Sisteray brought their gnarly millennial sound to Northern Exposure’s Tramlines event this Summer, as part of their most recent round of the tireless touring they are renowned for. I was lucky enough to catch up with them afterwards to reflect on their Sisteray sound and antics as they continue to push forward as a band who never let the dust settle under their feet.
Songwriters Niall Rowan on vocals, Dan Connolly on guitar, Marco Polo on drums and Mick Hanrahan on bass guitar make up the sensational Sisteray. They describe their sound and style as ‘East London gift-wrapped in a bubble of love and rage’. You can hear their grit and passion in every song as they deliver upbeat and high-octane energy melodies which carry sharp lyrical observations of life in 21st century Britain. At every turn, they bring a heady mix of Velvet Underground and Smiths infused ‘butt-kicking new punk’ whipping audiences up in to feverish ecstasy and as a result are rapidly gaining a strong and loyal fanbase. Sisteray are strong, social commentators unafraid to comment on life as they see it. This is clearly a huge part of their appeal as their music reflects the lives and experiences of the many, giving a voice to those who often feel they can not speak out or be heard.
The boys feel their sound is currently developing in a new direction. Instead of just sounding ‘relevant’ they want to sound ‘ahead of the times’. Dan explains, ‘Take Hendrix for example, if he came around today, he’d still sound ahead of his time. That’s nirvana for us – the heavenly state not the band!’
The band had high hopes that the time would come when they would become part of Northern Exposure through the bands they were working with and the contacts they were making, laughing, ‘We knew our paths were destined to cross!’ Their first work with NE was their single Gentrification which they kindly featured on the Northern Exposure compilation album which was released earlier this year to raise funds for Help Musicians UK.
Sisteray travel all over the British Isles spreading their unique sound and enjoy being Up North. They explain, ‘We always get a very warm welcome, it makes us fuzzy.’
We talked about their past, present and future festival experiences of which there have been many – these boys are stalwarts of the festival scene. Their favourite festival memory must be when ‘Our Mick’ (Mick Hanrahan) survived having his head being run over after last year’s Party in the Pines. Although not elaborating further they insist this has become folk legend and Mick is a little wary of history repeating itself! Their handy hints for festival goers has to be simply ‘Don’t wear Converse!’ To highlight the problems of wearing said footwear, they suggest readers find the photos of Dan playing Leeds festival to show how disastrous wearing this usually popular sneaker can prove…
There are future gigs, releases and appearances on the horizon as they continue to make more and more new music. They promise bigger and better shows and insist that ‘our maturity will decrease with age!’
Their singles, including Who R Ya? and the anthemic No Escape are available on all the usual platforms. Queen’s English was released as the lead single on an EP in April on Valance Records. There are many more gems to discover and I suggest you do just that!
To see Sisteray, here are a few of their upcoming performances:
Happening on 19th August @ Lost Rivers Elephant, London
Reading Festival (24-27 August) on 26th August @ Readiing
Musicians Against Homelessness on 10th November @ The Leadmill