Reviews

Bros: After the Screaming Stops

Bros: After the Screaming Stops

“I like Bros, but I’m not sure I can endure 85 minutes of them,” declared one Twitter user, on being confronted with this gem in the schedules. With my passing knowledge of their hits, and having previously endured Luke Goss ‘acting’ in the straight-to-TV classic Eldorado: City of Gold, I decided I’d rise to the challenge.

Word of mouth had said this would be the Christmas TV highlight, so how did it fare? One summary would be Spinal Tap with more synths, a sublime Alan Partridge-esque milking of a small back catalogue for the sake of bashing two colossal egos together. But my word, it makes for compelling viewing.

We follow the brothers as they prepare for their reunion tour. Matt, looking disturbingly like a Benedict Cumberbatch waxwork, spends most scenes throwing strops over such varied things as Luke’s drumming, Luke patiently explaining that the ‘fake’ pyro on a stage plan photo will be real on the night, and Luke just sitting around pre-This Morning interview. Luke bears these undignified tantrums with the smug calmness of someone wearing a Kabbalah bracelet, meditating, and spouting chunks of philosophy.

Speaking of philosophy, there’s many nuggets of wisdom to enjoy. “I think the letters H-O-M-E are so important because they personify the word home,” Matt declares with a deadly serious face. Later, in some splendid proverb-ruining, Luke declares “Once bitten, twice shy. Twenty times bitten, a little shy.” I spent the first half hour wondering if this was Brian Pern all over again, but it’s no parody. Even when Matt rails against the elf-n-safety culture of not allowing kids to play conkers. (Luke’s deadpan “I can live with it” reply is glorious.)

Aside from the memeable content, there’s quite a few serious, poignant moments. The brothers discussing their late sister’s untimely death and their mother’s support are genuinely lovely, and Luke’s candid tale of asking his fiancée for the engagement ring back when money was tight is heartbreaking. There’s a real sense of brotherly love underneath the squabbling, something ripped away and stamped on by the music industry and tabloids. “Family can be challenging,” Matt explains. “You say stuff and hear stuff from your family that you’d never experience from a friend. For some reason family just abuse each other sometimes.” Ain’t that the truth. Under all the bickering, Matt admits that Luke is still “the love of my life”, very much evident by the time they take to the stage at the O2 with not an argument in sight.

So it turns out there’s more depth to this comedy treat after all.

Bros: After The Screaming Stops is available on iPlayer until 30 January 2019. Get watching it right away. After all, “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but we don’t have the time Rome had.”

More from Reviews

Rewind Scotland, Scone Palace, 20-22 Jul 2018

A Flock of Seagulls at Rewind Scotland 2018

Everyone’s favourite retro festival turned ten this year, so I expected Rewind to pull out all the stops. And they did just that. Regular gig pals Sarah and Pete joined me again for a jaunt to sunny Perth, where we … read more

Let’s Rock Scotland – Steve’s festival diary

Let's Rock Scotland

“Are we on the right bus?” A question, seemingly genuine, from one of a gaggle of people attempting to board an already crowded vehicle while struggling with a picnic so vast the local Co-Op must have had to close early. … read more

Let’s Rock Scotland: Dalkeith Country Park, 23 June 2018

Billy Ocean at Let's Rock Scotland

Since Rewind is brilliant, I couldn’t resist giving another retro festival a go, especially with such a stellar lineup as Let’s Rock. Joining me in this new adventure was regular festival buddy Sarah, long-suffering husband Pete, and new gig pal … read more

Rewind Scotland, Scone Palace, 22-23 July 2017

Human League at Rewind Scotland 2017

It’s Saturday afternoon. A man in a neon T-shirt is offering me and my pal a water pouch full of rum, while Mark King slaps at his bass in the background. I get a strange feeling of déjà vu, and … read more

Various Artists: “Manchester – North of England”

Manchester - North of England

“This is Manchester,” Granada Television and Factory Records’ Anthony H. Wilson once observed, “we do things differently here.” He wasn’t wrong. A collection of all the important music to have come from Manchester since the birth of punk would fill … read more