Pennyblackmusic is delighted to announce that our next night will take place at The Macbeth venue in east London on January 9th. Doors will open at 7.30 p.m., with the first band on at 8 p.m. Tickets £7 on door.
BAND OF HOLY JOY
Formed in New Cross, south London, in 1984, The Band of Holy Joy have seen some thirty band members pass through its doors in the subsequent thirty years, the one constant being Newcastle-born frontman Johny Brown.
Initially experimenting with cheap junk shop instruments, Cabaret Voltaire-style funk, post-punk, and industrial electronics elements - the latter partly a result of their friendship with industrial act Test Department - the nascent band initially released two self-issued cassettes, 'Favourite Fairytales For Juvenile Delinquents' and 'More Favourite Fairytales'. Then they moved on to south London indie label Flim Flam for the 1987 album, 'More Tales From The City', before signing to Rough Trade for two albums, 'Manic, Magic, Majestic' and 'Positively Spooked' at the end of the 80s. Increasingly successful, both commercially and critically, this period of the band coincided with the unfortunate demise of Rough Trade as a label, who in 1991 faced bankruptcy and had to be bailed out; after renaming themselves Holy Joy and releasing 'Tracksuit Vendetta' in 1992, the band seemed to follow suit by splitting up the following year.
It would take just under ten years before the band (now back with their full moniker) would reform, releasing the album 'Love Never Falls', in 2002. In 2007, Cherry Red Records released a best-of album, 'Leaves That Fall in Spring'; since then, the band have gone from strength to strength, releasing a further five albums (the last of which, 'Easy Listening', came out earlier this year), as well as touring the USA.
Along the way, their sound has expanded and refined, creating a hybrid of elements of folk rock, Celtic punk, European cabaret, electronics, epic pop, and others, all interspersed with literary and poetic references in Brown's impassioned lyrics. In addition, they have branched out, utilising theatrical song plays and exploring multimedia-based performances.
Pennyblackmusic is honoured to have the band play at The Macbeth.
THE BITTER SPRINGS
Formed in the London suburb of Teddington in 1985 as Last Party, The Bitter Springs changed their name to their current moniker in 1996. Since then they have released six studio albums of witty English lyricism and heartbreak, the last of which, 'Everyone's Cup of Tea', came out last year on the Harvey label, and features such great lyrics as "I broke up with my fiancée / She caught me in bed with Beyoncé / Beyoncé was our dog's name".
They collaborated regularly with Subway Sect's Vic Godard as his backing band, a partnership that extended for nearly ten years, and their own music includes elements of punk, folk, vaudeville, country and electronica.
Bitter Springs last played a Pennyblackmusic night at The Spitz venue back in the mid noughties, and this will be their first central London show in three years. It's great to have them back.
Idiot Son remain something of a hidden secret. Based around frontman Andy Thompson, the band formed in the late 90s, but only released their first single, 'Sunflowers', in 2000. It would take another four years before they would release their debut album, 'Lummox', on their own Poppycock label, featuring shimmering, solitary acoustic guitar and cello alongside conventional drums and bass, all winding around Thompson's wry observations of the capital city and its stories.
Now they are returning after a recording absence of ten years with their second album, the similarly sublime 'And NoneThe Wiser Nonetheless'. Tracks such as 'Hold the Engines'. 'The Best That Men Can Do' and 'HalfSwimming' build on Thompson's melancholic themes of love, heartache and urban living. This gig at the Macbeth will be Idiot Son's first appearance since a gig at the Union Chapel in 2011, and will also be the launch show for 'And None the Wiser Nonetheless'.