BAND OF HOLY JOY “Funambulist We Love You” (Tiny Global)
I don’t need much of an excuse to write about Band of Holy Joy. When I first saw Johny Brown in action at one of the first ever gigs I flew solo at (early 90s), where they featured on a bill with Terminal Cheesecake, he was a mixture between town cryer, evangelist lyricist and wild man of Borneo. You couldn’t take your eyes off him. Coming off stage, commanding the Marquee with an SM58 and occasionally a megaphone if my memory serves correctly.
Band of Holy Joy are still very much a going concern, and after an awesome 10″ called “Brutalism Begins At Home” earlier this year which featured two great pop songs and their dubby versions, they are back with a full album and another great release on the Tiny Global Productions label (who’ve also released two corkers this year from VS favs The Nightingales and The Blue Orchids).
I’ve been lucky enough to have a sneak listen – it’s not out until 27th October, and it is hairs on the neck-worthy. Johny is a fantastic wordsmith, and while as he says “Donald Trump laughs on the TV”, it’s both timeless stuff and yet very now. A bit like with The Wolfhounds and the aforementioned Tiny Global bands, this is a true Indian Summer for some well loved 80s / early 90s cult concerns. They are older, wiser and back in time for when antipathy needs to be replaced by anarchy, or at least a strident voice, in order that our World doesn’t self destruct (or at least discombulate). Not to say that Johny Brown can save the World on his own, but he’ll certainly aim some barbs at some serious bull. It’s self effacing stuff too, on lead song “A Revivalist Impulse” he at once acknowledges the place of Holy Joy (later on in the record referred to as “best band in the world”) but also genuinely pines for “radical indie fundamentalism”, a label you can surely apply to his outfit. Therein lies the tightrope (a funambulist is a tightrope walker) that The Band Of Holy Joy teeters on – “it’s a call for the resurrection of hope and possibility!” (one which used to feature Courtney Love according to Johny.
The immediacy continues with “To Leave Or Remain”, a love song/lament for well you know what, and another real highlight – the almost Smiths-esque “The Song of Casual Indifference”. I know I’m definitely “in” with Holy Joy and if you fancy a night out, get down to the Lexington this Sunday, where they will play with The Blue Orchids and The Bitter Springs…(flyer below)
Johny says this of the night:
“We have a gig at the Lexington next Sunday to mark the release of our next album Funambulist We Love You, it’s an important gig for us and it goes without saying we’ll be putting our heart and soul into the evening. We have the Bitter Springs and Blue Orchids with us too,..If you do fancy a night out up in London… details here…”
Album Rating: Unadulterated Joy
Here’s a mix from Johny for Band of Holy Joy’s “Lucky 7″…
And here’s a reminder of Johny’s “song for ewe”…
You can pre-order the new album here:
and more info on the band here: