Boudica Festival presents
Big Joanie, Secret Power, Nim Chimpsky
The Tin Music and Arts
21st February 2019
Presented by the brilliant Boudica Festival tonight we have Big Joanie, who describe themselves as a ‘Black Feminist Punk Band’, joined by Secret Power, ‘Dreamy R’nB Punks and Nim Chimpsky, ‘50% dancing 50% woe (woah!)’ at the Coal Vaults in Coventry. This is one we have been looking forward to immensely. Read what we thought below.
This is the first gig I’ve attempted since my knee replacement so it’s a bit of a test. I end up standing for far more of it than I intended as the bands are all so good. We arrive early and watch the crowd come in, I claim a space on the seats at the edges of the room and Nim Chimpsky come onstage. Their description on their Bandcamp page is ‘50% dancing 50% woe (woah!)’ which fits very well. They start with indie drums, up and down guitar, and make me think of Shop Assistants. There’s an X Ray Spex, punk edge to the guitars, a raw not twee indie, female vocal fighting the flowing music. The quiet bits are quite lovely, the band smiles and it’s back to punky breaks that make you move. Then there’s a false start, which is always good, they’re playing indie punk that’s not polished and all the better for it, one for every indie disco I have ever been to, great band. They have a sixties pop feel, twangy wall of noise going on, full and rich they punch out the song. They all look like they belong together in the band, very comfortable.
Secret Power are on next. They and Big Joanie have all been watching Nim Chimpsky and cheering. They come to the front and get onstage. Drummer, keyboards and guitar. The keyboard gives us an atmospheric noise, with quiet guitars and gentle soft sticks on the drums. The sound builds and tension grows. The drums come in strong and the guitar loud and hard. The woman with the fantastic afro playing guitar sings with power and strength. The sound slips into Killing Joke territory and the drums go insane, the keyboardist gently hums to create a drone behind the jagged powerful noise. They sing about not giving up, about people not liking the things they like, it’s a motivational uplifting lyric that we need more of at the moment. The song is quiet and slow with the keyboardist’s clear and high singing. ‘I wanna feel great’ as the guitars fuzz out and swamp the quiet tune, slow riffs which build up the intensity and speed. It’s bloody loud all of a sudden and the band are totally focused as they get faster and stronger.