Tiberius Minnows- Live at Belfast Empire (+sessions) – 1996
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Tiberius Minnows in concert tonight. Starting off with a few radio session tracks, I believe recorded for the RTÉ Network in 1996. I confess to just recently being introduced to this band and sorely regret I wasn’t aware of them at the time of this concert. It really points up to the fact that, if you weren’t everywhere all the time, prior to Streaming Audio and the instant fingertip access to bands and artists all over the world, you really ran the risk of missing out on a lot – and Tiberius Minnows is a case in point. They are strongly reminiscent of Trashcan Sinatras, another band from the same era who also had very strong vocals and an almost jangle-pop feel – the difference was Trashcan Sinatras were on a label which distributed them worldwide – that wasn’t the case with Tiberius Minnows (or Minnows as they came to be known and are known as now). So we missed out on some excellent music-making that would have fit very smoothly in with later 90s sensibilities, and that is regrettable.
Sadly too, was the fact that the Belfast-based band dissolved in the early 2000’s, but re-emerged as simply Minnows. In 2007 the band changed their name from Tiberius’ Minnows to ‘The Minnows’ to reflect, as lead singer Michael Rafferty explained, ‘a new maturity and diversity of influence in our music.’ Our live following were already calling us ‘The Minnows’ so it all made sense to make the change and move forward.
With their live work well established, the band recorded and released their debut album “Holyland.” It featured many of their well known songs honed on the live circuit including the very popular “Time Flies”.
Fortunes have changed for the band since 1996, but this concert and session gig from 1996 are a nice reminder of how fertile the 90s were for music, and how some got lost in the big shuffle at the time. Getting lost in the shuffle is still a distinct possibility now (with the almost overwhelming access to music worldwide), but chances are better of making discoveries you couldn’t have made before. Lucky us. Readers more familiar with the band may want to add some insights or offer some corrections on dates and places – it’s always appreciated.
Social media has its positive points after all.