Isle of Wight Festival 2022: Meet the Australian sister band Germein lining up for a fifth year performing at the event

Germein are three sisters from Adelaide Hills in Australia, and catchy as their brand of indie-pop is, they have yet to trouble the charts here in the UK.

Thursday, 16th June 2022, 6:42 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th June 2022, 6:42 pm

And yet they are about to play at The Isle of Wight Festival for their fifth time this weekend.

Of course, it helps to have the modern-era festival’s organiser John Giddings as a fan.

The trio, featuring youngest sibling Georgia on guitar and lead vocals, Ella on bass and oldest sister Clara on drums (there is only a year between each), have been making music together most of their lives, putting out their debut album Because You Breathe in 2013.

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Explaining their formative years, Ella says: ‘Our dad grew up playing music with his brothers in New Orleans jazz bands in his 20s and we used to go and watch him play when we were little kids.

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‘We all started learning instruments early and dad got us all playing together for grandparents and those family functions where it's: “Do something cute and play a song on your violin...”

‘I think his dream was for us to be a family band, and then our younger sister Georgia, she was really passionate about songwriting. She started writing so many songs in her teen years and we ended up performing with her because she needed a band. It was like: “Who can I get who’s cheap?”’ she laughs.

Germein play at their fifth Isle of Wight Festival in June 2022

‘We ended up getting gigs, and here we are today.’

They turned up on John Giddings’ radar thanks to the persistence of their mum, who was also their manager at the time.

‘She just loved Google and she was very passionate about not just getting gigs in Australia,’ says Clara. ‘There’s a good music scene here, but it's not the biggest in the world.’

She emailed any festival contact she could find in the UK and ended up in the super-promoter’s inbox. He liked what he heard and invited them over to play.

‘He's been super-supportive,’ adds Ella. ‘He watched us play and has ended up putting us on a bunch of other gigs as well.’

They have gone on to open for Little Mix and Phil Collins on arena/stadium tours.

Ella says: ‘Isle of Wight has been a gateway to doing all of these other shows, and if it wasn't for him we wouldn't be in the UK and have these opportunities, so we're always very grateful to play at his festival as long as he'll have us there!’

Last December they signed to Giddings’ Solo Agency, putting them on a roster alongside megastars like Beyonce, U2, Blondie and Iggy Pop.

‘We're on the books now!’ says Ella. ‘It's just very cool to see us on the same list as some of those really big acts. We're really excited to be part of the team.’

Over lockdown the band put together a series of covers called The Sister Sessions.

Ella says: ‘We were based in the UK just prior to Covid and came home for Christmas, and then we couldn't go back. We couldn’t tour, so it was like, what can we do?

‘We thought, let's cover some of our favourite songs with some of the artists we've met over the years. These other artists were in the same boat as us – they couldn't tour either, so it was a case of let's support them and support each other and do something fun and creative.

‘It gave us a bit of purpose to learn a new song each week. It brought our fanbases together too, so it helped expose us to new people.’

Clara adds: ’We liked picking songs that might not typically sound that and put a Germein spin on it, and also let the other artist put their spin on it and see what came out.

‘We're really hoping that when we do more gigs we can get the artist to come up on stage and do their Sister Sessions song with us in the flesh, but we'll see how it goes.’

Their most recent release was the single Good For a Girl. Ella explains the idea behind the song: ‘It's definitely not a dig at men or anything – we've had lots of men help us in our career and be really supportive, it was more just that preconceived idea.

‘You still get the occasional: “Oh, that's pretty good for a girl”, as if a girl wouldn't be as good as the next guy in playing guitar.

‘It's not just about playing music, but that whole preconceived idea about girls, sometimes. Maybe because they look or dress a certain way, or are just living their life as their unique self and not giving in to the stereotypes girls have been typically taught to do.

‘We wanted to write a song that covered all of those bases.’

While they’re over in the UK, the band are playing a couple more gigs, and then planning on having a holiday. Then they’ll head home to work on a new album, which they hope to release next year.

The Isle of Wight Festival kicks off today, and features headline sets from Lewis Capaldi, Kasabian and Muse.

Germein play the Big Top, River stage on Saturday.

Day tickets are still available at £80.50, weekend tickets are £208.20 plus booking fees. Go to isleofwightfestival.com.