Continuing the tradition of posts about bands that no one will have heard of, I bring you SISTERS – an entry almost justified by the cover art provided alone. If you know them, it will almost definitely be through their 1973 single ‘Kick Your Boots Off’ (seen here in its French picture sleeve) which appeared on the seminal compendium (glittery obituary, if you will) of forgotten Glam Rock, 2003’s Junkshop Glam compilation Velvet Tinmine. Incidentally, the people at RPM have annoyed me endlessly by reissuing it with 4 songs switched for others. I mean, it’s still good and all, but FFS. Licensing I guess? It just means you’ll have to go elsewhere to get the BRILLIANT ‘Rock Star’ by Bearded Lady and ‘Morning Bird’ by The (other) Damned, but you do get ‘Fraulein Love’ by Space Waltz. Anywayz. Built around the same stomping guitar riff as Rescue Company Number 1’s earlier and equally obscure turntable hit ‘Life’s Too Short’ (more about them here sooooon), SISTERS, most reviewers will have you believe are a Slade-esque bunch of Glitter Stomping Terrace Bovvering glamsters – and indeed they are. Although on this evidence they seem far more polished than Slade, but also more brutal. The flipside is a rather nondescript upbeat jazzy work out, certainly the weakest of the 4 tracks they released in their lifetime. To my knowledge that is – I forgot to say that my earlier SWIMMER article was blown out the water recently by the discovery of a previously unheard single by them dating from 2 years BEFORE what I though was their debut. It wasn’t very good, but having spent the last 18 years CERTAIN of the history of the band this left me quite shaken.
However, it’s on SISTERS second single, ‘There’s A Raver Coming Home’ (Shown here in it’s German picture sleeve) where the fun really begins. The A side is probably the definitive Junk Shop Glam track – driving compressed Glitter Band beat, the band shouting ‘Hey!’ all over the place, fruity saxophone, an almost a doowop outro. It sounds like the band is about 8 strong. Again, the B side is different, but how good is ‘Help The Music’? It wouldn’t sound out of place on Aladdin Sane (at a push) and does the same trick as ‘Kick Your Boots Off’ of repeating the riff throughout its 3 minute length. Add some extra noodling on the fade and you have a true classic. Hopefully someone will find space for it on Killed By Glam 3. In fact, I should make that my mission. Sisters are doing it for themselves and all that. So, who were they? I don’t know, although the press pack that came with the ‘Raver’ single included this line up, plus we already knew the bassist Geoff wrote the tunes: “Paul Simmons (Drums) / Geoff Ellwood (Bass / Keys / Lead Vocals) / Bob Ellwood (Guitar / Vocals) / Producer by Nick Smith for Tangsong Productions Ltd / Norman Smith Productions / Black Sheep Music / Geoff Wilkins Music.” I’m probably just showing off now. You’ll notice that there’s four of them on the cover of ‘Kick Your Boots Off’, so someone must have been LITERALLY kicked and booted. It’s this kind of investigation that makes it so much more special when you finally find out. I still remember as a little boy thinking how miserable Roger Taylor looked on the cover of Queen’s ‘Greatest Hits’. A quick look at the credits revealed he hadn’t written anything on the record. Poor Roger. Any info to the usual address.