They were the “future of music”, the band with a quote for every occasion who would revive Britpop’s stadium-filling glory days.
Now Viva Brother have joined the ranks of rock’s also-rans after quietly announcing their demise.
The Slough group surfed a wave of hype and delighted the music press with their pugilistic interviews. Singer Lee Newell delivered withering dismissals of Kings of Leon and Liam Gallagher (“I’m actually articulate”).
At their debut pub gig, Newell advised: “If anybody here doesn’t want to see the future of music, leave now.” The upstarts launched an update on Britpop, called Gritpop, and in time-honoured fashion declared their imminent ascendancy to becoming “the biggest band in the world."
The music-buying public, however, disagreed. After signing to the Universal music giant, their debut album, Famous First Words, stalled at number 34.
Originally called Brother, the group was forced to change its name after being served a writ during a US gig by a “Celtic tribal band” with a previous claim.
The public will now never hear their second album after Viva Brother announced on Twitter that their “unbelievable journey” had come to a premature end.
The band then had to clarify that the split, posted on April Fool’s Day, was indeed genuine, to “collective sighs of relief”, the NME said.
Their Wikipedia “peak chart position” entry will remain frozen with four blanks and the legend: “ ‘–‘ denotes that the single did not chart.”
Their legacy is a final recording, I Don’t Want To Be Loved, uploaded to You Tube, with its chorus: “If I snooze the alarm, then will anybody notice I'm gone?”
Viva Brother join Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Gay Dad and The Twang in the unenviable list of over-hyped “saviours of music” whose sales achievements failed to match their press cuttings.