LIVERPOOL, England — Gilles, Seyed, Hajo, Pablo and Joshua figure the politicians aren’t making any progress on Brexit, so it’s up to them. The Breunion Boys (Brexit + union = Breunion) are a Dutch boy band formed for the express purpose of stopping the United Kingdom from leaving the European Union — one cheeky song at a time.
The music video for their first single, “Britain Come Back,” features the five guys rolling around on a beach, pleading for a girl who’s sailing across the English Channel to come back.
“We’re cheeky as hell. Like, it’s funny, but I mean this way you can actually open up a conversation,” Joshua Alagabe told VICE News. The combinaton of humor and catchy lyrics — plus their chiseled abs– help spread the message about the downsides of Brexit for Europeans.
Behind the Boys is the woman who created the band, Julia Veldman. “I don’t want to be a person that thinks, like, ‘Oh yeah, that happened. We had something great and it got fucked up. And I did didn’t do anything,’” she said. Veldman, a visual artist, was devastated by the results of the 2016 Brexit vote and thought a boy band would be a quintessential British way to reach people’s hearts. She’s funding the project out of her own pocket and working with two friends who’ve joined the group to write lyrics and produce their music videos.
VICE News met up with the band at their first UK performance, at Liverpool University’s “Rock for Europe” event hosted by anti-Brexit activists. It didn’t draw a huge crowd, but the Breunion Boys managed to get people up and dancing.
The Boys realize they could be just a one-hit wonder, but given the slow pace of Brexit unfolding, they think they stand a good chance of staying relevant. “Let’s put it in perspective,” says band member Seyed Hosseini. “What are the politicians doing right now? Are they making any progress in the Brexit debate? Is Theresa May coming back with great trade deals? Is there anything substantial going on that, compared to us, is more productive?”
This segment originally aired March 13, 2019, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.