POC Punk Bands: Big Joanie (Photo Credit: Liz Rose Ridley)
While being commonly associated with white working class (and bands like the Sex Pistols), punk has always had its roots in black culture. The names of certain classic punk icons like Poly Styrene and Don Letts might just ring a bell, but what about these new bands that are making their mark on the British punk scene? As an advocate of diversity in music that always carries forward a message of equality and equity, we would like to share with you some of our favourite POC punk bands.
POC Punk Bands for Your Essential Listening
Stephanie Phillips (singer/guitarist), Estella Adeyeri (bass) and Chardine Taylor-Stone (drums) make up the one of the most renowned feminist POC punk bands Big Joanie. Inspired by the Jesus and Mary Chain, Nirvana and Breeders, they describe themselves as similar to the Ronettes filtered through “80s DIY and Riot Grrrl with a sprinkling of dashikis”. Punk is well and alive through this band who make up part of London’s thriving DIY punk scene. Their debut album title Sistahs highlights the band’s strong belief in sisterhood and female friendship as they created a band to be “completely ourselves as black women and discover what was possible to realise in those spaces”. The band has been heavily involved with Decolonise Fest that celebrates POC in punk music, the compilations can be found here on Bandcamp.
Follow Black Joanie on Facebook here
Nova Twins are vocalist and guitarist Amy Love and bassist Georgia South’s fusion of grime and punk. Their modern, urban punk is dark, sharp and certainly making waves far beyond London. They are keen to shake up heavy music scenes whilst promoting a movement of diversity. Infused with bass-heavy riffs and energetic vocals, their genre-defying sound is full of savagery. High-energy and full of rage: a force to be reckoned with and certainly worth your attention.
Watch our interview with Nova Twin on YouTube here
Female and non-binary, Best Praxis make fuzzy, raw and often emotional DIY punk. Honest and angry vocals (often in a spoken word style) are met by dark synths, stripped drumbeats and snarling guitars. They started out in 2017 at the First Timers Festival in London and have since been part of Decolonise Fest.
Whitelands was the solo project of 20-year-old Etienne who began making music at school lunchtimes before forming a band with his friend Jagun. Their shoegaze punk hybrid sometimes boasts grit and anger, and sometimes creates moments of complete dreamy pop. Their sound may be varied but it’s always blissful.
Follow Whitelands on Facebook here
Emerging from Manchester’s creative underground scene, three-piece Handle channel their new wave and post-punk’s ragged sounds and attitudes with a modern twist. Drawing on disco, funk, Latin and Motorik inspirations, they create unsettling rhythms alongside unconventional songwriting. Formerly in Mancunian punk band DUDS, guitarist and drummer Giuilio Erasmus and Nirvana Heire are now joined by genderqueer multidisciplinary artist Leo Hermitt in Handle. Experimenting with poetry and maintaining a punk ethos, the avant-gardes are certainly ones to watch.
Listen to Handle on Spotify here
The Tuts are a fierce feminist punk trio of proud Caribbean, English and Indian/Pakistani origin, waving high the flag for inclusivity in music. Their punchy pop-punk is made up by Londoners Nadia Javed, Beverley Ishmael and Harriet Doveton. Having featured in the ITV series Young, British and Muslim in 2018, they have been vocal on issues of inclusivity and racism, whilst maintaining a care-free catchy sound and attitude.
Follow The Tuts on Facebook here