Oh, Brother

7 November 2010 by Steve Lamacq
Oh, Brother

The Met Bar is where you go when you’ve lost all respect in yourself; a tiny, brightly lit, haven for the lost and the lonely, the narcissistic and the damned.

In the ‘90s, it was the second home of the Britpop Glitterati; the place where they came to celebrate themselves, wolfing down cocktails and champagne like lottery winners on speed.

It is also where BROTHER come tonight to play their latest showcase! How clever of them! How ironic! You can almost see them now huddled around their cans of cheap Stella, dreaming this one up.

It is so literal.

The Britpop revival in the place where ultimately it came to die; the ghosts of the old days still haunting the room.

More scary however is the fact that Geffen Records have signed them for two albums firm – in a deal worth nearly £200,000. TWO HUNDRED FUCKING GRAND! For this?!

Some blokes from Slough who used to be Emo? A band who, retrospectively, believe that 1996 was a vintage year for music?

No wonder there is a sense of anticipation in the room before they go on (no wonder it genuinely feels like you’ve walked into a scene from John Niven’s novel Kill Your Friends). It is all about how to sell them now. The music itself, is of virtually no importance tonight: although for reference, their songs follow certain patterns – Kasabian doing Oasis; Menswear doing Blur and the cast of Inbetweeners doing Black Grape.

It is thrillingly Lowest Common Denominator! It is Britpop without the wit!

They say:” Right let’s get on with it so we can finish this and do what we do best. Getting pissed!”

Trust me, at £18 for a pale ale and a vodka & coke, we’d all like to get out of here and drown our sorrows.

But this is all part of the swagger; part of the perception offensive, which starts with a football scarf tied around the singer’s mic stand and ends with several desperate attempts to write an anthem.

None of this – not even the fact that they look like the Britpop band from The Fast Show – appears to be holding them back. Radio 1’s evening DJs have already dubbed them “classic” (really?????); and they’ll be at least one small corner of the NME which will roll over and fawn at their feet.

This is how the LCD works! Acceptable rebellion dressed up as revolution! Recreating the past without the spontaneity.

This is why people bought records by The Enemy! It is all about a PR machine playing on people’s paranoia (planting the seed that we are missing out on something; that you can’t trust populist opinion and that this is going to be huge).

And all of us here in this room are guilty! It’s just that – as always – some are more guilty than others.

For their side of the ‘story’, you can find an introduction to Brother here


Wow, they even signed a 90s sized record deal!

I loved Britpop and still enjoy hearing the songs from that period but Brother are awful. The song I heard by them sounded like one of the also ran Britpop bands and I really cant see people buying it be honest. If Radio 1 DJs (Zane Lowe?) are really calling them classic then they need their ears cleaning out and it makes me glad I dont listen to Radio 1 anymore.
Stil it seems to have fooled Gordon Smart of The Sun who said they were good and even mentioned you were there Steve.

Brother are talented and breath of fresh air.

Actually, this is a review of the ‘lowest common denominator’. Everything other than the actual music is mentioned in detail here. In fact it is barely even referenced, being deemed ‘unimportant’ to the review.

Of course you could never beat the nostalgic, sugar coated view from the past by someone who’s clearly stuck in it. How self indulgent.

Give ‘em hell Steve!


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