BIG JOANIE

FOR FANS OF: G.L.O.S.S., WHITE LUNG, THE SLITS

Kerrang! (UK) - - News -

HANG ON… HAVE WE SEEN THIS LOT BE­FORE?

Maybe. Big Joanie all lead dou­ble or triple or quadru­ple lives in Lon­don. Char­dine (drums) is a prom­i­nent writer and ac­tivist who re­cently won the Bri­tish LGBT Award for ‘Out­stand­ing Con­tri­bu­tion to LGBT+ Life’. She or­gan­ises ‘Black Girls Pic­nic’, a park gath­er­ing for women of colour to re­lax, share ideas and en­joy a day of self-care. Steph (gui­tar and vo­cals) is a jour­nal­ist who also works part-time at a char­ity. Estella (bass) has a day job, is in other DIY bands and does sound engi­neer­ing at gigs.

HOW AC­TIVE ARE THEY IN THE LON­DON DIY SCENE?

Very. Estella and Steph vol­un­teer at DIY Space For Lon­don.the band helped to put on De­colonise Fest, a DIY punk fes­ti­val by and for peo­ple of colour. Estella helped out at ‘First Timers’, for peo­ple who haven’t played that in­stru­ment be­fore to learn it and make a band in only two days. “there’s no up­per age limit, so one of the mem­bers I worked with was 64!” Estella says. “some had wanted to play mu­sic for decades and thought if they don’t soon, they never will.” She also aids in sound engi­neer­ing work­shops in a bid to de­mys­tify and di­ver­sify a white, male area of ex­per­tise.

AMAZ­ING, BUT WHAT DO THEY SOUND LIKE?

Messy lo-fi ’80s punk mixed with se­ri­ous riot gr­rrl feel­ing. they’re record­ing more mu­sic soon but for the mean­time Crooked Room is a stand­out. “it’s a short song based on a tragic quote by Melissa Har­ris-perry where she com­pares black women try­ing to nav­i­gate a racist, sex­ist so­ci­ety to try­ing to find your ver­ti­cal in a room where ev­ery­thing is crooked,” says Steph. If you needed any more con­vinc­ing they have a cover of TLC’S No Scrubs.

THE BOT­TOM LINE IS THIS IS A PO­LIT­I­CAL BAND, THEN…

Big Joanie’s mis­sion is to make black punks more vis­i­ble in mu­sic – and it’s work­ing. “we al­ways get lots of women of colour com­ing up af­ter gigs to say that it was amaz­ing to see us play,” Estella says.all of them are po­lit­i­cal­ly­minded and “ev­ery­one” they know is rais­ing aware­ness or protest­ing, which is in­spi­ra­tional. “i get an­noyed when old mu­sic jour­nal­ists say that young peo­ple don’t care about pol­i­tics,” ex­plains Estella. “It’s just not true!”

“young peo­ple do care about pol­i­tics…”

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