The Joy Formidable @ Rough Trade East 24th January 2013

The Joy Formidable are a Welsh alternative rock band formed in 2007 in North Wales and consists of Ritzy Bryan (lead vocals, guitar), Rhydian Dafydd (bass, backing vocals), and Matt Thomas (drums). The sophomore album Wolf’s Law had been released that week and the band paid a visit to London’s leading record shop Rough Trade East to perform a short set. Because I am a massive fan of The Joy Formidable I decided to pre order the album because I wanted it to be guaranteed that I would be in attendance. Surprisingly there were still wristbands an hour before the actually performance. The set began around 7.10pm and opening it up was brand new track Cholla. This actually sounded rather incredible and this track was simply electric. Ritzy’s vocals were so sweet but with the combination of both drum and guitars it gave Cholla that extra edge. The song had been superbly written and the lyrics were infectious especially the line “Where are we going? What are we doing? You siphon a smile from the source”. Wolf’s Law is packed with so many favourite tracks and this is one of them that sounded incredible performed live. “It’s lovely to be back. We’re delighted to be back” Ritzy then said to the jam packed audience whilst Matt was playing the drums which led to the pleasing Austere which was taken from the début album. This was exremely heavy and had sublime lyrics which resulted in plenty of audience participation. Austere whipped everyone into a frenzy. “There’s a nice little mosh pit for a minute there. That will warm you up a bit” Bryan mentioned before the next number of the evening. This being the 2nd to be showcased from the new album. This Ladder Is Ours is also the opening track on Wolf’s Law. The vocal performance was pure perfection and there are some amazing hooks. After hearing it performed live it felt as if it could easily made the cut for the début album The Big Roar. It was then onto another oldie and this being The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade. The Greatest Light was a powerful rock song with energetic lyrics you just want to go crazy to. It was in fact an epic song which everyone seemed to enjoy. The final song from Wolf’s Law to be showcased this evening was Little Blimp. It was the first time I had witnessed it performed live and I have to say it is one of my favourite tracks from the new album. The lyrics were catchy and it was very up tempo. “We’ll ride this, we’ll ride this easily, We’ll ride this, we’ll ride this surely, Paddle me closer, I promise you never look back down”. Little Blimp was delivered with plenty of gusto. “It’s a pleasure to be back. We were laughing at these posters because they only got 2 dates on them. Imagine that, imagine doing 2 dates in a tour. Not a fucking chance” Ritzy then said before they signed off with Whirring. The crowds atmosphere was simply electric everyone was jumping up and down plus there was even a crowd surfer. Whirring was a ferocious song and plenty of energy flowed from it. Its rhythm was really catchy plus its lyrics were flawless.

SET LIST

Cholla
Austere
This Ladder Is Ours
The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade
Little Blimp
Whirring

OVERALL: The Joy Formidable are an amazing band whom I have been a fan of since 2009. They say the 2nd album is always the most difficult but this band have something that is well and truly incredible. Just seeing them perform live has made me want to see them again on the current tour for Wolf’s Law. It would of have been nice to have heard some more new songs showcased but then again I am greedy.

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