I don’t remember how I discovered Big Joanie, but I am glad I did. They describe themselves as “like The Ronettes filtered through 80s DIY and 90s riot grrrl, with a sprinkling of dashikis.” If you do searches for “black feminist punk,” they are pretty much the only band that comes up. Hopefully they aren’t the only band in this category, but if they are, I hope they are the first of many.
As you can imagine, the band is also very active in improving their communities:
“Outside of the band all three members have strong community ties, from helping run the festival for punks of colour Decolonise Fest, coaching new talent at Girls Rock London, or launching the ‘Stop Rainbow Racism’ campaign which works to stop racist performances in LGBT venues. Black feminism is at the heart of Big Joanie’s music and actions, and with the release of Sistahs the band hope to spread their message even further.”
My introduction to the band came through their video to “Fall Asleep.” Its an incredibly catchy song that captures their sound well, but I was an instant fan when that keyboard solo comes in. Its not what you expect and I love the unexpected. While you can hear their influences, overall they also don’t sound like anything else in punk or even rock music for that matter. Original music that rocks and has an important message for all of us to take heed? Yes!