Until their recent slight return, The Brothers Movement had been all but forgotten from Ireland's musical landscape since their demise. For a time, though, they made the kind of waves around Dublin that had many people believe that they could make the step into the international market with their brand of ‘70s influenced rock that took its cues from the likes of The Verve and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
Dublin’s burgeoning psych rock scene had produced Humanzi, Mainline and a string of other acts who rattled the walls of the popular club night Psychotic Reactions. Meteor Awards and acclaim from the British press seemed to indicate that fans' faith was far from misplaced, but the harsh reality of life on the road and the grind of the music business chewed the scene up and spat it out. As a result, Dublin was no longer it. Canada became the new hot place for record execs thanks to Arcade Fire.
It’s a cautionary tale for the current crop of Dublin acts as the record companies once again stalk Irish venues looking for the next Girl Band or Fontaines – the business of music is fickle and transitory.
The Brothers Movement formed from the ashes of Mainline, opting to head to Philadelphia and enlist the help of The Cobbs (BRMC) to produce their debut and sole self-titled release. The results were perhaps the most polished release from Dublin’s psych rock scene in the ‘00s. Despite poor sales, as last hurrahs go it was far from a failure. ‘The Brothers Movement’ stands up better than much of BRMC and Richard Ashcroft’s (subsequent) work.
The Brothers Paxton (Daniel, Neil and Conor) and bandmates (Andy Parkes, Derick O’Neill, Scott Glennon), can be proud of their contribution to Irish music history. They may not have changed the world, but they turned plenty of people on with Mainline and The Brothers Movement, and subsequent ventures such as House of Dolls, Sweet Jane and Buffalo Sunn.
Their one-off reformation show in The Workman’s Club is a timely reminder that Ireland has a long-standing relationship with psych rock no matter what some of the acolytes of the current scene would have you believe.
The Brothers Movement at The Workman's Club on Friday 20 December. Tickets available here.