Brian Brannigan was nicknamed Lazarus by his mother. She was told he wouldn’t survive at birth & when he did, he was diagnosed with a form of Spina bifida. He pulled through major surgery early in life, only to be diagnosed with cancer in his teens. A mixture of good fortune & surgery saved him again. However this trauma had a huge effect on a young mind & songwriting became his coping mechanism, his way of figuring out the world. His songs became those of A Lazarus Soul & Brannigan has gone on to build a reputation as one of Ireland’s finest lyrical commentators.
The first 3 ALS albums, ALSRecord (2001), Graveyard of Burnt Out Cars (2007), Through a Window in the Sunshine Room had revolving cast of musicians from other Irish bands including 10 Speed Racer, Mexican Pets, Future Kings of Spain, Sunbear & Rollerskate Skinny. However, they all heavily featured the music of, and were produced and arranged by, one of Ireland's finest producers / musicians, Joe Chester.
After becoming a father, Brannigan all but quit playing live until he was asked (at a 2 year old’s birthday party) to play a tribute gig to his hero, Mark E Smith. He asked Joe, Julie Bienvenu (Lines Drawing Circles) & Anton Hegarty (Future Kings & ALS stalwart since “Graveyard” days) to accompany him. With only an hour’s rehearsal, something very special happened in Stoneybatter that night, the line-up of ALS solidified.
Together they released “Last of the Analogue Age” in late 2014. It was made album of the week by John Meagher (Newstalk), Alan Jacques (Limerick Live95) & Dan Hegarty (2FM). It was included in many end of year top ten including the Irish Independent & Newstalk. It was album of the year for Tom Dunne (Newstalk), Alan Jacques (Limerick 95) & Paul Page (Between The Bars blog / Whipping Boy).
The same year, ALS was invited to play live on RTE Radio 1’s Arena, Other Voices Music Trail & Newstalk’s Pet Sounds end of year broadcast. They were also invited to play the Abbey Theatre, where they stunned a packed theatre with a rendition of the Midday Class.
They were included in Tom Dunne’s / Sunday Times’ 100 Irish Albums To Love in 2017.