Belfast Telegraph

Sunday Life

Getting on famously with Belfast fans: Bros looking forward to playing first Northern Ireland gig in 30 years

 

Matt (left) and Luke Goss at the Ham Yard Hotel in London, as eighties boyband Bros are getting back together, more than 20 years after they called it a day.
Matt (left) and Luke Goss at the Ham Yard Hotel in London, as eighties boyband Bros are getting back together, more than 20 years after they called it a day.

By Kelly Allen

Get ready to don your stonewash denim and scream 'When Will I Be Famous?' as Matt and Luke Goss are set to perform in Northern Ireland for the first time in nearly 30 years.

Bros found themselves catapulted back into the limelight after their BBC Four documentary Bros: After The Screaming Stops was shown last December.

The 50-year-old brothers reunited last year to perform two sold out O2 London Arena shows.

Before that they had not played together since 77,000 packed into Wembley Stadium on August 19, 1989.

The pair are in the middle of rigorous rehearsals in Las Vegas to prepare for their shows at the Marquee Cork on Wednesday, June 26 and at Botanic Gardens Belfast the following night.

But Luke took time out of their schedule to tell Sunday Life what it means to them to be coming back to Northern Ireland.

"Ireland both North and South has always been important to us," explains Luke. "My grandfather is Irish. I think he's from Cork. His family are there.

Sign In

"We always knew we had Irish in our family. We had Jewish and we had Irish, a bit of a mix up.

"I've been to Belfast many times, I love it there. There are unbelievably warm people there. The unanimous spirit to anyone coming into the country is to welcome them. It's just a place you want to be.

"I remember drinking a Guinness with my grandad in Belfast. I was working over there and he flew over especially to drink a pint with his grandson. He always said it tastes better there. It's a little creamier in Ireland. I think it's the Celtic spirit. There's something special about drinking a Guinness in Ireland. It just feels different."

Twins Matt and Luke Goss of pop group Bros.
Twins Matt and Luke Goss of pop group Bros.

Luke is already planning to raise a glass to his family when he's over at the end of the month, telling management that he must have some time off to enjoy the city's bars and restaurants.

"Oh my goodness, absolutely, we've both requested at least a couple of days in Ireland before. It doesn't sound much but with the schedules that we have... I love the fact that everyone is so chilled. I'm looking forward to it. I live in LA and it's not the fluffiest place in the world."

Before One Direction and Take That, Bros were the ultimate boyband - they graced most editions of Smash Hits magazine from 1987 to 1992.

During that time, they played 19 shows at Wembley Arena and became the youngest band to ever headline Wembley Stadium. They were one of the first to have a pay-per-view live televised show.

But the brothers went their separate ways, both pursuing solo careers. Matt continued as a singer in 1995 and since then has sold more than five million albums, has performed at his Las Vegas residency at Caesar's Palace and now at The Mirage for more than seven years.

He has headlined Wembley Arena, The Royal Albert Hall, the London Palladium and The Sydney Opera House and played at The White House.

Matt Goss (left) and Luke Goss of Bros attending the Brit Awards 2019 at the O2 Arena, London.
Matt Goss (left) and Luke Goss of Bros attending the Brit Awards 2019 at the O2 Arena, London.

Luke moved into acting and directing in both film (Hellboy 2, Blade 2, The Man, Traffik, Deathrace 2 and 3) and TV (Red Widow and Emmy award-winning mini-series Frankenstein), and more recently The Last Boy.

The documentary, which was a surprise TV hit and was even nominated for two Baftas, followed the brothers as they prepared for 2017's reunion concerts after barely speaking for two decades. At times the footage was raw as they rowed before opening up about their problems with each other.

"We got to see each other address some of these issues that were too deep within us to talk about it in our own light," explained Luke.

"Ironically, two very closed off people decided to do a documentary where we opened up.

"We've been getting closer and closer. We are obviously brothers and we still argue but we have built so many bridges from doing that movie and it really felt it was the catalyst of change.

"This time around we've got some music to make and it all feels a lot more fun. I'm staying at my brother's house in Vegas and we are rehearsing and working hard but we are having fun too.

"These rehearsals feel different. The show has built a bridge. It built avenues of communication. There was a lot of love there and after a couple of weeks it put something back on its feet after decades of being sat down.

"The pressure was intimidating. We were building bridges in terms of communicating."

While typically boybands have relied on spectacle - dancers, lights and fireworks - to impress audiences, Luke is hoping their vocals will be enough to wow the crowds.

Matt (left) and Luke Goss of boy band Bros pose on top of the O2 Arena in London ahead of their comeback tour, which will see them play two gigs at the venue later this month.
Matt (left) and Luke Goss of boy band Bros pose on top of the O2 Arena in London ahead of their comeback tour, which will see them play two gigs at the venue later this month.

"We want to bring a bit of rock and roll to the vibe. I don't think dancers are on the list for either one of us.

"We want to plug in and play and make it live and loud for the people of Belfast. I think people respond to that. Live, live, live. No backing track like most people use these days because you can hear the gaps.

"Just to make it really organic when we play Ireland, we are going to jam. I personally know what I want to see on stage, I want to see people communicating on stage and I want to bring a slice of that to Ireland.

"We will be making as much noise as we can and I hope everyone in Botanic does too."

Aiken Promotions presents Bros Live At the Marquee Cork on June 26 and Live At Botanic Gardens on June 27. Tickets are available from www.ticketmaster.ie

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph