The Brother’s Movement: A cult Indie Classic Return

by James Hendicott

After an almost decade-long break, once buzz-laden Tallaght indie rock act The Brother’s Movement are returning for a one-off show this Christmas – or at least, that’s the official line.

There are already hints, you see, of a broader return.

Nothing’s set in stone, but there are enough little jokey lines throughout our quick chat with frontman Daniel Paxton that suggest that rehearsals have proven a whole lot of fun, and just lead to something more than a one-night nostalgia trip.

“We always said we’d come back and do some shows if we were still on talking terms, and we felt that we didn’t sound dated,” said Paxton, who has since played a key part in the output of popular rockers Sweet Jane, and later Buffalo Sunn.

“We’re doing it to mark the ten-year occasion, really.

“We’re in a few different bands now between us. We worked hard on that Brother’s Movement album, and spent a lot of cash on recording it in Philadelphia.

“We were very proud of it. There’s no pressure, which is the beauty of this show.

“At the time, we always had that aim of getting something more from it, making a career. Now it’s just for the pure enjoyment of playing the songs.”

The rehearsals weren’t always easy, but things are coming together.

“At first, the rehearsals weren’t good, to be honest with you,” Paxton says. “But after about three or four shows, things started coming together.

“We actually sound a hell of a lot better than I remember, because we used to be in this pokey little room.

“Having a really good PA and actually being able to hear each other play definitely helps. Plus, we’re a little bit older and wiser, and don’t need to have the amps turned up to 11 all the time to make the point we’re trying to make.

“There is one song we’ve been leaving until last. It’s ten minutes long and instrumental, and it takes a bit of working out, it has so many twists and turns.

“A few of them took a little while, but once we figured them out, they came good.

“We enjoyed the process of looking at how we did it back then, and it came back to us.”

In their earlier incarnation, The Brother’s Movement were signed to Rocket Girl records in the UK, and widely expected to go on and make an impact more substantial than they actually did, having evolved from a band called Mainline and garnered substantial hype.

They played support to the likes of The Jesus and Mary Chain, Doves, Sonic Youth, The Chemical Brothers and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

The band lasted only three years before going their separate ways.

“We all started to not get on at a certain point,” Paxton says of their demise.

“The pressures of holding down full-time work and doing the band were hard.

“Two of us wanted to get on with our lives, so it got pretty stressful. We were doing tours with people not talking.

“We were always fine on stage, but as soon as the amps were turned off, it wasn’t so good.

“Recording the album and doing a couple of tours afterwards took its toll on us a little bit.

“I ended up leaving first, and the lads did another tour without me.

“I think, after that, they just had enough. It was all the stuff you read about, really. It’s water under the bridge now.”

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