Cast your mind back to the start of the year, and you may recall that the NME were hyping up two bands in particular as the ‘new saviours of British guitar music’, or something along those lines. The two bands in question were The Vaccines and Brother. Now, as you can probably tell from the title of this post, I’m not here to hate on The Vaccines – they’re not the earth-shattering prospect that NME might have made them out to be, but they’ve got a handful of decent tunes and at worst they’re merely inoffensive. No, my bile in this case is reserved for Brother – or, as they are now known, Viva Brother.
Yes, the swaggering, over-confident Slough four-piece have been forced to change their name due to a lawsuit from another, longer-running band called Brother. Somewhat bizarrely, the band in question are an Australian Celtic rock band whose music features both bagpipes and a didgeridoo – (Viva) Brother were apparently aware of them when they chose their band name, but didn’t think it would become a problem. As it turns out, the Australian band thought differently – so much so that they sent someone across America to dump a 30-page writ at (Viva) Brother’s feet while they were playing in San Francisco.
Now, that might seem like a pretty badass thing to do, and fair play to the pre-existing Brother for defending their name, but it’s the kind of situation where both parties come across as complete dicks. Was it really necessary to “serve” the lawsuit in such a dramatic fashion? You may have preserved your name’s integrity, Celtic-rocking Brother, but in the process you’ve provided a quartet of gobshites from the UK with another story to raise up as a piece of mythology, not to mention an assload of free publicity. I hope you’re proud of yourselves.
Meanwhile, in typically self-aggrandising fashion, Viva Brother have presented their name change as “a big fuck you” to the other band. The announced the change by walking on stage at Glastonbury with a flag emblazoned with the new name, and have pointed out in no uncertain terms that the new name means “long live Brother”. Well, best of luck to you lads, but I have a feeling that you’ll have a rough time out-lasting the other band’s near 20-year career.
Of course, such bravado is par for the course with Viva Brother – after all, this a band who’ve come out with such hilarious gems as “If anyone here doesn’t want to see the future of music, leave now” (at their first London gig), have entitled their debut album Famous First Words, and seem to insist on wearing ridiculous sunglasses regardless of the weather.
You may notice I haven’t even got to talking about Viva Brother’s music yet, and that’s because by comparison it’s barely worth discussing. They’re essentially the result of force-feeding ‘Country House’ era Blur some Oasis albums, then reprocessing the resulting vomit into bland, nutrition-free slabs of so called ‘Gritpop’. Now this isn’t meant to be a slight on Blur (although it is, perhaps, a dig at Oasis) – just listen to the first 20 seconds of ‘New Year’s Day’ and you’ll see where I’m coming from:
So, the “future of music” is re-heated Britpop leftovers? Whatever you say guys – carry on partying like it’s 1995, I’m going to go get a bucket.
Famous First Words is released on… oh, like you give a shit. I know I don’t.