The Just Joans – The Victoria (7 December 2013)

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I’ve been counting the days to this one; the first Just Joans London fixture since I made the move to the greatest city in the world©™®

I may have documented my love for this band previously. It has not waned. This year saw the release of yet another excellent Wee Pop! EP from them wonderful titled 6.9 Love Songs. I’ll get round to blogging about it once I suss out how to get it onto my phone. (i.e. When I get my aged iMac fixed.)

But first; The Understudies (with such a name – destined for the support slot forever?). Worth mention because I liked them. What were they like? Indie. I can’t really remember. I wasn’t going to buy their record*. But, that’s not the point. What they did was remind me there’s a million and one bands I’ve never heard of in the city. And, they’re playing every night. I need to go out and find them. They won’t be rocking up to my door to serenade me.

On a good day, any gig will reach inside you and play with your innards. Be that the two guys bent over benches prodding the canyons of the mind; the orchestra, literally, removing your spleen; or that Brazilian metal team that rattle your lungs to claustrophobia. Yet, we all have those bands that just make your heart soar by walking on stage. This is one of mine.

Well, it’s all meant to be subjective anyway.

The Joans (as I will never call them again, again) are for my money the best folk band around at the moment. Not ‘trad’, folk. Their songs could only come from one place at one time. They are both hilarious and staggeringly beautiful. Kinda like life. Live they embody this perfectly. A charming stage presence, ripped through with a strong thread of joie de vivre and banter. Never do they fall towards the fey tendencies of too many of their peers.

We’re in a pub full of indie kids on a back street in Dalston. The band are among their own. There will be no fest-style Evian piss missives lobbed stageward. We know that. What does happen is as we get to Bellshill Station (the song), the spirit of the east-end kicks through and we start having a right old sing-song. By the time we get What Do We Do Now? it’s like an Embrace stadium show. Only good. Really good.

Lotta love for this band tonight. Rightly so.

* Ok, I did listen to them. Didn’t buy the download, yet. But, definitely keeping an eye out to catch them again.


Written by Tony Kiernan

10 December 2013 at 5:59 pm

Posted in Gigs, London, Music

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