It’s fair to say that prior to last night my interest in Welsh three piece Joy Formidable was a passing one. Despite my girlfriend’s desperate pleas that they are one of the best bands of the last decade. We got to see them at a 200 person venue in Angel/Islington last night and I couldn’t look away.
It’s fair to say Kate (my girlfriend) has a super girl crush on Joy Formidable’s lead singer Ritzy and I can see why. She’s a diminutive thing, who on first sight could get lost behind a guitar but as I watched her I realised that she really knows how to play. I think that’s part of the appeal, when she’s onstage your eyes can’t avert, and she knows how to play up to it, especially when she can address individual catcalls between songs.
Bassist Rhydian layers thick heavy riffs over anything going on, and the dynamic is very much a grunge thing of quiet verse/loud chorus used highly effectively with effects pedals and loops to create a sound much more dynamic and epic than usually possible of a three piece (other than Muse (early Muse anyway)). Their drummer Matt doesn’t get the chance to say a lot but who needs to when you can play like that. It was amazing.
I have to say (and this is just my acoustic sensibilities of late) that my favourite track of the night was Wolf’s Law taken from their upcoming second album, it was just one of those rare moments at a gig where you forgot who you were. Buoy, Greatest Light and Everchanging Spectrum were also fantastic live.