London's iconic 100 Club played host to four emerging talents recently. Headlined by London's Sisteray and supported by Gaffa Tape Sandy, Strange Cages and Beach Riot, this was more than your average gig, sadly. It was part of the Music Venue Trust's charity fightback to stop small venues going under.
The fact a charity was set up in 2014 to protect venues should be sending warning sirens to anyone with half an interest in live music. Too many small venues have fallen by the wayside in recent years because of extortionate business rates, gentrification, and a government desperate to increase stats on house building. Thankfully, they are establishing themselves across the country and looking to obtain freeholds when they become available on avid gig goers venues.
For TT, this gig was firm evidence MVT is needed to secure these venues futures. March 2017, Sisteray opened up for The Blinders and The Shimmer Band at the Camden Assembly (formerly the Barfly). Just over a year on, they sold out a venue with a bigger capacity. Without the a venue to progress onto, where is the carrot dangling for a new band like them? Write a soulless corporate Magic FM single? No thank you.
Having been at both gigs, the progress of Sisteray was striking. They were tighter and their confidence was up. Frontman Niall Rowan delivered his social commentary significantly more venom and, on set closer 'White Knuckle Joyride', the band have developed a freedom the Oasis-esque track deserves.
Now, anyone who thinks success is overnight or handed to you by a shit haircut in a roll-neck jumper on ITV, think again. Sisteray have grafted their nuts off and earned this slot. We're not saying it should be easy, the struggle and the journey are key to any art a band puts out. However, without the space to play, fail and learn, Sisteray could not have reached this new level.
The other three acts were indicative of so many support bands. They all showcased glimpses of the sound their honing. In many ways, they are Sisteray in March 2017. Here's hoping that this time next year, one of them emerges as the 100 Club headliner.