With their fast-paced beats, soulful tones and straight-talking lyrics, Big Joanie are shaking up the UK’s contemporary punk scene.
In the back room of a punk venue in Sheffield, crammed into a small space with no stage and lighting that is controlled by someone accidentally leaning on the switch by the doorway, Big Joanie take up their instruments. The audience is restless after enduring a lengthy experimental set apparently only prepared the day before. But as soon as Stephanie Phillips steps up to the mic, Chardine Taylor-Stone raises her drumsticks and Estella Adeyeri readies her bass the room comes to life. The energy and passion of the trio is infectious, within moments the audience is captivated with their fast-paced beats, soulful tones and straight-talking lyrics.
Founded in 2013, Big Joanie refer to their sound as “black feminist sistah punk”, influenced by an eclectic mix including the Riot Grrrl movement, Tina Turner, My Bloody Valentine and PJ Harvey.
Fresh from their trip to SXSW where they played nine sets in just six days, Big Joanie speaks to Huck over Skype about family influences and the need for music history to better remember performers of colour. Continue reading the interview: ‘So many people of colour in punk music get forgotten’ on Huck.
"Poly Styrene is a good example – it takes a while for people to realise she was a black woman. Historians don’t seem to talk about her race even though she quite clearly did. It is asking how are bands remembered? Do people remember the black guy in Dead Kennedys or Minor Threat?" - Chardine
"Or more recent bands like TV on the Radio, which is an indie band with black members and then years down the line it is not mentioned. When we were growing up there were so many people of colour in alternative music that just get forgotten. People think that Skin from Skunk Anansie was the only black woman making radio friendly alternative music when clearly there have been so many." - Estella
Continue reading the interview: ‘So many people of colour in punk music get forgotten’ on Huck.
Main image © Ellie Smith