Sisteray // Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen // Friday 24th February
“In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes,” - Andy Warhol is the voice behind Sisteray’s latest musical venture into social comment and Friday night saw a crowd of fans, family and friends gather at Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen to kick of their “00:15:00 Tour” with a bang. Past gigs have seen a vivacious mix of political outcry and nervy punk-rock music and this half hour
set was to be no different.
The lights go down, a blue glow from the back of the stage is blocked only by (singer) Niall’s striking silhouette as Marco comes to life on the drums and zealous guitar riffs entwine with howling vocals - the echo of a generation, left behind and forgotten by an unforgiving government, that this band tenaciously flies the flag for.
They open with Nostalgia Trip before introducing one of their most popular songs; Gentrification is a track inspired by and written in protest of the relentless closing down of small music venues and rehearsal spaces - an issue which they hold close to their hearts. They are a band who are after all, heavily involved in their local music scene, not only playing several spontaneous sets across Camden but also hosting their own club night - Welcome to the Monkey House - through which they support many under the radar local musicians.
Theres something captivating about Sisteray’s live shows, an atmosphere rarely experienced or found, an energy that takes you by surprise and latches onto you leaving you unable to shake their songs from your head long after you’ve left the building. From Mick’s aggressive rhythms on the bass, to Dan’s impassioned solo’s their chemistry and self belief makes them hard to ignore.
The opening riff to Wise Man Said stirs something animalistic in the crowd, hurling them into the rest of their set with a familiar red-blooded energy that never fails to draw their audience a little closer and leave them shouting for more. Queens English, White Knuckle Joyride and Faaast Food radiate an air of understated confidence. “We don’t speak the Queens English around hear,” Niall’s voice rings out, their sullen expressions a declaration of identity, unwavering audacity, and you know that when they fall into their next song - Who R Ya? - growling that very same question into the microphone, no one can ask the same question of them. They are emphatically Sisteray.
During their penultimate song - Famous For Nothing - a man standing not so far away from me turns with an inspired grin and exclaims, “This is fucking insane, Famous For Nothing, what a line!” It is all I can do but mirror his exhilarated expression with one of my own and agree.
They finish with a cover of the Velvet Underground’s Sister Ray, the song they take their name from. They pour everything they have to offer into this final song, encouraging the crowd to lose their minds with them. Dan - cloaked with an EU flag wrapped round him by a member of the crowd earlier in their set - disappears into the crowd where the final resounding note of the night goes to a mystery girl amid the darkness, ringing out as one by one they abandon their instruments and the stage for the smoking area outside.