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Video of the Moment #568: Viva Brother

By on Sunday, 4th September 2011 at 10:00 am

Viva Brother‘s new video for ‘Time Machine’? Trippy hippie colours and lads being lads. That’s all you need to know, really.



Live Review: Viva Brother with 1, 2, 3 at Black Cat Backstage, Washington, DC – 26th July 2011

By on Monday, 1st August 2011 at 2:00 pm

Despite their recent unceremonious name change Viva Brother, those four lads from Slough will always be Brother in my mind. Doubtful that anyone else at Black Cat Backstage Tuesday night is as philosophical about this as I am: while it is not surprising that the band’s first show in Washington ever did not sell out (they’re just not well known enough here on this side of the pond), I don’t think anyone who bought a ticket was losing sleep over their name change. Stepping into the room, there was no question which band was playing. A huge tie-dye sign hung on the wall proclaiming “VIVA BROTHER”, with “ACID LOVE” (in reference to the band’s Web site, probably) taped hastily in orange neon Gaffa tape on the front of their black-faced drum kit.

The opening band was 1, 2, 3 from Pittsburgh. I don’t know why their soundcheck took so long, but their set was plagued with problems, the worst being their bass breaking in the middle of the set and the band deciding to cut their performance short. Oddly, from what I’ve read online, they’ve been pegged as a ‘70s psychedelic group, but it’s their more straightforward rock ‘n’ roll tunes that sounded better to me, because you could hear how tight as a band they were instrumentally. ‘Confetti’ has a simplistic, Beach Boys throwback sound going for it, and another song where they were just jamming like no-one’s business sounded great. The main riff in ‘Going Away Party’ sounds familiar (in a good way), I can’t think of the song that it makes me think of though. Shame their bass went when it did.

I was quite keen on seeing Viva Brother live, after our man on the street at the Great Escape, John, couldn’t get into Horatio’s in Brighton to see them because the place was rammed. (When I told guitarist Sam Jackson this, he deeply apologised. Now, how sweet is that?) One of the benefits of seeing a popular UK band in America is that if you act swiftly, you can catch them in smaller places just like Black Cat Backstage and are afforded the intimate experience that’s not likely to happen again in Britain.

This band is very good live. Much has been made of the trite lyrics: so what? Sometimes you need something with immediacy, which is what you get with Viva Brother live – Lee Newell’s raucous vocals, killer guitar riffs and lines, and pounding drum and bass. It’s all in your face. And it all sounds brilliant. Granted, the audience didn’t know most of the songs except for the singles and ‘Time Machine’, which they recently performed on late night programme Jimmy Kimmel Live (see ‘Darling Buds of May’ below). But considering that most people in America haven’t a clue who these four blokes from Slough are, the response they generated in a town (and in indeed, in a whole country) where they’re not at all well known, was pretty amazing. Nothing can really beat the finishing trifecta of ‘Darling Buds of May’, ‘New Year’s Day’ and ‘Time Machine’.


There are a lot of people who don’t like this band, for various reasons. I understand this, because I was pretty sceptical myself when NME started plugging them like mad. I heard a couple tracks here and there and decided they had promise. Now, after seeing them live, I am a believer. And I like this band. So before you judge, go see them live. You may need to eat your words.

More photos and set list behind the cut.
Continue reading Live Review: Viva Brother with 1, 2, 3 at Black Cat Backstage, Washington, DC – 26th July 2011


Brother / September 2011 UK Tour

By on Monday, 13th June 2011 at 4:15 pm

The big noise from Slough, Brother, have announced a tour of the UK for September. Tickets go on sale Wednesday (15 June) at 9 AM.

Read Marc’s interview with the band from last month here.

Wednesday 21st September 2011 – Newcastle O2 Academy 2
Thursday 22nd September 2011 – Glasgow Oran Mor
Friday 23rd September 2011 – Hull University
Saturday 24th September 2011 – Sheffield Leadmill
Sunday 25th September 2011 – Manchester Club Academy
Tuesday 27th September 2011 – Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
Wednesday 28th September 2011 – Birmingham HMV Institute
Friday 30th September 2011 – London Koko


Interview: Brother

By on Thursday, 5th May 2011 at 2:00 pm

As of late, Brother have been recognised for soaring up the musical ladder directly into the big-time. With an arsenal of gigs lined up ahead of them, front man Lee Newell found the time to chat to TGTF. Having recently supported the Streets at London’s prestigious Brixton Academy, Lee thinks back to the reactions of the first ever Brother gig: “The first Brother show was a blur, we drank far too much and so we played awfully. We made a pact the next day to not get smashed before we play anymore. We leave the caning until after now. Well, we try at least.”

With several festivals welcoming the band this year, such as Rockness, Hop Farm, and Japan’s Summer Sonic, Brother will be sharing stages with some of the most prominent bands in today’s musical world. However, this feat is evidently well-deserved, as Lee comments, “I’ve always believed that we’d do it. It’s not rocket science. All you have to do is write some brilliant songs and you will be treated like a good band. I feel lucky of course I do, but it’s all relative. Like, if I look at my life now compared to a year ago I feel like I’ve been granted every wish I could have ever hoped for – getting signed, TV, magazines, radio etc. On the other hand, looking forward to the next year, we want a number 1 album, and we want to sell out big venues (among other things). You have to work your bollocks off to do that. Every day is a new challenge. We won’t stop until we get there.”

It isn’t news to any contemporary music fan that Brother have received large criticism as being a Britpop revival band, or an Oasis-duplicate. However, Lee firmly states that the band’s defined genre, ‘gritpop,’ is a domestic creation. “Gritpop was something we came up with ourselves. It was an answer to all the critics and journos hailing us a Britpop revivalist band. We most certainly are not revivalists of anything at all. We figured that if we were going to be pigeon-holed into a genre, then we may as well do it by our rules. Gritpop it is.” Despite the slanders of bring no more than ‘Liam Gallagher wannabes,’ Brother have stood strong and have reacted imperviously against these allegations. “Oasis have not been massive influences by any stretch of the imagination. They’ve written some of the best songs of the last 20 years, but sonically we are very dissimilar. I think the thing we have in common with them the most is the fact that I occasionally wear circular glasses.”

In a short space of time, the band’s name has erupted into the British music scene. But through all the adventures Brother have had so far, we asked whether there has been a particular moment which stood out for the worse. “I’ve not even had the chance to really sit down and think about what has happened really. We speak our mind, and that is a big part of our band. So of course you get the backlash. That can hurt occasionally. Other than that it’s a fucking roller coaster. The point of this band was to a) give us a vehicle to get out of Slough and b) get guitar music back on the radio. We’ve done both already, but now we have to make it a permanent fixture. There will be plenty of ups and comedowns but we’re ready for it.”


Brother release their next single, ‘Still Here’, on the 8th of May on Geffen Records. The band will be touring in May as well.


Video of the Moment #431: Brother

By on Tuesday, 15th March 2011 at 6:00 pm

The Slough band Brother isn’t on MySpace, and I’m guessing because there’s already some solo artist with the same name on there (ok….) They’ve been mentioned in a blog post by Steve Lamacq as “Britpop without the wit!”…eh? Have a listen to ‘Still Here’, which reminds me a lot of the attitude of Oasis.


Brother tours the UK in May – details here.


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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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