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Review and In Pictures: The Joy Formidable at The Ritz [Live]

Review and In Pictures: The Joy Formidable at The Ritz [Live]

With Denuo and Kill It Kid // " She makes The Ritz a safe haven from which you never want to leave"

Review   1164 Views
Last Edited by: Chris MUG5 Maguire March 11th, 2013.

One of the biggest and best bands to come from Wales in recent years, The Joy Formidable, are keen to show what a veritable hot bed of talent their valley is; not that we needed reminding. Following this methodology then it’s no surprise that Denuo are the opening act tonight. A tiny band from North Wales the quartet get a warm reception from the early comers tonight who let their acoustic melancholy wash over them before being forced to reassess as they crescendo like a battering ram. On the back of solid pop rock performances supporting bands like this Denuo will get themselves where they deserve to be.

Sadly the same can’t be said for the Bath music scene which has birthed Kill It Kid who take poser rock to whole new levels tonight. Their new grunge look and sound are somewhat ineffective at being even remotely enjoyable and instead it appears as if the cast of Hollyoaks has walked off the set and are now doing a ‘classic rebellion’ photo shoot in front of us. It doesn’t help that they all sound as if they’re playing in a different band. If I hadn’t already seen Steel Panther I might be offended.

Luckily the power trio that is The Joy Formidable come straight on with latest single ‘Cholla’ which they absolutely nail as Ritzy bounds across the stage a smile beaming between the corners of her mouth. It’s this eager wide eyed approach to playing that makes The Joy Formidable such a great live band. There’s only three members on stage and with their stark yet simple set up which includes having sticks-man Matt right up at the front with the rest of us it’s easy to tell just how much they’re in the moment loving what they do.

It’s a set list which perfectly melds their two records and reminds just how god damn great this band really are, there’s not a bad song to be heard as they shift from the more layered orchestral sounds of ‘This Ladder Is Ours’ to ‘The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade’ whose opening electro notes resound round the room to rapturous applause. They even squeeze in the dirty distorted ‘While The Flies’ from their 2010 EP I Don’t Want To See You Like This which lets us hear a little of Rhydian’s charming vocals. The Joy Formidable gave themselves the most apt of names and it’s in a live environment like this that you register just how alive this band make you feel.

Matt’s flailing arms on ‘Little Blimp’ and Ritzy’s clipped vocals are so in tune to one another you can’t help but go along with it, the same can be said for her and Rhydian on who take on 'The Silent Treatment' together and stun the room into a respectful silence. Eerie. They’re the classiest of acts and in Ritzy they have an old school back to basics front woman with the foulest of mouths. At one point tonight she spends about five minutes giving two fighting lads a good telling off because… “If we’re not family in here then fucking hell what’s it going to be like out there?” She makes The Ritz a safe haven from which you never want to leave and with a finale of the six minute ‘Whirring’ you can stay cocooned in their warmth for an eternity.


Piling outside afterwards with a buzz about you and songs stuck in your head it’s obvious a good time has been had by all and that the cold night air isn’t penetrating anyone’s fuzzy feedback lair.

View Stephanie Webb's photos of The Joy Formidable’s performance at Rescue Rooms, Nottingham on 24 February here:


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