To celebrate our 15th birthday we’ve put together a retrospective compilation of 15 of our favourite bands to have feature on our website, gigs and radio show over the past decade and a half, with artwork designed by four of our favourite artists (read about the artists here).
The album with your choice of postcard design is priced at £7 + p&p, though a deluxe package featuring all four postcards is available for just £8. A digital download without the artwork is £6. All profits from the album will be donated to Parkinson’s UK. You can get your hands on a copy via our Bandcamp page.
Here is our guide to the bands:
1) Special Needs – Winter Gardens
Back in the early days of Joyzine, New Cross venue The Paradise Bar was like a second home to us (may its light up stage floor live forever in our memories).
It was here that we first saw a host of bands who would become mainstays on the site such as Art Brut, The Long Blondes, Bloc Party and Special Needs, the latter of whom, with their mix of scuzzy indie rock and retro rock & roll and doo-wop influences, were perhaps the band we featured most frequently back then – they even performed at the very first Joyfest back in 2004.
‘Winter Gardens’ is taken from their debut album Funfairs & Heartbreak, which was released after the bands split via Re-Action Recordings.
2) Rhesus – Performance
There are few bands as closely entangled with the history of Joyzine as London punk outfit Rhesus. They played our first ever gig (at The New Cross Inn in 2004) and the first Joyfest, and in 2005 we worked together with frontman Jim Rhesus to put on a series of charity shows that raised almost £7,000 for victims of the Tsunami that had devastated Indonesia a few months earlier. That run included a sell out show at The 100 Club and the first of many Joyzine shows at The Windmill in Brixton. You can read Jim’s thoughts in an article he penned for us earlier this year.
3) 586 – We Got Bored
Fronted by Deborah Coughlin, now of Gaggle, and Steve Horry, who provided one of the designs for the album artwork and has featured on Joyzine both for his music with The 18 Carat Love Affair and his current partnership with Mark Fernyhough, and for his artwork in comics such as Double D (with Eddie Argos) and Lizard Men, 586 were a riot of confetti and lo-fi indie sparklers as evidenced by this, their debut single from 2006.
They were interviewed for the first issue of our sister site Maps Magazine (from which Joyzine editor Paul Maps got his pseudonym) and remain firm favourites around these parts.
4) The Fades – Caca
Punk outfit The Fades are one of the few acts on the compilation to have survived since day one. Formed in 2003, they’ve appeared in numerous Joyzine favourites over the years: The Helmholtz Resonators, The Moths, Me My Head and most recently Time Dilation Unit, who played their debut live show at Joyfest last weekend.
We decided to go back to the original source with this slice of furious punk perfection, released as a single in 2006 and as part of their self-titled debut album the following year.
5) Thomas Truax – Why Dogs Howl At The Moon (Part 1)
I’m often asked by people who’ve just found out about Joyzine what sort of music we cover. I’ve yet to really come up with a satisfactory answer and generally mumble off a vague list of genres and something about an independent and creative spirit. But when the inevitable follow-up question: ‘Who should I listen to?’ comes up, the answer comes far more easily.
Few artists exemplify what we love about doing this than Thomas Truax – singer, songwriter, story-teller and inventor of marvellous musical machines. There is nobody else out there quite like him and this wonderful otherness, the feeling of not knowing what’s coming next, is one of things that makes doing this all worthwhile.
Since first encountering him at Truck Festival many years ago, Thomas has been a regular on the site, playing at two of our live shows and appearing as a guest on The Joyzine Radio Show. His latest album All That Heaven Allows was released earlier this year.
‘Why Dogs Howl At The Moon’ is a live favourite (with plenty of opportunity for audience participation) and features on the 2007 album of the same name.
6) Pagan Wanderer Lu – Simple Life / Repetition 4
Pagan Wanderer Lu, performing more recently with his letters unscrambled as Andrew Paul Regan, was a big favourite of the Maps era, with his album Fight My Battles For Me topping our list of albums of 2009.
Packed with deeply personal lo-fi electro, often made using a Nintendo games console, and cautionary tales of contemporary Britain, the album was followed by the equally impressive European Monsoon and the 2014 album Dinas Powys, released under his own name.
7) Subliminal Girls – Electronic Hearts
Featuring members of Joyzine faves Rhesus, Ciccone and The Video Club, it was pretty much nailed on that we’d love Subliminal Girls, and their catchy snubs to scenester cool, such as debut single ‘Burn Koko’ (which didn’t go down too well with the Camden establishment) lived up to their pedigree.
They went on to make headlines by releasing the most expensive single of all time, ‘Self Obsession Is An Art Form’, which came as a limited edition box set complete with prints by British artist Stuart Semple and came in at £1,410. ‘Electronic Hearts’ was the b-side, available here with a slightly lower price tag.
8) How To Swim – Genesis P and Me
Furiously inventive and never ones to stick to one idea for any longer than is absolutely necessary, Glaswegian ensemble How To Swim have varied in number from four members up to double figures and back in the time that we’ve known them.
‘Genesis P & Me’, the tale of Throbbing Gristle’s Genesis P-Orridge and his wife Lady Jaye’s pandrogeny project, in which they undertook body modifications to look as close to identical as possible, was one of the tunes that first caught our ear. Elsewhere in their discography you’ll find sword-swallowing convicts, remorseful daredevils riding a barrel down Niagra Falls and absolutely no dull moments.
Frontman Gregory Barclay is currently directing independent film ‘Ribbons’; a new album Greek Active is due at an as yet undetermined point in the not too distant future.
9) Vienna Ditto – Long Way Down
When, back in the days when bands used to actually send cds, Vienna Ditto’s ‘Long Way Down’ demo plopped onto our doormat and made its way into the Joyzine HQ cd player, jaws dropped. It remains amongst the best that we’ve received in all this time.
Since then the band have racked up more Joyfest appearances than any other as well as being regular participants in The Joyzine Advent Calendar. The follow-up to their excellent debut album Circle is due for release later this year.
10) Superman Revenge Squad – A Funny Thing You Said
Croydon will forever hold a special place in our hearts here at Joyzine – our home for almost a decade and the birthplace of The Joyzine Radio Show, it may be better known for Dubstep and Grime than self-deprecating lo-fi indie poetry, but there are few that handle that genre better than Superman Revenge Squad.
‘A Funny Thing You Said’ is taken from the 2013 album There Is Nothing More Frightening Than The Passing of Time.
11) Bridport Dagger – Wolves
The third band on the album to feature Arran Goodchild on drums (the others being Rhesus & Subliminal Girls), we’ve followed the Dagger as they’ve expanded from a bass-less trio to a four-piece and now an expanded full on gothic country, surf rock extravanganza with viola, saxophone and extra percussion.
12) Co-Pilgrim – Moon Lagoon
Another man with a long history with our site is Mike Gale, whose band Black Nielson were not only featured in the first issue of Joyzine, but also in proto-Joyzine precursor site Kaytronika.
He’s since gone on to release a slew of gorgeous Americana-infused albums both under his own name and with Co-Pilgrim.
‘Moon Lagoon’ is taken from the album of the same name, released in 2017.
13) Frauds – Smooth
The second Croydon band on the album, Frauds were our co-conspirators for our To Hell With Good Intentions shows at the now sadly deceased venue Hoodoo’s.
They’ve gone on to take their mixture of frantic punk, incisive lyrics and sweary schoolyard humour on tour to sweaty venues and festival tents around the country.
‘Smooth’ is taken from their debut album With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice, released last year.
14) The Indelicates – Everything English Is The Enemy
Long-term Joyzine favourites and headliners of last week’s Joyfest show, The Indelicates have been constantly pushing boundaries both on record and behind the scenes with their excellent Corporate Records imprint.
Album themes have included David Koresh, the internet developing a conciousness and fleeing earth and most recently on Juniverbrecher, from which this track is taken, the country being possessed by an evil spirit in the form of seaside villain Mr Punch.
15) Piney Gir – The Great Pretend
Piney Gir was the first ever guest on The Joyzine Radio Show back in 2012, and we’ve been big fans throughout her many different incarnations over the years, from electro-tinged debut album Peakahokahoo, through the pigtails and petticoats of The Piney Gir Country Roadshow and the girl gang garage punk of The Schla La Las to the sweet indie pop of her recent solo releases.
‘The Great Pretend’ is Piney’s latest single, and is the first glimpse of what we can expect from her forthcoming seventh LP.
Bonus Track: The Joyzine Christmas Band – Walking In The Air
As a little bonus treat we’ve included this version of the Aled Jones festive tv classic, recorded by Joyzine editor Paul Maps and human jukebox Danny Le Pelley for the Joyzine Advent Calendar.
So, you’ve met the bands – get you copy of the album here.