Tag Archives: big joanie

Stephanie Phillips: 10 question interview

Roman pic 1Stephanie Phillips – sometimes known as Stef Fi – is coming to play LOUD WOMEN on 12 May and we are super excited. To get to know her better, we asked her 10 questions ... 
  1. Who would you most like to cover one of your songs? 

I’d love to write a song FKA Twigs would want to cover, or maybe Kristin Hersh.

  1. If you could add one member to your band – any person, living or dead, musical or otherwise – who would it be, and what would they play?

Stevie Nicks on vocals and tambourine and Carrie Brownstein on lead guitar.

  1. What was the last song you wrote, where were you when you came up with the idea, what inspired it, and how did it turn out? 

I haven’t written a song in what feels like forever. I think the last song I wrote might have been a new one called ‘You don’t see the way you hurt me’. It doesn’t really have a title yet. It’s about abusive relationships but I have no idea where the idea came from. It’s nearly finished, it just needs one more hook to finalise it.

  1. Which was your favourite gig you’ve a) played and b) watched?  

Our last gig at DIY Space for London with Twinken Park was my favourite gig. It was the first time Stef Fi played as a band and it went really well. People seemed to enjoy us even though we still only have about five songs. We’re working on more though.

  1. Recommend a record and a book that you think our readers might not have heard of.

I just started listening to Child’s Pose, a new post punk band from London, and I really love their sound. It’s quite 80s but really joyful. You’ve probably heard of this but I really loved Jenn Pelly’s 33 1/3 book on The Raincoats. It was a really insightful overview of an influential band.

  1. What’s your best piece of advice for young musicians? 

Don’t expect to be a genius from the get go. Just write and trust your instincts.

  1. Your top 3 most beloved albums ever – go. 

Dig Me Out – Sleater-Kinney

Hounds of Love- Kate Bush

A Seat at the Table – Solange Knowles

8. What are your musical goals?

To make something I’m proud of. I don’t know what that looks like but I assume I’ll know when I see it.

  1. What’s the most important thing we need to know about your band right now? 

We’re new and ready to get out into the world so invite us to play your venue. Also we mainly play slow, sad songs that you can still dance to.

  1. Give your top 5 contemporary bands/musicians.

Childs Pose because they’re fun

Pillow Queens because they make straight to the point pop punk music.

Shopping because .. well they’re Shopping

Martha are always leaps and bounds ahead of everyone

Solution Hours because I really love their spoken word meets punk aesthetic.

Stef Fi will be playing LOUD WOMEN on 12 May at the Hope & Anchor, along with Belle Scar and Silva.


Big Joanie: 10 question interview

bigjoanie1Big Joanie are Chardine (drums & vocals), Estella (bass & vocals), and Steph (guitar & vocals), and they’ve been on our booking wishlist for ages – so we’re very excited that they’re coming to play this Friday 9th March at the Fiddler's Elbow at a very special gig. Based on the idea behind the book Under My Thumb (for which Big Joanie’s Stephanie wrote a contribution), it’s a night of ‘songs that hate women, performed by the women who love them’. LW's Cassie's new band I, Doris are playing too, and if that's not enough excitement for you, there's also a karaoke session after the bands so you can join in too. What a night! In the meantime, we wanted to get to know Big Joanie a bit better, so we asked them 10 questions ...

1. Who would you most like to cover one of your songs?
Steph: Well I’d love if Ronnie Spector covered our girl group song “How Could You Love Me”. It’s more a less a Ronettes song. I also love when local bands cover each others songs so I think it would be funny if Charmpit or Shopping covered on of our songs.

2. If you could add one member to your band – any person, living or dead, musical or otherwise – who would it be, and what would they play?
Steph: Kim Deal to play and sing everything.

3. If your music could have a superpower, what would it be?
Steph: Maybe the power of self-actualisation so people could see themselves for who they really are and who they could be.

4. What’s best: playing a big venue full of strangers, or a small pub full of friends? Steph: I find it hard to play in front of people I know so probably a big venue full of strangers. I prefer smaller venues though in general for fun gigs.

5. Recommend a record and a book that you think our readers might not have heard of.
Steph: For music history I love Cinderella’s Big Score by Maria Raha. It’s a great compendium of most of the women of the punk and indie underground, mainly in the US. A new record I love is Pillow Queens ‘Calm Girls’ EP as I love their Waxahatchee via Dublin vibe.  An old record I’d recommend is ‘Heaven’ or ‘Las Vegas’ by Cocteau Twins as it really is timeless.

6. One for the guitarists … bore us with the details of your set-up please.
Steph: I’m really bad at changing my set up though I recently switched it up a bit. I have a aqua green Squier Jaguar that I can’t imagine moving from as I love that early 90s Nirvana / Sonic Youth sound it has. When we go on tour I use my Red Fender Blues Junior amp as it has a great reverb sound. My pedal set up is simple as I’m lazy so I usually use a boss blues driver pedal, a Ibanez Chorus pedal and now I’m adding a simple boss distortion pedal to give my lead riffs more lift.

7. What’s the best thing about being in your band?
Steph: Everything really. I started this band because I wanted to link my black feminist activism with my love of punk. When we started there were very few bands who were doing what we were going. Now there are whole swathes of the punk scene talking about race and black and brown punks are organising to create their own space. It’s great to be in a band like Big Joanie at a time like this. It’s also great to have a sisterhood you can rely on and create music you love with people you love.

8. What are your band goals? 
Steph: Well, we want to release our album, we want to reach people of colour who might not know about us already and spread our message of solidarity with them. Also it would be great to act as a guiding light for young POCs who need an example of punk of colour getting things done to convince them that they deserve to be in this scene too.

9. What’s the most important thing we need to know about your band right now? Steph: We’re nearly finished recording our debut album and hopefully we’ll be coming to your town soon.

10. Give your top 5 contemporary bands.
Steph: It’s pretty impossible to only list five as there are so many fantastic bands around now. I’ll have to list the first five that come to my mind:

  • Solution Hours – I loved their first release ‘Into the Sea’ as it reminded of the best of experimental spoken word indie.
  • Current Affairs – I love them because I’m an Andrew Milk fangirl it seems and every band he’s in is immediately my fave. They have an amazing Siouxsie Sioux vibe without sounding like they’re just ripping them. 
  • Bamboo – They make the kind of introspective electronic music I’d love to make one day.
  • Wizard Apprentice – They’re the only person who I’ve seen use a hologram animation in their performance.
  • Secret Power: They’re super new but they sounds amazing, like a post punk Aaliyah.
Catch Big Joanie live this Friday at the Fiddler's Elbow ... also watch this space for more Big Joanie goodness coming to LOUD WOMEN stages this year!

Advent Galendar Window no.21 – Big Joanie

Lots of excitement today – it’s the day of our Christmas party at The Lexington! (Very few tickets left by the way) AND … it’s time to open Advent Galendar window number 21 to reveal …

Big Joanie!


Big Joanie have had an awesome year, and they’re celebrating tonight too at Feministmas at The Victoria, along with Dream Nails, Charmpit and Wizard Apprentice. (We are so SO sad our party had to fall on the same night, but if you’re not coming to ours, do DO go to theirs!)


Big Joanie are Chardine (drums & vocals), Estella (bass & vocals), and Steph (guitar & vocals), and they’ve been on our booking wishlist for ages – so we’re very excited that they’re coming to play at a very special gig we have on 9 March 2018. Based on the idea behind the book Under My Thumb (for which Big Joanie’s Stephanie wrote a contribution), it’s a night of ‘songs that hate women, performed by the women who love them’. One for your new 2018 diary!



Female Fronted, Drawn Together

Female Fronted Drawn Together-01

Julie Hawk, front woman of Hawk, has created a beautiful multimedia project called ‘Female Fronted, Drawn Together’. This is very much LOUD WOMEN’s cup of tea! A playlist of inspirational female musicians, past and present, with an illustration to accompany each song. Julie has kindly written a piece exclusively for LOUD WOMEN explaining her work on the project.


I don’t know where I’d be without the musical women who have influenced me. I started Female Fronted, Drawn Together as a project that combines music and illustration in a way that celebrates this; that allows me to share their music and give a little back to say thank you.

There wasn’t really a plan at first in terms of what I would base each drawing on. But I think that’s led to a really organic and personal process of pin-pointing where my feelings lie, because each artist has affected my life in a totally different way. Some of these women I admire for their message or for their musical creativity. Some of them have given me unforgettable live experiences. And some of them I associate with significant memories, whether happy or sad – the right place at the right time.

I don’t think believe that anyone hears the same piece of music in the same way. Each connection that an artist makes with a listener is unique and complex. On top of this, female fronted music is so often lumped together as a single genre in a way that doesn’t acknowledge the diverse voices and talent and ideas that each woman brings to the table. I feel like in many ways, girls grow up to feel competitive to one another, but there’s been an amazing and positive backlash against this in music lately. I’m seeing so many girlbands looking out for each other and starting up amazing collectives together. I wanted Female Fronted Drawn Together to be a little contribution to this movement, and a space through which I could thank each of these women and just share a little love.

Find Julie on Instagram 

Drawn Together 2-01


LOUD WOMEN’s top 20 tracks of the year

by Kris Smith, LOUD WOMEN’s Music Editor

LOUD WOMEN YouTube playlist here

  1. Petrol Girls – Touch Me Again 
  2. The Tuts – Con Man  
  3. Slotface – Sponge State  
  4. Witching Waves – The Threat
  5. Crumbs – On Tiptoes 
  6. Actual Crimes – I Don’t Want To See  
  7. Fight Rosa Fight – This Scene, This Scene
  8. Colour Me Wednesday – In Your Shoes  
  9. Dream Nails – Bully Girl  
  10. Big Joanie – Crooked Room  
  11. Molar – Javier
  12. Charla Fantasma – Late For Work
  13. No Ditching – Emo  
  14. Dolls – Audrey  
  15. Muertos – Ballroom Spritzer  
  16. Good Throb – The Queen Sucks Nazi Cock  
  17. NOTS – Entertain me 
  18. LIINES – Disappear  
  19. Los Cripis – Restaurant  
  20. Prime Time – Fallen Out

music review: big joanie | crooked room

by kris smith

If this is an example of the material Big Joanie have been storing up in the relative musical silence since their last record, any future album of theirs will be a vital contribution to the DIY scene. The two original tracks and one cover here sound like literally no-one else around and are all the better for it.

The epitome of a band gradually finding its collective feet as it goes along, Big Joanie began by posting hesitant demos on their Bandcamp a few years ago, and you can follow their progress as their confidence grows with each release. Anyone can form a band – and everyone should – but not many form a band on the basis of a question, and then work the music out later. The question being “Why isn’t there/why hasn’t there been an all-female UK black punk band, and what might it sound like if there was?” Just as Basement FiveAlien Kultureand An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump may have been the firsts of their kind, so Big Joanie may be the first of theirs. On that basis alone the band would deserve support, even if the music was of no interest (which, luckily, it is), because, to spell the point out to anyone who doesn’t get why these things matter, when it comes to current and future musicians from culturally under-represented communities, as the old phrase goes: you can’t be what you can’t see.

‘Crooked Room’ is built around a disorienting, descending guitar arpeggio, accompanying piano and a lyric (“see it, can’t reach it, yeah”) that reiterates that very point, regarding, in the band’s words, “black women negotiating racist, sexist, classist, homophobic society while maintaining a sense of self”. The music recalls nothing so much as the sub-scene of avant-garde post punk that mushroomed during the cassette culture of the late 70s/early 80s, particularly some of the releases on the It’s War Boys label.

If I had to make a specific comparison, though, and as a big fan of both I’m chuffed to have the opportunity to do so, it would be Nina Simone meets Alternative TV. ‘Baby Rust’, meanwhile, sees bassist Kiera take the lead vocal for a sparse song that starts a bit like one of Gang of Four‘s slower tracks, complete with critical-theory lyric (“the superstructure is our only rupture”), before exploding in a Slits-esque climax. Last track ‘No Scrubs’ I’ll not say much about, not wanting to spoil the surprise for anyone who doesn’t know what to expect yet, but it ends the EP with a series of defiant ‘NO!’s, which surely has to be the point. An intriguing record, then, and without doubt one of the most important releases of the year so far.
Big Joanie – Crooked Room (Sistah Punk Records, May 2016)