The Webb Brothers: York Fibbers

Beating the 'flu and warming our hearts - that's the Webb Brothers...

Never forget that it’s a war out there. On an evening when singer Christiaan Webb should have been tucked up in bed with a bottle of linctus soothing his ravaged vocal chords, he and his brother Justin have chosen to struggle on. It’s not pretty – The Webb Brothers are bumbling and stumbling as they try to hold their stricken platoon together – but as they feel their way through the parts of their sensational ‘Maroon’ LP that Christiaan can still sing they know that it’s in adverse times like these that you learn the most about yourselves.

The most obvious discovery is that their songs can take one hell of a battering and still buff up pretty well. ‘The Liar’s Club’ stretches Christiaan’s voice beyond the limits of what should really be attempted with a sore throat but remains an awesome slab of bar-tap scholarship. While Christiaan wrestles with his predicament, Justin is making the best of an evening out from his brother’s shadow. He’s not as charismatic as Christiaan but his breezy spotlight moment, ‘Summer People’, is evidence of a vision of what guitar-pop can be.

For at ground level, that’s what The Webb Brothers are all about. The sons of superstar songwriter Jimmy Webb, they’ve inherited their dad’s map that shows the scenic route to the killer chorus but it’s their own good-humour and guile that sees them through tough evenings like this. Fundamentally, The Webb Brothers know that great tunes are worth the odd evening of discomfort and with an armoury of sidewinding stunners like ‘I’m Over And I Know It’, they must realise that they’re well equipped to face the toughest eventualities.

Hang on. Justin Webb is coming over all John Wayne on us: “There comes a time in a man’s life when he has to stand up for what he believes in,” he announces as he exhorts the faithful to queue up for a copy of their irresisitible new single ‘I Can’t Believe You’re Gone’ on its release day and propel it up the charts. Think hard about that one. With a battallion of great guitar bands itching to leap from their left-field trenches, it could be the cue for a glorious spring offensive.

Jim Wirth

Images: Andy Willsher