THE 4 OF US | Sugar Island

Brothers Brendan and Declan Murphy have been fronting this band since the 80s. This latest sees the band pared back to just the brothers and their acoustic guitars – the original ‘four of us’. The simple, stark arrangements (“We decided no electric guitars and no cymbals,” said Brendan) give a haunting background to tales of growing up in Newry, Co. Down, a town on the border and on edge during The Troubles. Bird’s Eye View, Hometown On The Border and Going South perfectly capture the dark times.

Dave Esson 

ACOUSTIC MAGAZINE | ALBUM REVIEW – the child’s perspective lends a candour crackling with innocence. There’s no polemic at work here, just a clutch of great songs telling it like it was, performed with an honesty that makes this rather special.

Unflinching snapshots of the Troubles are the genesis of these moving, acoustic driven songs from Newry Brothers Brendan and Declan Murphy. In ‘Bird’s Eye View‘, the ‘sky cracks open’ as ‘the blades come hovering down’, Brendan describing the mayhem from his window, knowing the carnage is just a ‘stone’s throw away’. ‘Going South‘ tells of checkpoints, leaving the parades behind and soldiers with ‘their faces painted green, hiding in the trees’; the child’s perspective lends a candour crackling with innocence. There’s no polemic at work here, just a clutch of great songs telling it like it was, performed with an honesty that makes this rather special.
Julian Piper