Live from the tides: ​Watch a soulful pop-up set from Joy Anonymous on London’s Southbank

today28/09/2022 5

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If there’s one thing we know about Joy Anonymous, it’s that they love to put on a great impromptu party. London’s Henry Counsell and Louis Curran are the duo taking the dance music scene by storm right now – and they do it all from two camping chairs on the side of the River Thames.

Through frequent pop-up shows, Joy Anonymous have built a solid community “putting joy at the corner” of what they do. Their sets, comprised of soulful house and disco classics and more recent dance music favourites, never fail to bring in a roaring crowd when they set up ashore the river each week.

“We were initially going to do all these Joy shows at old people’s homes, and we had a friend who was working in a prison reform program,” the duo’s Henry Counsell explains. ”Then lockdown happened and all of those ideas went out the window, we were a bit lost”. The idea was run through multiple new iterations, then birthing Joy Anonymous’ current and wildly successful form now seeing them collaborate with the likes of Fred again.., Four Tet, and The Blessed Madonna.

With MCs jumping on the mic ad-hoc to the karaoke-style community spirit brought out through the pair’s ‘Joy Meetings’, these recurring pop-up shows even helped to build their debut album, ‘Human Again’. “Every feature on ‘Human Again’ is basically from someone down at the Southbank,” says Henry. “We want to keep it going, not get too comfortable. If we take it around the world, what kind of people could we get jumping on the mic in Finland, Turkey, wherever?”

To celebrate Joy Anonymous, we joined Henry and Louis on the Southbank to catch a slice of that free-spirited spontaneity. Check out an hour-long set from Joy Anonymous, live from the tides, below.

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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