Viva Brother were an indie rock band from Slough, England. Previously known as Brother, they signed to Geffen Records in October and EMI Publishing in November 2010. Their debut album, Famous First Words, was released on 1 August 2011, and reached #34 on the UK Albums Chart. It was confirmed on 1 April 2012 that Viva Brother had split up. In June 2012, the band members launched a new band, the synthpop group Lovelife.
Formation and debut album: 2010-2012
Previously known as Kill the Arcade and Wolf Am I, the band was renamed Brother in 2010. The previous incarnation of the group wrote, recorded and performed music primarily in the pop-punk emo genre. Describing their latest sound as Gritpop, and citing bands such as Blur, The Smiths, and Morrissey as influences, the band began playing shows around the local community centres. In an interview for drowned in sound, Leonard Newell stated that his musical interest began to change after he started going to a club night called We love the 90's. A demo of the song "Darling Buds of May" was played by radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe on BBC Radio 1. Lowe also picked up on the band's blog. The site featured a video of the band setting up and playing an unannounced gig in front of Slough railway station, along with a promo video they had shot using money they had earned playing local gigs. In October they signed a deal with Geffen Records and EMI Publishing the following November.
In January 2011, Brother entered the studio with Stephen Street to record their debut album. On 5 March, the band appeared on the early morning football show Soccer AM, and revealed the name for their album would be Famous First Words, after discussing it in the canteen just half an hour before the interview. They released their debut single, "Darling Buds of May", on 27 June 2011. This was followed by three more singles, "New Year's Day", released 8 May 2011, and "", released 27 June 2011. In June 2011, the band was forced to change their name from Brother to Viva Brother due to a lawsuit brought by another band, also called Brother. Leonard Newell admitted that his band went ahead with the previous name change from Wolf Am I to Brother despite being aware of the fact that other musicians were already using the name.
Viva Brother released their debut album, Famous First Words, on 1 August 2011. The album, panned by critics for its lack of original content, peaked at #34 on the UK Album Charts in its first week of release. On 3 October 2011, the band released their final single from Famous First Words, "Time Machine".
Second album and breakup (2012–present)
The band released images of the recording their second album in the countryside on their official Twitter page, with hopes of the album being released that year.
It was announced on 1 April 2012 that the band had split up, although this was initially thought to be an April fools joke - the disbanding of Viva Brother was confirmed later that day.
Viva Brother are now believed to be pop group Lovelife consisting of Viva Brother's vocalist Leonard Newell and Ally Young, formerly of band 'Mirrors'.
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|2011||Famous First Words
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Album|
|2011||"Darling Buds of May"||39||Famous First Words|
|"New Year's Day"||—|
|"—" denotes that the single did not chart.|
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