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Brother forges success with “gritpop” sound

The Slough, England-based quartet Brother is one UK band that is poised for success both in their home country and elsewhere.
Slough, England’s Brother is one of the new bands emerging from the UK, and are poised for success in the UK and abroad. (Photo by Adam Weatherley.)

Slough, England’s Brother is one of the new bands emerging from the UK, and are poised for success in the UK and abroad. (Photo by Adam Weatherley.)

By John Curley

Slough, England has probably been best known in recent years as the fictional setting for the original BBC-TV version of The Office. But that may soon change if the Slough-based quartet Brother have anything to say about it.

Formed just last year, Brother is comprised of Leonard Newell, Josh Ward, Samuel Jackson, and Frank Colucci. They only started playing live after they were perfectly happy with the way the songs were sounding. And good strategy that, because they were signed not long after playing their first gigs.

Brother’s sound has been described in the UK music press as “gritpop”; that is, an updated version of Britpop for the 21st century. Their first few singles have gotten considerable airplay on UK music radio stations such as XFM London and their debut single, “Darling Buds of May,” has been getting aired on several American music radio outlets, including New York City’s WRXP-FM. One sign of Brother’s burgeoning success is that they have already been criticized in the UK music press by Liam Gallagher of Beady Eye. According to the BBC, Gallagher had stated that Brother are “little posh boys with tattoos.” Brother frontman Leonard Newell shot back, “He’s the one living in a mansion.”

Posh or not, Brother have been receiving many positive write-ups in the UK music press. The April issue of the British music magazine Q opined, “[T]heir debut single ‘Darling Buds Of May’ sounds like Blur with Noel Gallagher on guitar.” Yeah, I think that Q pretty much nailed it with that comment.

Brother’s debut album, which is titled Famous First Words, is being released on August 1st in the UK. There has been no US release announced for the album yet. But Brother does have a four-song EP called Fly By Nights that can be purchased in America. (NOTE: The band is known as Brother UK in the United States.) Famous First Words is being produced by Stephen Street, who has also worked with Blur and The Smiths. Brother starts their North American tour with a July 23rd date in Chicago. The tour will also make a stop at New York City’s Bowery Ballroom on August 2nd.

To watch an interview that Brother did with NMETV earlier this year, click below:

I’m impressed with Brother’s sound, and I believe that they will be one of the big bands of 2011. But you don’t have to take my word for it. You can watch the videos below for their first three singles and judge for yourself:

“Darling Buds Of May”:

“Still Here”:

“New Year's Day”:

To watch Brother perform “Darling Buds Of May” live on CBS-TV’s Late Show with David Letterman, click below:

To watch a short film featuring Brother on tour in the UK, click below:

For more on Brother, go to: