Joanna Gruesome headlined a two continent spanning show at PhilaMOCA

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Joanna Gruesome | Photo by Chis Sikich
Joanna Gruesome | Photo by Chris Sikich

Last Thursday PhilaMOCA hosted a quartet of indie rock that spanned two continents. Headlined by the Cardiff-based Joanna Gruesome, the concert was a punk kick to the ears.

Philly locals Mercury Girls kicked off the night with their crunchy pop that literally leapt into the former mausoleum’s room (thanks to a jumping, feline-attired Kevin Attics). Led by vocalist Sarah Schimineck, they were infectious and certainly garnered the deserved attention of the ever-increasing crowd. Make sure to catch them live at their upcoming November 25 show at Kung Fu Necktie.

Mercury Girls | Photo by Chris Sikich
Mercury Girls | Photo by Chris Sikich

King of Cats was next, which was appropriate as Thursday was National Cat Day. Helmed by Oxford, England-based Max Levy, and with the help of some of Joanna Gruesome, King of Cats was the most unusual act of the night. Levy’s high-pitched vocals matched with catchy lyrics were an unexpected pairing, but one that paid dividends as the set expanded.

King of Cats | Photo by Chris Sikich
King of Cats | Photo by Chris Sikich

Penultimate act Aye Nako stormed the stage with punk charm and nuance. Blasting through a set of songs laced with sexual and racial identity themes, they demanded to be heard and understood. With its newest record The Blackest Eye as the set’s catalyst, the highly engaged Philly crowd felt a connection to rock music at its finest.

Aye Nako | Photo by Chris Sikich
Aye Nako | Photo by Chris Sikich

Joanna Gruesome played the kind of wild, sweaty less-than-60-minute-set that leaves one breathless and desiring more. Their brilliant 2015 LP Peanut Butter was slathered onto the audience’s ears. Recent additions Kate Stonestreet and Roxy Brennan have made the band more sonically dynamic. And, as Mercury Girls had done, some members of the band played the entirety of the show on the floor, making the set even more interactive and bringing the night to a close with a smashing success seal of approval.

 

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