 25 years of the English band THE MISSION is about to be released.  Written by Alex Daniele, the book, THE MISSION – At War With The Gods”, chronicles the band’s early footsteps and humble beginnings through their reformation in 2011.

The limited-edition book is a whopping 350 pages packed with over 200 rare and exclusive photographs.

Painstaking attention to detail was made over the course of several years as Daniele compiled information, images, interviews, and tidbits from those who, at one point or another, walked beside The Mission’s members.

Contributors to the book’s contents include Wayne Hussey, Craig Adams, Simon Hinkler, Mike Kelly, manager George Allen, Cinthya Hussey, producer Steve Whitfield, and a who’s who list of other notables.

Included in that list is our very own New Zero God singer, Mike Pougounas, who is credited as “the singer of the Greek band The Flowers Of Romance that was produced by Wayne Hussey”.  Indeed, back in 1995, Hussey and Pougounas teamed up on the 5th studio release by The Flowers Of Romance.  “Brilliant Mistakes” was recorded in The Mission’s Bristol Studio, “Swirlsound“, as well as in the AthenianIn Studio“.  Wayne Hussey not only produced, but also provided backing vocals, loops, and additional guitars for what would become The Flowers Of Romance’s most successful album. Steve Whitfield, the sound engineer for The Cure and The Mission UK, was in charge of mixing the album. [More on The Flowers Of Romance, “Brilliant Mistakes” HERE.]

This limited-to-1000-copies edition will be hand-numbered and pre-orders are filling quickly.  According to my conversation with Daniele, a major chunk of the stock has already been sold and he’s working feverishly as the countdown to release winds down.  For those outside the UK/Euro zone, full information and purchasing details will be made public after the 27th of May, 2014.

To read more or to place a pre-order, click HERE.

Book Credits:

Alex Daniele [Ascension/Italy]

Alex Daniele [Ascension/Italy]

© 2014 Sand Castles Productions.

Written by Ascension Promotions | Edited by Danny Tartaglia and Graham Chisnall | Final editing by Danny Tartaglia | Artwork concept by Alex Daniele

Cover concept by Cinthya Hussey and Candy Rosenbaum | Cover photo: ‘The Mission – Sinners Day’, copyright © Roger op den CampBack cover photo: ‘The Mission in Spring 2013’, copyright © Rhory Danniells

 

New Zero God – Club Bizarre – 2012 UK Release

New Zero God

The 4th of July certainly turned out to be a day of fireworks for our hometown boys, New Zero God!  Their day started off with the anticipation of their UK release, but, as usual, things snowballed into a full day’s events for them, beginning with an article on yahoo.gr.  (Yahoo article in Greek language only.)  From there, congratulatory messages and requests for interviews filled their day as they prepared for the evening’s release of “Club Bizarre“, their 7-Track Limited-Edition Collectors EP which has been released by Secret Sin Records [UK]

New Zero God  - CLUB BIZARRE

This special edition features 6 tracks from their debut album, “Fun Is A Four Letter Word“, as well as their new exclusive UK-release track, “Widow’s Walk“.  Each copy is hand-numbered and limited to 100 copies, has handmade packaging, and is signed by the band members of New Zero God on parchment inlays.

According to Secret Sin Records, pre-sales greatly reduced the stock-at-hand and they suggested that those who wish to attain their own copy do so quickly.

The track listing for “Club Bizarre” is as follows: Dead Inside | Kiss The Witch | Fun Is A Four Letter Word | Winners | Lap Of The Universe | Widow’s Walk | Strangest of Fruits.

Orders for “Club Bizarre” can be placed securly and directly through Secret Sin Records.

New Zero God - Club Bizarre [UK 2012]

You can catch the first scheduled radio interview with Mike Pougounas (frontman and vocalist of New Zero God, formerly of The Flowers Of Romance and Nexus) and RockGenesis.gr on Saturday, July 7, 2012, 15:00-17:00 [Greece]. 

Official Sites for New Zero God:
Facebook 1 | Facebook 2MySpace | YouTube | ReverbNation
 
3 Comments

Posted by on July 5, 2012 in Goth, etc., Music, The Flowers Of Romance

 

Mike Pougounas – Discography

Earlier today I decided to take a stroll through Facebook.  It’s Monday, after all, and after a hectic weekend I felt a little rest and relaxation were in order.  

But what I stumbled across left me feeling breathless for there is someone who most certainly didn’t take too much time off during the past three decades of music. 

Mike Pougounas

Below you will find the discography of Mike Pougounas, frontman and vocalist for New Zero God.  Prior to his current band he was with The Flowers Of Romance and Nexus, both of which have left us with an impressive catalogue of great music.

Here’s to you, Mike!  May the next three decades keep us equally enthralled with your creativity!

The Flowers Of Romance - Brilliant Mistakes (1996)

  • Flowers Of Romance – Albums

     – Anovis | Cassette | (Self-made) | Greece – 1985

     – Dorian Grey | LP | Wipe Out! Records | Greece – 1990

     – The Flowers Of Romance…the story so far… | Cassette | M&E | U.K. – 1992

     – Pleasure & the Pain | LP | Wipe Out! Records | Greece – 1993

     – Pleasure & the Pain | CD | Nyctalopia Records | Germany – 1994 (4 bonus tracks)

     – Brilliant Mistakes | CD | FM Records | Greece – 1996

     – Brilliant Mistakes | CD | Hyperium | Germany – 1997

     – Brilliant Mistakes | CD | GOOD International | South Korea – 1999  

  • Flowers Of Romance – Singles

     – Pleasure & the Pain | 7″ | Wipe Out! Records | Greece – 1993

     – Channel Z | CD Single | Hyperium | Germany – 1997

  • Flowers Of Romance – 12” EP

     – Love Means Death | 12″ | Wipe Out! Records | Greece – 1992

  • Compilations featuring Flowers Of Romance tracks

     – 12 Raw Greek Bands | LP | Track: “Autumn Kids” | Wipe Out! Records | Greece – 1988

     – Double Shot | LP | Track: “Amaradina” | Wipe Out & Boom Records | Greece/Belgium – 1991

     – Til the End of Time | Cassette | Track: “There Is Nothing We Can’t Solve Together” | Beton Tapes | Germany – 1992

     – Gothic Spirit, Vol. 1 | CD | Track: “The Ocean Floor” | Spectre Records | Germany – 1994

     – Gothic Spirit, Vol. 1 | CD | Track: “Winter Waltz” | Spectre Records | Germany – 1994

     – When The Sun Settles Down II | CD | Track:  “Love Commandos” | EFA | Germany – 1995

     – The Thing From Another World | CD | Track:  “Love” | The Thing Magazine | Greece – 1995

     – Metal Holocaust | CD | Track:  “20th Century Junk” | Metal Hammer | Greece – 1995

     – Εναλλακτικοί Rock Δρόμοι | CD | Track:  “For The Wolf Within” | FM Records | Greece – 1997

     – Hypnotic & Hypersonic | CD | Track:  “Channel Z” | Hyperium | Germany – 1998

Nexus - Nexus (CD Single) (1999)

  • Nexus – Albums 

     – 6 | CD | Cyberdelia Records | Greece – 2000

     – Cybernaut | CD | Cyberdelia Records | Greece – 2001

     – Wrapped In Cellophane | CD | Cyberdelia Records | Greece – 2002

     – The Beat Syndicate | CD | Cyberdelia Records | Greece – 2004

  • Nexus – Singles 

     – Nexus | CD | FM Records | Greece – 1998

  • Compilations featuring Nexus tracks

     – Decadance Vol. 1 | CD | Track:  “Walking On Thin Ice” | Decadance  Records | Italy – 2001

     – Filled Me With Fantastic Terrors | LP | Track:  “Born in Razors” (Remix) | CAPP | Greece – 2002

     – ZilloScope:  New Signs & Sounds 7-8/02 | CD | Track:  “These Tears Again” | Zillo Magazine | Germany – 2002

     – ΠΟΠ + ΡΟΚ | CD | Track:  “Theme from The Persuaders” | ΠΟΠ + ΡΟΚ Magazine | Greece – 2003

     – Dark Ages | CD | Track:  “Drop The Luv Bomb” (Atria Mix) | ΠΟΠ + ΡΟΚ Magazine | Greece – 2005

New Zero God - Fun Is A Four Letter Word (2010)

  • New Zero God – Albums

     – Fun Is A Four Letter Word  | Digital Album | Greece – 2009

     – Fun Is A Four Letter Word | CD | Puzzlemusik | Greece – 2010

  • New Zero God – Single 

     – As New Zero God & Friends | “Second Chance” | CD Baby | USA – 2011

  • Compilations featuring New Zero God tracks

     – Weapons of Magick | Internet Compilation | Track:  “In Your Dreams Again” | Because God Told Me To Do It | USA – 2008 

     – Lollipop Magazine, Fall 2009 | mp3 CD (Released June 2010) | CD | Track:  “Fun Is A Four Letter Word” | Lollipop Magazine | USA – 2010

     – Devolution Magazine (August 2011 Issue) | CD | Track:  “Kiss The Witch” | Devolution Magazine | UK – 2011

     – Gothic Visions III | CD | Track:  “Lap Of The Universe” | Echozone | Germany – 2011

     – The Blackout Crypthology | CD | Track:  “Dead Inside” | Andy Robinson’s Black Out Radio Show | UK – 2012

Mike Pougounas

  • Mike Pougounas – Others

     – Λευκή Συμφωνία (Band) | Compilation:  Μαγικό Βοτάνι | LP | Backing Vox on the Track: “Κοιτάζοντας Πίσω” | Wipe Out! Records | Greece – 1994

     – The Global Goth Collective | Additional vox on the video: “Everyone Says Hi” | UK – 2011

     – Documentary Video: “There Is No Asylum Here” | Vocals on the track:  “No Asylum Here” | Greece – 2011

     – Documentary: “Back In Black: History Is Made By The Bands, Vol.1” (Directed by George Kagialedakis) | Vocals on the track:  “Rock’n’Roll Puppet” | Greece – 2009

     – Documentary: “Back In Black: History Is Made By The Bands, Vol.1” (Directed by George Kagialedakis) | Vocals on the track:  “My Life” | Greece – 2009

     – Documentary: “Back In Black: History Is Made By The Bands, Vol.1” (Directed by George Kagialedakis) | Keyboards on the track:  “In Hell” | Greece – 2009

The Flowers Of Romance – Love Means Death (1988)

 

 

May brewings

 The month of May has brought us warmer weather, longer days, and much gothier nights.

New Zero God ushered in the the start of the month with their performance at PassPort Club in the heart of Piraeus.  The event was an open-door St. Paul High School’s Class of 1990 reunion fundraiser to benefit the Thiva-Lamia Women’s Prison. The stage was set for fellow schoolmates’ bands to entertain while raising money for a worthy cause. 

New Zero God kicked off the show.  Drummer, Dimitris “Sidheog” Steves, hammered skins for his classmates with songs like “Kiss the Witch“, “Bang Bang“, and The Flowers Of Romance classic, “Kashmir“, which was originally performed by New Zero God singer Mike Pougounas during his Flowers days.  Fellow NZG/FOR bassist Harris Stavrakas brought home the medley with his signature style while Michalis Christou strummed like no other guitarist before him.

The following clip is from that evening. 

While we’re on the topic of “Kashmir”, Cassandra’s Castle of Nightbreed Radio [UK] has announced their May 10 through June 9, 2011 schedule lineup, which includes “Kashmir”.  The next show will air on Tuesday, May 10 at 6 PM/UK | 8 PM/GR (repeated at Midnight/UK | 2 AM/GR) and will run for four weeks.

A live review was posted today at Dominion Magazine [UK] on New Zero God’s Sunday night performance at PassPort Club by the magazine’s newest correspondent, Thanos.  With all the focus on New Zero God and each NZG members years of contributions to the music scene, it was decided that a Greek journalist should be brought into the folds to let viewers know what else might be happening in this little country of ours. 

Thanos came up with THIS first part of the history of the Greek “dark” scene.

And since we’re on the subject of England, we should also mention that Dominion’s Radio Chart was released yesterday.  On it you will find Nexus, the prior band of Mike Pougounas and Dimitris Steves.  It is a huge honor to see songs of the past brought back to life in a country so far from our footsteps.

 

For The Wolf Within

There are times when I don’t know where to begin… when an idea for a blog posting grabs hold of me and shakes me to my very foundation.  When a plethora of thoughts and emotions swirl savagely throughout my mind leaving me with no place to start.

Julian Lennon with Mom, Cynthia, at the Lupus Foundation of America, "Butterfly Gala" in New York City

Julian Lennon with Mom, Cynthia, at the Lupus Foundation of America, “Butterfly Gala 2010” in New York City

The month of May is dedicated as the official month for Lupus awareness, and it was announced late yesterday that Julian Lennon has been chosen as this year’s Global Ambassador by the Lupus Foundation of America‘s National Board of Directors.   The honor of being named this year’s ambassador was bestowed after an almost-lifetime dedication to the cause.  You see, it’s not by some fluke that Julian was picked.  Many years ago when he was just a child, he drew a picture for his father, the infamous John Lennon, depicting his friend, Lucy.  She was also one of the many who was striken with this unrelentless and often-debilitating disease.  John went on to write The Beatles hit, “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds“, having been inspired by the picture that his little offspring scribbled onto a piece of paper.

I could make this a very long posting, filling you with statistics and random medical facts of Lupus, but instead, I think I’ll just jot down a few basic facts to let you know, in case you don’t already know, a little about the wolf within…

There are two main types of Lupus (Greek:  Lykos, meaning wolf):  Discoid Lupus, which affects the skin, and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, which affects all the internal stuff.  Of course, there are many sub-categories, such as Lupus Nephritis, which also brings along a whole spewing of even more sub-categories.  Let’s just stick with the basics, however, instead of making a posting which would qualify for listing in a medical journal.

There are approximately 5 million people world-wide who are affected by this autoimmune rheumatic disease, and most likely, this total includes people you know.  It’s not always visible, nor is it something that you’d figure out if the person didn’t tell you they have it.  And no two people are alike in their symptoms, in their afflictions.  What hurts today may not hurt tomorrow.  The tell-tale sign of Lupus is a butterfly-shaped rash on the face, but not everyone afflicted has this rash.  There’s no definitive test for Lupus, just a series of qualifications to be included in the tally of those who have it.

There’s no cure, either.

It can be life-threatening or something you just learn to live with, depending on which tissues/organs are striken at any given moment in time.  You can wake up today feeling wonderful, standing on chairs to clean the very tippity top of the kitchen cabinets, and tomorrow you may find yourself unable to get out of bed, unable to walk those 4000 miles to the bathroom, those 10,000 miles to the sofa.  In a nutshell, you live each day grateful for whatever DOESN’T hurt, and if everything hurts, well, you hope tomorrow will bring a better day.

You can’t “catch it”, you just wake up one day realizing something’s not right.  You may have had it for years and no one ever thought to look for it… Doctors are just too busy now-a-days to dig deep inside.  You present symptoms and they throw a label on you.  But with Lupus, the label isn’t clearly written.  You may have the symptoms of some disease, but not the actual disease itself.  Your immune system is in overdrive, attacking healthy stuff… making you appear to have something that you don’t.  Doctor after doctor unable to find the true culprit because they usually don’t bother to put two and two together.  Some people are even labelled as hypochondriacs and told to go home.  Others are referred to pain management clinics for pain-killing drugs in the hopes of silencing their cries for help.

Julian Lennon & James Scott Cook, "Lucy"Ms. Lucy Vodden was only 49 when she succumbed to the dreaded wolf in 2009.  That same year, friend, long-time Lupus supporter, philanthropist, and musician Julian Lennon, along with James Scott Cook, released the song, Lucy, in honor of Lucy Vodden.

Proceeds from the song benefit the Lupus Foundation of America and the St. Thomas Lupus Trust of London.

Although forty years had passed since Julian brought that little scribbling home, completely unaware at the profound impact his sketch would make on so many lives, everything came full-circle.  His little schoolmate put a face to a disease.  She, and he, would touch the lives of so many unknown faces in the vast forest of Lupus sufferers.

The following acoustic video is brought to you by the LFA, and in it you will not only hear the actual track, but you will also hear Lennon and Cook’s connection … inspiration, if you will … to the reason why they decided to make this a charitable song instead of just another studio track made available for sale.

So, for all of you Lucys out there, here’s hoping today found you with a ray of warmth … and may you always shine brilliantly like diamonds in the sky …

For more information on the Lupus Foundation of America, click HERE.

For more on the LFA’s selection of Julian Lennon as 2011’s Global Ambassador, click HERE.

For more on the symptoms of Lupus, as well as diagnosis and prognosis, you can visit the LFA HERE, or, another medical website, MedicineNet.com, that I personally like can be found HERE.  (In all honesty, there are lots of medical information sites I like, I’m throwing this one out, but you can always search for more through your own search engines.  As always, when in doubt of ANY medical condition, PLEASE contact your doctor or hospital.  Although I may speak harshly at times, I do hold all my faith in the medical staff and their expertise.)

You can also follow announcements, breakthroughs, and happenings by joining the LFA on Facebook, HERE.

… and because I keep singing this song in my head as I write this posting … here’s a completely unrelated song (except for its title, which always starts playing whenever I think of Lupus) “For The Wolf Within” the 1996 release by Greece‘s The Flowers Of Romance.  If you listen closely you will hear Wayne Hussey (Sisters of Mercy, The Mission UK) on second guitars.  (I do so love this album.)

Sending you our wishes for a safe and happy extended holiday weekend.  We’ll be back on Tuesday with more postings, rants, or raves.  🙂

… and don’t forget … charity begins at home.  We’re all suffering from serious financial constraints, however, there are many other ways that you can give without money.  Raising awareness is one, offering to help out a lupie during those “down and out” periods in time is another.  Be creative … use your imagination!   I’m sure there’s a whole plethora swirling about inside you if you only look deep enough to find it …

 

New Zero God – News and Live Announcements

On February 27, New Zero God will play live at To Onoma Tou Rodou club in Kallithea, Athens.  The band will then travel all the way to Thessaloniki for their next gig on March 5 at Eightball Club, with local band Background Noise Suppression lending support.  

The band’s singer, Mike Pougounas, gave a detailed interview to BCBlonde Banks for the January 2011 issue of MUEN Magazine based in Los Angeles (USA).  Meanwhile, SONIK Magazine of Greece featured an article by Pougounas, as well as brief histories on all three of his bands (The Flowers Of Romance | Nexus | New Zero God) in its February 2011 special “Goth Issue”.

New Zero God kicked off the New Year at the Limbo Club with their new line up and the debut performance of Harris Stavrakas on bass.  Stavrakas is no stranger to the music scene and fans from Pougounas’ first band, The Flowers Of Romance, packed the house where a great time was had by all who attended.

The band’s new line-up is as follows: Mike Pougounas – Vocals | Dimitris “Sidheog” Steves – Drums | Michael Christou – Guitars | Harris Stavrakas – Bass.

You can buy their album “Fun Is A Four Letter Word” from CD Baby | Amazon USA Amazon UKAmazon Germany Amazon France, in addition to multiple record shops and international distributors.

New Zero God - Live at Eightball Club, Thessaloniki - 5 March 2011

 

The Flowers Of Romance – Brilliant Mistakes

Pougounas/HusseyIn 1995 Mike Pougounas and Wayne Hussey met in London.  The Flowers Of Romance were on pre-production of the album “Brilliant Mistakes” and Hussey was interested in listening to what they were up to.

A few months prior to this meeting, Hussey released the album “Neverland” with The Mission.  The two men agreed to work on the recordings of the new Flowers Of Romance album that same year following The Mission’s tour.

During this time the line-up of the Greek band was: Mike Pougounas – Vocals, Haris Stavrakas – Bass, Dimitris Koukas – Drums, and Giorgos Katsanos (who replaced Laura Gini during the pre-production period) – Keyboards.  Averkios “Akis” Hatziantoniadis joined them on the guitars.

flowers of romanceThe band recorded in Greece and did additional recordings at The Mission’s studio in Bristol.

Wayne Hussey chose to have Steve Whitfield, The Mission’s main sound engineer at that time, as the sound engineer for “Brilliant Mistakes”.  Whitfield previously worked with The Cure on the “Wish” album and he later became the producer of many English, American and Canadian bands, such as Terrorvision, which is one who pops into my mind right now.

“Brilliant Mistakes” had a few notable parameters:

  • Hatziantoniadis played the guitar on the album, but he rushed out of the country right after the recordings and a few gigs were done.  So, in the photos of this album, one can see Panos Economakis (member of the band Min Pirovolite Ton Pianista) who replaced Hatziantoniadis upon his departure.  While recording the album, the band had promo photos taken with the then-current guitarist but he left so fast that the new guitarist appeared on the photo sessions of the album.
  • Giorgos Bousounis (ex member of the band “Alive She Died”, and later with the band “Ammos”) recorded the keyboards in the studio and followed the band on a number of gigs.
  • Evi “Watson” Hasapidou did the backing vocals, and Wayne Hussey not only provided additional backing vocals but he also played additional guitars on “The Crying Puppet” and “Channel Z”.

flowersofromancebrilliantThe cooperation of the band with Wayne Hussey was heavily promoted in Greece through the music media and it was also covered by some political newspapers as well.  The outcome was a very good 12-track album that helped the band gain international recognition.

The album was released in late 1996 in Greece (Hussey recorded the Mission album “Blue” in between the sessions of the Greek album) and the band went on a string of gigs to promote it.

Tracklisting:

  1. All I Can Remember
  2. Fetish
  3. For the Wolf Within
  4. Reptile Dance
  5. Black Snow
  6. In Blood Eternal
  7. Carnival Of Souls
  8. Love
  9. Channel Z
  10. A Word From The Gutter
  11. In A Vacant Place
  12. The Crying Puppet

The group’s songs were on heavy rotation on the radio and the band was frequently on the TV screens for interviews or live performances.  Their track “Channel Z” reached 5th place on the radio charts (U2 was #1) and “In A Vacant Place” reached  #12 a little later, with Garbage at the top of the Top 20.

Studio pics (FM Records promo sheet)In 1997, the German gothic label Hyperium re-released the album, promoting the band as “The Mission Epigons”.  They also released the 4-track single “Channel Z” for clubs and featured the song “20th Century Junk” from the “Pleasure & the Pain” sessions, as well.

The last Flowers Of Romance gig at Thessaloniki was in 1997.

By some weird twist of luck, Tapes Gone Loose blogspot was there and recorded it.

You can find it here plus a lot of other stuff about the band.

The band  played for the last time at Rodon Club – Athens, along with four label mates, Echo Tattoo, Drums & Stories and Bella Union on April 12 1997.

A few months later, Rodon Club would close forever.

The following vid is from Mega Channel, a tv channel that was covering the show.

During this same year the band supported the Sisters Of Mercy and the New Model Army on the Rock of Godz Festival and started making schedules for a European tour.  Bill Laswell was interested in the album and the American gothic label Cleopatra Records, asked to feature the “Crying Puppet” on one of their compilations, but unfortunately, due to contractual obligations with FM Records, this was denied.

About that time, Oliver Rοch, the head of Hyperium Records was killed in a tragic motorcycle accident.  With the Greek managers of the band being slow in finding European promoters for a tour, nerves started getting loose in the band.

liveDuring the summer of 1997, Lefteris Strouggaris was playing the guitar for the Flowers Of Romance because Economakis left to reform his old band, and Vasilis Vasiliadis replaced George Bousounis on the keyboards.

With personal problems getting bigger between the band members, Pougounas announced that he wanted out.  Strouggaris followed him to form the industrial Goth band Nexus and Vasiliadis left the band to join the group Axaioi.

Stavrakas and Koukas were left behind, but out of the respect they had for Pougounas and his history with the band, decided to call it a day.

The Flowers Of Romance story ended after 18 years as one of the most successful and respected Greek bands.  Along with other Greek bands with English lyrics, such as the Last Drive, Panx Romana, No Man’s Land, Blue Jeans and many others, they were one of the “old guards” bridging the early days of the 80’s into the late days of 90’s.

Click HERE for NEXUS

 
 

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The Flowers Of Romance – Pleasure & the Pain

In 1993, three years after the release of their debut album, “Dorian Grey“, the Flowers Of Romance released their album “Pleasure & the Pain” for the Greek market.

Flowers Of Romance

Flowers Of Romance

As their single “Love Means Death” prepared the groundwork for the next band release, the Flowers Of Romance appeared on the Belgian/Greek vinyl compilation “Double Shot“, and entered the studio to record their newest material.

flowers-singlePrior to the release of their new album, a 7″ single was released with the tracks “Pleasure and the Pain/Winter Waltz“.  With the same line up of singer Mike Pougounas, bass player Harry Stavrakas, guitar player Dimitris “Bay J” Beis, and Mike “Jabar” Tzavaras on the drums, they went on a string of gigs and appeared at the Rock Management Festival in Thessaloniki.  During this same year the Greek TV channel ERT2 aired a 30-minute show featuring the band.

Pougounas had already recorded most of the keyboards for the upcoming album, so when keyboardist Laura Gini joined the band as keyboardist, she recorded piano and additional keyboard parts where needed.

flowerspleasure

“Pleasure & the Pain” was released during November, 1993.

The album uncovered the gothic rock face of the band with featured hit tracks “Love Commandos” and “Winter Waltz“.

There were two songs from the “Pleasure & the Pain” sessions which were not included in the album.

Flowers Of Romance - Metal Hammer - Hammer Holocaust, Vol. I (Winter 1995 edition).jpgIsland on the Moon” appeared on the German CD edition of the album, while “20th Century Junk” was featured in the Metal Hammer Hammer Holocaust, Vol. 1” edition (Winter, 1995).  Other artists appearing on this exclusive CD included Rotting Christ, Sound of Silence, Into The Abyss, Red Mist, Sacrastic Terror, En-Garde, Necromantia, Fatal Morgana, and H-Quake.

Things got a bit tough when Tzavaras left the group to study in Berkeley (USA) and Beis returned to his hometown (Volos) to aid his father who had become ill right after the release of the album.

Drummer Dimitris Koukas (former member of the blues band Mojo Tooth) and guitar player Aggelos Kakouratos (former member of the post punk band Scoria) joined the band for live performances.  Koukas became a permanent member while Kakouratos stayed for only a few months.

“Pleasure & the Pain” was also released in 1994 in CD format through the German label Nyctalopia Records and included four bonus tracks.

Distributed in several countries, it quickly established the band in the international gothic underground scene.  Extra tracks contained in the CD release included “Kashmir” (from “Dorian Grey“), “Amaradina” (a song about a Greek witch of the Dark Ages, taken from the “Double Shot” compilation), “Loves Means Death” (from the same titled EP), and “Island on The Moon” (previously unreleased).

FOR - Booklet - innergermanpleasure2

There were several differences between the CD edition and the Greek vinyl edition, including:

  • The CD edition contained a photo in the booklet with the line up for the gigs.
  • The vinyl edition had a photo of Pougounas, Stavrakas, and Beis on the back cover.
  • The tracklisting was different.
  • The font on the cover was different between the vinyl release and the CD release.

back-again-febr-1994On January 21, 1994, the Flowers Of Romance played live at Mylos in Thessaloniki, and in February they became the first Greek band to be on the cover of a German magazine (“Back Again“).

They also made their second appearance on Greek national TV (ERT2) for another 30-minute segment where they were again interviewed and performed some of their hits, including:

  • Kashmir
  • Who’s Playing Jesus” and
  • Love

Shortly after their TV appearance they were featured in Mick Mercer‘s book titled “Hex Files” about the international gothic scene.

gothic-spiritThe year 1994 continued to spin rapidly and the German label Spectre released the CD compilation “Gothic Spirit, Vol. 1” featuring the tracks “The Ocean Floor” and “Winter Waltz“, both from the “Pleasure & the Pain” album.  Into The Abyss also participated with a cover of the track “Waiting for the Sun” amongst songs from bands such as Midnight Configuration, Venus Fly Trap, Elysium, and others.

The international press music became very interested in the band and interviews were published in European and Australian music magazines and newspapers.  This created a fan base, mostly in Germany and Italy, and helped the band’s promotion all over the globe.  Magazines such as England’s “Lowlife“, Australia’s “Dark Angel“, and Germany’s “Gothic” were among just a few of the many publications which featured interviews of the band.

Flowers Of Romance - Live at Mylos (January 21, 1994)

Flowers Of Romance – Live at Mylos (January 21, 1994)

The “tape movement” was still very active and several Flowers Of Romance tracks were featured in cassette releases in Germany, Japan, Norway, and other countries.

when-the-sun-settles-down-vol-iiWhen the German CD compilation “When The Sun Settles Down, Vol. II” came out in early 1995, an additional track was included.

Released by EFA/Foundation, the album featured the Flowers Of Romance song “Love Commandos” and included tracks by bands such as Nosferatu, Inkubus Sukkubus, All Living Fear, and others.

FOR - Under the Black Rose (Italian Mag)

The band also participated in the compilation CD of the Greek fanzine “The Thing” with the song “Love”.

During the prior months, Kakouratos was replaced by Averkios Hatziantoniades (also a former Mojo Tooth member) and Gini (who joined
the band Avaton) was replaced by George Katsanos for a short while.

They soon went back to the studio for the pre-production of their last album “Brilliant Mistakes“, which was produced by Wayne Hussey (Dead or Alive, Sisters of Mercy, The Mission).

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Through the present day, “Pleasure & the Pain” can be found in catalogues around the world, either through American, European, or Asian distributors.

The album is considered to be one of the top 50 Greek rock albums ever.

Click HERE for next release.

Live at Mylos – Thessaloniki

“Pleasure & the Pain” – vinyl edition track list:

Side A 1) Love Commandos 2) The Royal Hunt Of The Sun 3) Gerda and Kay 4) Pleasure & The Pain
Side B 1) Who’s Playing Jesus 2) Chrysalis 3) Ocean Floor 4) Winter Waltz

 
 

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The Flowers Of Romance – Love Means Death

Love Means Death

Love Means Death

Two year after the release of their debut album, Dorian Grey, the Flowers Of Romance
entered the Sierra studios to record the 12″ EP, “Love Means Death” which would be
released in a limited edition.
The band had one more release during 1992.
The english label M&E released the tape “The Flowers Of Romance…the story so far
featuring 17 songs of the band.
Some of the matterial was unreleased till then.

The line up of the band had changed before the recordings of “Love Means Death”.
Singer Mike Pougounas, bass player Teo Botinis and drummer B.B. Romeo were still there
but quitar player Bay J. (Dimitris Beis) joined the band, replacing the guitar players
Plato Papadimitriou and Achileas “Lao” Geromoshos.

Live at Rodon club

Live at Rodon club

“Love Means Death” is on the first side of the record, a post punk tune that would soon become a fave among their audience.
On B side, there was a cover version of the classic Rolling Stones track “Paint it Black” with
an ala Sisters Of Mercy intro.
The song “Autumn Kids” that was featured in the compilation album
12 raw Greek bands” back in 1988, closes the B side.

eb metronom 1992

eb metronom 1992

The Flowers Of Romance went on a string of gigs in Athens and the countryside.
While the band started giving interviews to the mags abroad they started writing the matterial for
their forthcoming album.

Soon after the release of this EP, Teo Botinis would leave the band to be replaced by an old band member, Haris Stavrakas.

Click HERE to read about their next release.

 

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The Flowers Of Romance – Dorian Grey

One more punk rock band was formed in Athens in 1981 to become well known over the Greek borders thanks to their albums, as a Gothic Rock band.

Initialy named as The Gift but soon to change their name to The Flowers Of Romance paying a tribute to Sid Vicious’s band.

Costas Venos on the guitar, Tasos Dimitriadis on the bass and the singer Mike Pougounas started rehearsing with several drummers (Aris Lazarakis was one of them – later to join Chaos Generation and then The Groupies) till George Venizelos joined them to get things started.

Influenced by The Clash, The Damned and Dead Boys, The Flowers Of Romance, in the beginning, were rehearsing with Birth Ward 82, and later shared the studio of Ex Humans and Ausschwitss.
With the above mentioned line up, the band recorded a number of songs that some of them were released on a tape in 1986 titled “Anovis” and on 1992 were featured on the tape “The Flowers Of Romance…The Story So Far” that was released in England by the tape label Music & Elsewhere.

As they were using English lyrics, they didn’t made it to the punk rock compilation “Diataraxi Kinis Isixias” and in 1984 Dimitriadis and Venos left the band.

The Flowers Of Romance 1986

The Flowers Of Romance 1986

Pougounas and Venizelos were joined by guitarist Achileas “Lao” Geromoshos and bass player Haris Stavrakas to go on a string of gigs and recorded new material evolving the music style of The Flowers Of Romance from punk rock to gothic.

Gigs were held in universities, clubs and political demonstrations creating this way a great fan base.
The band released the cassette “Anovis” featuring 5 studio songs and 5 live recordings with tracks that were never printed on vinyl such as “It’s  Survival” and “This is Radio Christiania” to name but a few.
Most of the times, the audience would follow them after the gig to watch them play a late night volley-ball match against the band Panx Romana.

The singer of Panx Romana got them in touch with Wipe Out Records and in 1988 The Flowers Of Romance had their track “Autumn Kids” featured in the compilation album “Wipe Out presents 12 Raw Greek groups”.

By that time Venizelos was replaced by the drummer Babis “B.B. Romeo” Efthymiou, Stavrakas was replaced by Teo Botinis (later with the band September) while guitarist Platon Papadimitriou joined the band turning The Flowers Of Romance into a five piece.

Dorian Grey

Dorian Grey

With this line up they recorded the first Greek gothic rock album “Dorian Grey” which was released in 1990 and also made their first appearance on the Greek national television (at the same show and at the same night when One Night Suzan were on).

“Dorian Grey” was recorded in 65 hours and actualy captured the chronological era of 1986-1989 as tracks like “Kashmir” and “There is Nothing We can’t Solve Together” were writen in 1986.

It was recorded in Blue Moon Studios, during 1989, after the suggestion their close friends and labelmates Film Noir.

Blue Moon Studios were run by Chris Manolitsis, a Greek/South African producer/sound engineer who worked on most of the albums of the “top” greek dark wave bands of the time, such as Yell-O-Yell, Metro Decay, Film Noir and others.

The album featured a cover of  Marc Bolan’s “Children Of the Revolution” and was distributed also in Germany, Australia and USA thanks to the band’s connections, selling thousands of copies.

The album line up

The album line up

Like all three Flowers Of Romance albums that followed, “Dorian Grey” is considered to be as one of the 50 best Greek rock albums of all times.

Track listing: SIDE A 1) Shooting a love fix 2) In her House 3) Christmas in a Cunthouse 4) Children Of The Revolution  5) 1000 Dying Words

SIDE B 1) There Is Nothing We Can’t Solve Together 2) Kashmir 3) Picture Pillow 4) Opium 5) The Last Summer Night (On Earth)

Click HERE for their next release…

 

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