20 Years of Joy! Joyzine Celebrates Two Decades of Supporting New Music with Gigs and Compilation Album Series

To the surprise of all involved, Joyzine has made it to twenty years old and we’ll be celebrating two decades of shouting about the music we love with a series of gigs and compilation releases, which we’re excited to share news of with you today.

As with many of the best endeavours, Joyzine was born out of boredom. Back in 2001, founder/editor Paul Maps was back from University, living at his parents’ house in the small North-West Kent town he’d grown up in with a degree that it was becoming increasingly apparent wasn’t going to get him his dream job. Unfulfilled by taking on shifts at the local leisure centre as a five-a-side football referee, trampoline lesson spotter and fake drowning swimmer for lifeguard exams, he decided to learn how to make websites.

The outcome was Kaytronika, a passionately written, poorly researched fan page to bands including Urusei Yatsura, Chicks On Speed, Mclusky, Mikabomb and Six By Seven. This led to a fateful day at Croydon’s sadly missed Shake Some Action Records, when, while handing out flyers promoting the site, Maps was handed a demo CD by the bassist of local band Method Sent, asking for what was to become the first ever review on the site.

Then in 2003, having realised the value in having a site name that people could actually spell, Joyzine was launched with a Truck Fest special teased with a terrible pun. Advert-free since its inception, Joyzine has developed an ethos of only covering music that we would encourage others to listen too, and is run by a small, ever-changing group of avid music fans. In the intervening years we’ve welcomed dozens of writers and photographers into the team, shared our love for thousands of bands both big and small, launched what (as far as we can tell) was the internet’s first ever music downloads advent calendar, raised more than £20,000 for a variety of charities through our gigs (including Balcony Festival, a series online events during lockdown, which saw us collaborate with a host of other blogs and promoters), hosted our own radio show and generally had a bloody good time. Much has changed, but we still enjoy terrible puns.

Kaytronika, circa 2002
Front page of the first ever edition of Joyzine - a background image of tents at Truck Festival with articles including a festival review, interviews with Black Nielson, Fonda 500, M.A.S.S. and Edible 5Ft Smiths + reviews of Pleasure Forever, The Thermals, Special Needs, The Rocks, The Darkness and Ten Speed Racer
The first ever Joyzine frontpage, from August 2003

To celebrate this milestone, we’re putting on a series of gigs and compilation albums, which will be raising money for the excellent anti-extremism charity HOPE not hate.

First up was our 20th Birthday Weekender, within the lovely confines of The Old Library in our spiritual home of New Cross on 19th + 20th August, which on day one saw indie-pop chameleon and long-standing Joyzine favourite (first featured in November 2003!) Piney Gir headline the main stage, alongside ferocious punk duo Deux Furieuses and post-punks Dead Patrons, while The Garden Stage sees stripped back performances from alt-rock aces Hurtling, indie raconteur MJ Hibbett and punk poet Gabi Garbutt.

The following day’s bill was topped by Bristolian heavy pop trio Masca, with punk-pop rascals Breakup Haircut and Mummycore DIY punks I, Doris joining them on the main stage, while the garden will host the surreal psych-pop of Garden Centre, indie gent Stephen Evens and David Devant & His Spirit Wife frontman Mikey Georgeson.

Photos from the event can be seen here: Day One / Day Two

Next on the agenda was another birthday gig, this time in conjunction with Club Fade at The Lexington in Islington on Saturday 16th September. The line-up includes soul punks The Fades, who are up there amongst the most featured bands on Joyzine over our twenty year history, artful outsider dream rock from Jemma Freeman & The Cosmic Something and indie rock band The Burning Feathers.

Look out for photos of the show coming soon.

Poster for Joyzine + Club Fade's 20th Birthday Bash at The Lexington - a cartoon of a face with swirling eyes

The festivities continue at The Gate in Cardiff on 30th September, where we’ll be joining South London promoters Rocklands in helping fellow vicennial music blog God Is In The TV to celebrate their anniversary at a show featuring Adwaith, Chroma, Carwyn Ellis, The Honest Poet, Papaya Noon, Half Happy and DJ Kaptin.

TIckets, priced at £23, are available via Gigantic here.

Poster for 20 Years of God Is In The TV gig at The Gate in Cardiff - a fuzzy, TV static image of the number 20

And we’ll be rounding off the celebrations with another joint party with Rocklands and God Is In The TV at The Amersham Arms in New Cross on Thursday 26th October as part of Artful Fest 2023. The night will be headlined by lo-fi cult heroes Fonda 500, who will be playing their last ever London gig, alongside the energetic indie pop of Bugeye, the artful electro of Feral Five and existential party punks Colossus.

And that’s not all! We’re also releasing a series of compilation albums packed with exclusive tracks from our favourite artists. Volume 1, released as a limited edition birthday card + digital download features 20 exclusive tracks from Joyzine favourites including Deerhoof, The Burning Hell, David Devant & His Spirit Wife and many more. Get you copy now on Bandcamp – all proceeds donated to HOPE not hate.

We hope that you can join us to celebrate 20 Years of Joy at one of these events – come and say hi if you do.

Article by Paul Maps

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