For thirty years, Rough Trade alumni Band Of Holy Joy have been producing alternative and urban folk-punk masterpieces.
After a break of several years the band reformed in 2007 and will play their first Manchester show in many years, celebrating the success of their new, critically acclaimed album ‘Easy Listening’, described by author Irvine Welsh as his “favourite album of the year so far”.
Forever changing, consistently unique yet, always somehow the same, Band of Holy Joy began life in 1984 as gutter chansoniers using junk shop instruments to propagate a brutally romantic and literate form of dispossessed urban folk music. Since then the band have scaled a few heights fallen down in one or two gutters, broken up, glued themselves together, toured the world, released a fair few albums for the likes of Rough Trade and fully explored other media by presenting two audio visual song plays: Troubled Sleep at the Shunt Theatre in London 2008. They were also responsible for an Invocation for William Burroughs at the Sorbonne Paris in 2009 and have set up their own label and Internet radio station, Radio Joy.
These days the junk shop instruments of old are long gone, and guitars, violins and visuals very much to the fore. But the band continues to write about the same outsider concerns with the same measure of spirit and care, as evidenced by their stunning new single ‘A Place Called Home’, a big city pop song of tradition and place lost in the shiny new urban world of market forces, rising rents and social cleansing.
Witnessing Band of Holy Joy perform live is an experience that few others can match. The band’s accomplished musicianship and Inga Tillere’s captivating visuals are the perfect compliment to frontman Johny Brown’s mesmerising vocal performances, perfectly conveying the distillation of every human emotion.
Band of Holy Joy play The Tiger Lounge, Cooper Street, Manchester on Saturday 27th September. Tickets are £7 from Skiddle: http://skdl.it/Xw7Owv