‘New queens of rock’ JOANovARC kicked off the fifth date of their autumn 2019 tour with a Halloween gig at The Victoria Bikers’ Pub in Coalville, Leicestershire. First formed in 2004 by sisters Sam and Shelley Walker, it wasn’t until 2016 that JOANovARC released their debut album Ride of Your Life. They followed this up in May 2019 with the self-titled JOANovARC.

Goth-rock band FyreSky and Midlands rockers The Howling Tides provided solid support acts that soon revved up the small but enthusiastic audience. JOANovARC then took the stage and hit the ground running with ‘Live Rock n Roll’, an energetic track from their debut album that set the pace for what was to follow.

Next up was ‘Waiting For’, a song with an upbeat tempo in defiance of its somewhat downbeat lyrics. The song provided a perfect display of the band’s considerable talent with some excellent riffs from both Shelley Walker and Laura Ozhall. By the time we reached ‘Girls Wanna Rock’ the band had fully hit their stride. A succession of powerful tracks followed, including ‘Try It On’, ‘Down by the River’ and ‘This Way’, all from their second album.

‘Say Saynonara’ allowed bassist Keira Kenworthy an opportunity to take centre stage and display her significant skills not just on bass but also as a vocalist. The track exemplified how JOANovARC have not confined themselves to a single genre, but have skilfully interwoven a variety of musical styles into their output, covering rock, punk, pop and even country.

Towards the end of the evening, FyreSky’s Gabriel Valentine and Kris White rejoined the stage to perform a joint cover version of ‘Highway to Hell’ to the enthusiastic delight of the crowd. All too soon, the gig draws to a close. A solid performance from JOANovARC showed that this is a band not just with great material but also excellent musicianship. Catch one of their gigs if you can.

The album JOANovARC is available now via Holier Than Thou Records. JOANovARC’s current tour runs until 6th December 2019, and information about the upcoming shows can be found on their official website https://www.joanovarc.co.uk/.

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