About Big Joanie
Inspired by a lack of intersectionality in the U.K.'s D.I.Y. punk scene, Big Joanie formed in an effort to redress the balance. Marrying '60s girl group melodies with riot grrrl attitude, the London-based trio bought black feminist punk to a predominantly white male arena with their 2018 debut Sistahs.
The foundations of the band were built after a 2013 post Stephanie Phillips put online, seeking like-minded women to start a black feminist punk band to address the lack of diversity in the D.I.Y. movement. Kiera Coward-Deyell joined on bass and Chardine Taylor-Stone on drums, with Phillips taking lead guitar duties. Taking their name from Phillips' mother Joan, the trio played their debut gig at the cooperatively run D.I.Y. Space for London's First Timers. That same year the band released their first single, "Out in the Country," a lo-fi instrumental track that offered little indication of how the band would later develop. 2014 saw Big Joanie put out their more expansive four-track debut EP Sistah Punk, but it was perhaps 2016's Crooked Room, released via their own Sistah Punk Records, that marked their biggest development. From the sparsely arranged build of the title track to their discordant take on TLC's "No Scrubs," Big Joanie really began to assert their unique character. In 2017, Coward-Deyell moved to Scotland and was replaced by Estella Adeyeri on bass; the year also marked some high-profile touring spots for the band including supporting American punk band Downtown Boys on their U.K. tour. The band built on their wider exposure, releasing their debut long player, produced by Margo Broom (Fat White Family), in 2018 via Thurston Moore and Eva Prinz's publishing company Daydream Library. Sistahs honored the legacy of bands like X-Ray Spex against the whitewashing of punk's heritage, and the feminist purview of riot grrrls Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney, with a collection of rhythmically curious and melodically rich songs.