Looking like Victorian gentlefolk, wielding a distorted guitar and a tambourine, they relate stories of the wicked set and the lovelorn; of teenage daydreams and erotic nightmares, creating what can best be described as Parlour Punk or latter day chamber music.
The duo Sister Chain & Brother John formed in July 2005 when Berlin-based singer Sister Chain (Skin Blues, Spinster Sister) and Brother John Higgins (former frontman of London band Val’s Basement and fly by night producer) met in a mysterious bookshop.
Since that day, Sister Chain and Brother John have played hundreds of concerts in churches, on boats, on street corners in war zones as well as the usual nightclubs, festivals and concert halls. They released their debut album "Darkness to Warm Your Heart" in 2008 and toured in Denmark, Norway, Germany, UK, The Czech Republic, Israel and more. The duo's second album "The Androgyne Show" was released in early 2012.
Download (5.9 mb, tif-file) Photo credit: Central Valley Project
Download (5.9 mb, tif-file) Photo credit: Central Valley Project
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"All the staff at the radio fell in love with them. They are fantastic. You have to see them live. Now that I have heard and seen I'm thinking: Everyone must love this. This is damn good! Sister Chain has a fantastic voice. It was magic." - Jennebo Radio, Sweden
"On their Album, Darkness to Warm Your Heart, Sister Chain and Brother John have taken the framework of the duo with all its limitations and used it to its full extent."
- Thomas Mauch, Die Tageszeitung (read the whole review)
"Subversive, interesting and unique. What more could you want?"
- Gareth Owen, Electronic Beats (read the whole review)
"Sister Chain & Brother John are something else: Esther Ofarim and Klaus Nomi spring to mind, but also Bauhaus and The Sisters of Mercy, the Brecht and Kurt Weill cabaret and Lotte Lenya… I am at their show now and I am melting with pleasure, a different type of pleasure, one that comes from insane twists of noise, screams and distortions… what a triumphant finale to such a cultural evening."
- Michael Rorberger, The Town Mouse
"I dare to promise you that Sister Chain & Brother John are one of a kind. This is a festival act which stands out in the crowd, to say the least." - Live at Heart Magazine
"Berlin-based Sister Chain & Brother John is a most peculiar and rather unique acquaintance. Victorian glam rock meets dark cabaret moods of the duo's strange, seductive, macabre and highly dramatical theatrical universe. There is something absolutely alluring about Sister Chain & Brother John's peculiar world. (…) There is a constant lurking danger in Sister Chain’s shrill tremulous voice that complements the disturbing universe perfectly. (…) There are glorious highs in the spinning Satan Said, the title number with playful bass, the doomsday heavy When It All Comes Down and the delicious fingerpicked On The Roof."
- Gaffa, Denmark's biggest music magazine (4 stars)
"Berlin based Sister Chain & Brother John are on to record number two now so someone must be listening. (...) The majority of this stuff brings to mind the stripped back minimalist punk approach of The Cramps performed by French-Canadian duo Vialka. If they’re not buddies I’d be very surprised. Anyway, if Victorian glam cabaret is your schtick this is going to blow your frickin’ mind. Everything about this record is olde style, from the four-track production to the sleeve photo, shot with an 1860s camera and developed with cyanide on glass plates. Yowza!"
- Norman Records, UK (4 stars)
"Sister Chain’s theatrical singing with Brother John’s minimal yet melodic bass playing creates a very intense and effective combination, which I find fascinating. An exceptional, boundary breaking, and unconventional show." - Far From the Madding Crowd
Sister Chain & Brother John have played hundreds of live shows so far. Here is a small selection of some their past shows:
February: 12 Grad Aetherloge, Berlin, Germany
March: Beatbaracke, Aschaffenburg, Germany
Darling Hamlet Tour, Denmark:
Slagtehal 3, Aarhus
Badstue Rock, Aarhus (in-store)
Klub Møtrik, Maskinen, Svendborg
Vosnæs Gods, Aarhus (private show)
The Androgyne Show on Tour in Denmark: Five shows in Copenhagen (Beta + Stereo Studio), Aarhus (HeadQuarters + Stardust Café) and Aalborg (The Student House). March: Kugelbahn, Berlin, Germany. German release concert for "The Androgyne Show".
Spot Off, B-Huset, Godsbanen, Aarhus, Denmark. (Spot Festival)
Fitzherberts, Push The Tide Festival (Fringe side of Brighton's Great Escape Festival), Brighton, United Kingdom.
Cowley Club, Brighton, United Kingdom. 12 Bar, London, United Kingdom. West Street Live, Sheffield, United Kingdom.
Örebro, Sweden: Live At Heart Festival (Four shows: St. Nicolai Kyrka, Våghustorget, Harrys and Grand Markurells Hotel).
Sameheads, Berlin (Halloween show)
Kulturpalast Linden, Hannover, Germany
The Androgyne Show on Tour in Israel: shows in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem.
Berlin: Vernissage show 'Follow Me' Art Exhibition (Maria Es) @ Gallery SuedOst
Hamburg: MS Stubnitz
Aarhus, Denmark: HeadQuarters (with Fallen Men)
Copenhagen, Denmark: Route 66
Copenhagen, Denmark: Huset i Magstræde/Planeten (with Hymns From Nineveh)
Hannover, Germany, @ Nordstadtbraut (with In Laudanum)
Berlin: @ Ex'n'Pop
Berlin: @ Zosch
Örebro, Sweden: Live At Heart Festival (5 shows: Opening Ceremony, Stortorget (Big Square), St. Nikolai Kyrka (church), Ivy Bar & Grill and Café Deed)
The Androgyn Show @ The Kollage Gallery
Berlin: Support for Levinhurst - Lol Tolhurst & Michael Dempsey (The Cure) @ Musichall
Anniversary Party @ Gallery Nightwalk
CCCP Club, Berlin
Berlin: Five Year Band Anniversary Show @ Dazzle Club
Memorial Concert for Haike Friedmann @ Azrieli Complex
Berlin: @ the establishment (with DJ Sheila Chippenfield (Elastica))
Berlin: Support for Sedlmeir @ Cortina Bob
Aarhus, Denmark: @ Café Vestergade
@ Tacheles Art Center
Berlin: @ The Fruehperle (plus exhibition of Sister Chain comics)
Berlin: Festival at Tacheles
London: @ The 12 Bar (with Subterraneans)
Berlin: Renate comics release party at KIM, berlin
Spiekeroog Island, Germany: Heimweh Festival for Alternative Americana
Sunday Lunch Concert @ Ima
Berlin: The Fantasy Cellar #4 (with In Laudanum) @ Another Country Bookshop
Berlin: Patrons and Servants Party @ L-34
Jerusalem: @ No Coast Label Festival
Tel Aviv: Midnight Show @ Ozen Bar
Fredrikstad, Norway: Halloween Show @ La Boheme
Concert with Frank Snork Quartett @ Blå
Aarhus, Denmark: SOPA Night #5 @ Aarhus Art Academy
Aalborg, Denmark: SOPA Night #6 @ Transformator, Aalborg Teater
Berlin: @ Roman Lipski's Studio
Fuel - Music & Spoken Word Night, hosted by Lady Gaby @ Schokoladen
Support for Joae Head (Television Personalities) @ Troedler
Berlin: Vernissage: Through a Glass Darkly (Nora Below) @ Gallery Curfew & I
Baden, Switzerland: @ Expedition Earth Benefit Festival
Finissage show – Art exhibition curated by Legs Akimbo (Team Plastique) @ Secret of the Berlin Supermuse
London: Darkness to Warm Your Heart Album Launch (UK) @ The INDO
London: @ The Haggerston
@ Shampoo Tips for Long Black Hair (with In Laudanum)
Berlin: Darkness to Warm Your Heart Album Launch @ Another Country Bookshop
Berlin: Finissage of the Group Exhibition : Treasure Sure @ Galerie der Künste
Berlin: Privatklub (Support for Subterraneans)
Vermissage of paintings by Eduardo Esquivel @ Gallery AB
Prague: @ Blind Eye
Berlin: Tanz der Nosferaten – New Wave Festival @ Alter Feuerwache
Berlin: Two Year Band Anniversary show @ The Evangelist Church 'Osterkirche'
@ King Kong Klub
Berlin: @ Intersoup
Attic Explorations @ K:ITA Gallery-Club
Tel Aviv: Midnight Show @ The Third Ear
Fantasy Cellar # 1 @ Another Country Bookshop (with Marzipan Marzipan)
Berlin: Exberliner Magazine Party @ Kaffee Burger
Berlin: Christmas Murder Party @ White Trash
Berlin: New Year’s Eve midnight show @ 'Dave Lombardo'
Berlin: Band Against Bush Festival @ Mudd Club
Berlin: @ The Pirate Cove
"On The Roof" music video, 2012.
The Androgyne Show, live in Berlin, 2011.
"The Last Room" & "Satan Said", Copenhagen, Denmark, 2012.
"What You Shouldn't", Aarhus, Denmark, 2011.
"96 Tears" (cover), Huset i Magstræde, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2011.
Interview on Stentor Radio, Part 1 of 3, Aarhus, Denmark, 2011.
Interview, Looking For Kohl, Hannover, Germany, 2011.
More videos: Three songs live at Berlin's Kulturrevue Kollage. Black Room, SOPA Night #5, Aarhus Art Academy, Aarhus, 2009.
Also see the band play live in Jerusalem here.