Hare and Hounds
Jan 12th, 2023
What a show that was. How did you miss it? Indisputably, Big Joanie are the most exciting band from Britain right now. Theirs is a wilful barrage of barely controlled wall melting noise. Oh man! No one does it quite like Big Joanie. A massive quotient of idiosyncrasy helps, but their songs are it. A joyously beautiful blend of outsider scratching and soaring guitars and thick thick chest pummeling bass and drums; feminist politics and melody - these songs are demanding change and people are listening. “If you have solidarity with black feminists we have solidarity with you…” stand up drummer Chardine Taylor-Stone’s declaration is met with as big a cheer as for any song. Really saying something. (Although no inference to burning down Parliament on this occasion.)
The accolades have been coming for a while. Big Joanie been nominated for a MOBO award for the first time and not the last I am sure. KEXP filmed a London performance shortly after the release of their debut LP Sistahs, three years ago. That recording included their version of TLC’s NO Scrubs. Their version of Solange’s Cranes in the Sky was everywhere, and never sounded so immense as it did at the Hare and Hounds.
They’re signed to legendary label Kill Rock Stars in the US and first North American tour is in March. The New York show is already sold out. I see they’re playing at the Echo in LA - I used to live down the street from there! There’s still time. Go along music fans. They are the punk rock antithesis to the Fat Mike’s Vegas Punk Rock museum.
It’s easy to imagine that America is going to take them sooner, further and faster than the UK. Just the size of the progressive political market there. What Black power has already won and the ongoing fight. Meaningful change wrought by the public is being resisted and pushed back by activist courts, resulting in the re-galvanizing of women across the nation. Inspiring people who hadn’t previously realised they were involved.
All that of course feels a long way from a chilly Thursday night in Birmingham and a punk gig with a huge, young and more diverse crowd than often makes it out. Big Joanie’s music is so intense, so involving, in the middle of it I find myself wondering, does the music own the band or does this band own the music? It is a mesmerising psychedelic experience.
And at the end of it all there is a Fuck it, this is what we do punk mentality. At the Hare and Hounds I just loved it all.
American Tour Dates in 2023
3/19: Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
3/20: Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
3/22: Boise, ID @ Treefort Music Festival
3/25: Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern
3/26: Portland, OR @ Polaris Hall
3/28: San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop
3/30: Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo (I used to live down the street from there)
3/31: Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
5/19: Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade - Purgatory
5/20: Nashville, TN @ Third Man Records
5/22: Washington, DC @ Songbyrd Music House
5/23: Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda's
5/25: Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool - SOLD OUT
5/26: Brooklyn, NY @ Baby's All Right
5/29: Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz
5/30: Toronto, ON @ The Garrison
6/1: Columbus, OH @ Natalie's Grandview
6/2: Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
punk rock cameraphone images by Richard and Rufus.
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