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Band Of Holy Joy

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Formed from the ashes of an unrecorded '77 punk band, Speed, Band Of Holy Joy's initial musical forays were largely in the domain of industrial bricolage and occasional bursts of madness. By the time they began releasing records under their own name in the 1980s, the band's humanist tendencies came to the fore, with astounding portraits of people on the periphery, resulting in such classics as Rosemary Smith, Mad Dot and Don't Stick Knives In Babbies Heads. The sharp sensibilities of founder and leader Johny Brown eventually led to a star-making deal with Rough Trade, a few near hits and career momentum shattered when the label collapsed mere days after what might have been the band's breakthrough album.

Slowly, a new Band Of Holy Joy has blossomed. Despite all the expected rock 'n roll trappings - Great shows! Killer tunes! Special guests! - the band operate, well, differently. In some aspects, they're an art collective. Inspired by the possibilities which burst forth after punk, the band's expression takes many forms. Visual artist Inga Tillere plays a large role in shaping the band's aesthetic and live events, and in musical foil James Stephen Finn, Mark Beazkley and Peter Smith, Johny's poetic vision transcends expectations without resorting to desperate reaches into esoterica.

In 2017, they released FUNAMBULIST WE LOVE YOU, a literary examination of the malaise set forth by Brexit, Trump, the rise of the far-right and a general disenfranchisement from most post-war liberal values. It rarely names any names, and it's far from strident, but it's undeniably a record forged by 2017.

The Band Of Holy Joy 2019 model is a sleek beat outfit that owes as much to indie music in the proper sense of indie as it does to the Brechtian connotations of past Band Of Holy Joy incarnations. They have lineage but never dwell on it preferring to forge forward. They have a history too but never let it drag them back. For the past few years they have been quietly growing and gestating and now they have emerged fully reborn with renewed purpose of sound and vision.

Sites:bandofholyjoy.co.uk , Facebook , X , Reverb , Bandcamp , Bandcamp
Members:Alfie Thomas, Andrew Davis (3), Big John (3), Brett Turnbull, David Coulter, Hilary Jeffery, Howard Jacques, James Stephen Finn, John Jenkins (7), Johny Brown, Karel Van Bergen, Mark Beazley, Max (18), Peter Smith (37), William Lewington
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