Viva Obscurity: Brother's Britpop Dream Fades - Articles - Soundblab

Viva Obscurity: Brother's Britpop Dream Fades

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

Alas, poor Brother, we knew them well. In fact, it looks like we saw them coming, had their number and quickly gave them the brush off. At least the recent change of moniker to Viva Brother (due to a legal dispute with an Australian Celtic band of the same name) has got them back in the press, although for a band about to release a debut album produced by indie legend Stephen Street, that shouldn't have been a problem. And yet, a few months back, it looked as if 2011 might be the year of the long-fabled Britpop revival, spearheaded by the pathologically gobby Slough band.

 

At the start of this year, NME, that august publication renowned for never backing a lame musical horse (Cough, cough - Terris! Cough - Goldie Lookin Chain! Cough, splutter - etc!) stuck Brother on one of a two-cover special edition predicting 2011's big hitters. On the other cover were The Vaccines who, while not exactly setting the music world alight with their by-numbers indie rock, have made decent progress, getting a general critical thumbs up for their debut album What Did You Expect from the Vaccines? (including from us).

 

Brother, on the other hand, disappeared pretty sharpish from NME's pages, an indication perhaps that even a music paper so devoted to bargain bin rock 'n' roll behaviour was aware that a declared intention to gain access to "drugs and prostitutes" just made the band look childish and unpleasant. Meanwhile, kicking off a gig at the Met Bar by demanding the DJ "turn that dubstep shit off" made Brother appear woefully out of step with the times. (Then again, the story that they opened another gig by bellowing "If anyone here doesn't want to see the future of music, leave now!" is so rich in bathos you kind of hope they hang around just to provide some much-needed lulz.)

One thing Brother (sorry, Viva Brother) are not is cool, and cool, you immediately ascertain from looking at any of their artfully posed, 'We are the mods!' style press pics, is what this band want to be above all else. Oh, they want to be massively successful, of course. There's a fine tradition in the UK rock press of indie chancers using their preliminary interviews to serve notice of their imminent enormousness and importance. Brother stuck to the script on this one admirably.

 

More than success, though, Brother (Sorry! Viva Brother) want to be cherished by the type of men (and the odd (seriously odd) woman) who believe in the very core of their being that Real Music began with The Beatles and The Stones, then completely died for a couple of decades, before being reborn in the swaggering monkey-man insouciance of Ian Brown. From Brown, the precious torch of Real Man Musicness was passed to the brothers Gallagher, Richard Ashcroft and down to slightly less deserving types like Stereophonics, Robbie Williams and Kings of Leon.

 

Despite their rock god posturing, however, KoL can never truly hold the essence of Real Meaty Manly Music Maleness in their Topman skinnies since they are unfortunately American. As such, the sheer poetry of a night out, wearing the regulation uniform of jeans, shirt buttoned all the way and smart shoes (to get passed the bouncers), getting wankered on WKD and pissy lager and dribbling into a kebab on the way home is forever lost on them.

 

These men inhabit identikit towns up and down the UK just like Brother's (Sorry! Vi - oh, fuck it) hometown. Since the death of Britpop, they've been lacking a soundtrack which assures them that their nights of suburban abandon add up to more than a blown pay packet and a beer belly. That they can still live forever.

 

So what's in a name? Well, for Viva Brother, possibly the unarticulated death of a dream. But that dream isn't just one band's previously assured place at the big table with their guitar band heroes. It's also the death of the Britpop dream, long after the fact itself became a spent musical force.

 

While women on a night out in any bar or club, on any highstreet in the UK, can rule the dance floor to Beyonce's 'Single Ladies' or 'Run the World (Girls)' or numerous other dubious female empowerment anthems, the pop world is bereft of songs and bands who tell the average bloke what a star he is. A rock 'n' roll star. A lucky man. The resurrection. Even Robbie Williams, once so desperate to get on the Britpop bandwagon and live the uber-lad life, is back with his wussy boyband, coining it in by soiling married ladies knickers.

 

Shouldn't we feel sorry for these poor, dispossessed men? Nah, fuck 'em, fuck the Britpop revival and fuck Brother. Viva amazing, forward-thinking music.

Comments (6)

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I'll be the first to comment on this Rich seeing as you took the time to rant. There isn't really much to be said so I won't go on about how I hate Brother. Other than being a bit poo though, I feel they've jumped on the Britpop revival bandwagon...

I'll be the first to comment on this Rich seeing as you took the time to rant. There isn't really much to be said so I won't go on about how I hate Brother. Other than being a bit poo though, I feel they've jumped on the Britpop revival bandwagon too soon. Like all bands these days (OK not all of them) it's too easy to spot the next revival, 20 year cycles and all that. So Brother thought they'd get in there first but a couple of years early by my estimation.

It's similar to the way Nine Black Alps tried a grunge revival too soon. If they were about now they'd be raking it in.

In fact I'll take a moment to launch an appeal to all the young 'uns out there. Stop looking to the past and create a new movement, go and invent a new drug, new dance, new instrument, new fashion, whatever and piss off your parents. Who cares what it sounds like, as long as it sounds like nothing before.

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But Bob - their the future of music. The future of music sounds a watered down Oasis and looks like Paul Weller in the mid-80s.It certainly isn't dubstep (spit!) which is made on computers and is thus highly suspect. Real music is made by MEN,...

But Bob - their the future of music. The future of music sounds a watered down Oasis and looks like Paul Weller in the mid-80s.It certainly isn't dubstep (spit!) which is made on computers and is thus highly suspect. Real music is made by MEN, often but not always from the NORTH, playing GUITARS made out of WOOD. Anything else is fake and probably for girls.

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I'm old enough to remember Acid House and how that came along and pissed off everyone, except for those involved with it. I remember seeing old hippies really into it, obviously because of the drug connection. I guarantee that if a new movement...

I'm old enough to remember Acid House and how that came along and pissed off everyone, except for those involved with it. I remember seeing old hippies really into it, obviously because of the drug connection. I guarantee that if a new movement comes along, I'll be that old hippy this time.

This generation is far too safe. I don't mind if this new music is made on guitars by men of the north, just as long as it doesn't sound like bloody Oasis.

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Ha ha! I'll probably join you in being an old hippie. Btw, just looked at this week's NME and they've only gone and put Brother in there again! Why? And fucking Hurts as well you I reasonably assumed were dead. Fuck's sake, NME - WAKE UP!

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And another dead star on the cover, as opposed to something new.

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Yeah, they really need to take the 'new' out of the mag's name. Maybe replace it with 'shit' if this week's anything to go by.

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