Hot Press: Culture - October 10 2016

Dublin rockers Brilliant Trees are back in the saddle after a decade away – and their new material is their best yet.

After a staggering 14-year hiatus, there appears to be a real sense of unfinished business with the return of the Brilliant Trees. It’s a testament to their popularity that after almost two decades out of the limelight, their new single ‘I Know, I Know’ crashed straight into the iTunes charts at number three on the day of its release. For good measure, they sold out a show at the Grand Social – without putting up a single poster!

“It’s really humbling and emotional,” says guitar player Tony Barrett. “We’re older guys and you think you’re hardened up, but it was really lovely.”

You can hardly describe two decades away from music as your typical sabbatical. But as singer Alan Hoey puts it on one of their most popular tracks, ‘Talent’: “You can say, at least you tried / Don’t waste your talent”. These lyrics kept haunting the group and they decided to give it another shot.

Jason O'Toole


Indiecater Records - November 2008

Not only is this a great album but it also provided a small group of us the opportunity to act the eejit for a couple of years around the mid-nineties. For a time there was nothing to beat the Brilliant Trees experience. The Finglas band had an exhilarating live presence which meant their gigs were raucous events full of jangling guitars, energetic vocals and intermittent football chants (!). ‘Friday Night’ was the bands sparkling debut; stacked high with indie anthems it also carried a message (listen to the lyrics on ‘Home’) which gave the record extra gravitas. Alan Hoey’s vocals were instinctive and lead the line superbly and his accelerated delivery was only matched by the freewheeling chiming chords. We’re very proud to present this reissue to you, it means a lot to us and hopefully in time it will become something you’ll treasure as well.

To give some perspective here is Tony Barrett from the band with his version of what happened on ‘Friday Night’.

“I suppose after 12 years since the recording of Friday Night I can look at the album through slightly less rose tinted glasses than I did then. Never the less I think the record has worthy moments of which I am to this day still quite proud. An honest record put together on a shoestring and recorded in 10 long hard days at cannibal studios Dublin. I cant help feeling we were among the fore runners of bands which tried hard to pull Irish bands away from a rock oriented sound towards a new sound, jangle down stroke guitars with melody sweet voices and politics. Songs from the city in which we lived. I remember playing a TV show at the time and the presenter described us as rough diamonds. I suppose Friday Night was a bit of a rough diamond too, but hey who wants to be polished.”