This was my first time visiting The Hope and Anchor in Islington, so I looked the venue up beforehand and to my surprise found out it is apparently the most famous live venue in London ! Back in the day, many of the big stars played there including The Cure, The Jam and Madness. U2 and Joy Division even did their debut London gigs there, so this is a venue steeped in musical history. So I was excited
Of course the venue was inside a pub, so downstairs in the pub, vinyl filled the wall. After briefly grabbing a drink and catching up with an old friend who is one of the members of support act T Bitch, we made our way upstairs to the main venue area. There was a little confusion at the door, but I’d like to extend a very big thank you to Cassie, founder of LOUD WOMEN for her kindness and generosity in supporting Joyzine’s endeavours.
Once inside, we could see how unbelievably tiny the venue was! To think so many legendary bands had played in this tiny place, some of which are still filling massive stadiums to this day. Maybe this gig tonight, could also be the stuff of legend one day, who knows??
First support act was London based band The Dead Zoo, set the tone of inclusivity of the night’s event, being led by fabulous trans Kaoru Sato. Songs were both dancy and punky, but with deep topics touched upon including their transition process. They played with passion and skill, with a good dose of humour thrown in, joking about their amazing merch that included a lighter which also could be a bottle opener.
Next up was my friend’s band T Bitch who I had seen live, but it must have been at least ten years ago, back when I lived in Southend, and now only 2 of the original members are still in the band. This didn’t matter though, as it turned out, T Bitch absolutely stole the show in my opinion. I mean, who can really compete with a set complete with inflatable unicorns, rainbow colours, and real punk attitude? It was visual and aural chaos but in such a way it was impossible not to love them. Musically they resembled some sort of Sex Pistols combined with Riot Grrrl blend that works amazingly well. Songs covered horrible neighbours, fighting transphobia and even camel toe. If you haven’t seen this band yet, you really ought to!
Finally, headliner Canadian duo Miesha and the Spanks took to the stage, wearing matching zebra print outfits. They blasted straight into the music. A good portion of the set was dedicated to latest album Unconditional Love in Hi Fi, including 3 songs played back to back. The sound was full and the band were full of energy and vigour, despite the incredibly hot weather that day- being used to the temperatures of Canada- a rather different type of weather! A set had flown by in what felt like no time, before ending with ‘Mom Jeans’ and another song from their back catalogue which I hadn’t heard before.
LOUD WOMEN sure know how to put on a gig with bands worth checking out. It was a shame that the venue wasn’t fuller, as it was certainly worthy of a bigger audience. Do make sure you keep an eye out for more gigs they organise across the country and certainly make sure you buy a ticket to LOUD WOMEN fest in September- it’s going to be amazing!
You can catch The Dead Zoo Live on the following dates: Fri 7th July at The Shacklewell Arms, London, and Sat 12th August at the Windmill Brixton
T Bitch you can see this summer on Thurs 3rd August at Blackpool Rebellion Festival, Thurs 17th August at Naughty Corner23 in Cerne Abbas and Sat 16th Sept they will be at The Rich Mix in London as part of LOUD WOMEN fest.
Miesha and the Spanks have finished their dates in the UK for now and are now touring Germany, you can find the dates here
Article by Hayley Foster da Silva and photography by Martina Horackova