Concert Review: Brother, May 3, The Horseshoe Tavern

Toronto – Brother have recently been touted by the British music press as one of the “next big thing” buzz bands.  They first caught my attention back in December on a trip to London when I picked up a copy of NME and read a feature on them.  The band gave a pretty good interview, bringing up the ghost of Oasis (while taking care to stress that they don’t sound like Oasis), slagging off fellow Brit buzz bands of the moment The Vaccines and Mona, and offering up ridiculous, cocky quotes like “we self-elected ourselves to be the future.”  Being slaves to the whims of the British music press, Team Panic Manual was out in full force for the Slough band’s Canadian debut at The Horseshoe.

Given the Oasis comparisons and the braggadocio on display in the aforementioned interview, these guys seemed a lot nicer than I expected them to be.  I imagined four cocky Liam Gallagher clones, all wearing sunglasses on stage.  What we saw instead was four lads (plus a keyboard player and a backup singer) having fun onstage and rocking out.  There was a bit of swagger on display in comments like, “Come on, Toronto, you’re supposed to be going crazy.  This is Brother!” and “This is the part where you show us you like us and clap along.”  However, these comments were probably a bit tongue in cheek, not obnoxious at all, and kind of endearing.  Also effective – people did clap along for a bit. 

Basically, these guys play some solid, decent, guitar based Britpop/rock.  They’ve got a few catchy tunes (the highlight being “Darling Buds Of May”), some good stage banter and kept things moving along at a good pace.  Also, as Ricky pointed out, their set was twice as long as fellow buzz band The Vaccines’ similar Horseshoe showcase a few months back.  It was probably equally as effective though.  I’m not so sure about the effectiveness of singer Lee Newell’s choice of a tie-died t-shirt though.  I kept waiting for them to bust out a Grateful Dead cover. 

So will these guys turn out to be the future of music that they’ve elected themselves to be or just flashes in the pan?  More likely the latter, but in the meantime, they put on a pretty good show and they’re riding a wave of popularity and hype.  Might as well enjoy the ride.

Darling Buds of May (Single) by vivaBROTHER

Posted on by Paul in Concerts