Up until a few weeks ago, The Joy Formidable had been one of those bands I had heard of but never actually heard. After falling in love with their debut album ‘The Big Roar’, I knew that seeing them live was a must and luckily they were just starting a UK tour in promotion of the record.
Arriving at King Tuts, my expectations were already pretty high but as the lights went down and the intro to ‘The Everchanging Spectrum Of A Lie’ began, it was clear that my expectations were actually pretty low in comparison to what was to come.
The band were greeted warmly by the crowd as they took to the stage and vocalist Ritzy returned the favour blowing kisses and waving before picking up her guitar and breaking into the opener properly, the first song of what was to be a mind-blowing set. The band soared through songs from their debut including ‘The Magnifying Glass’, ‘Austere’ and the sensational ‘Buoy’ and also stuck in some tracks from their old E.P such as ‘The Last Drop’.
What really made the gig special, of course, was Ritzy’s amazing stage presence. She’s such a proper little rocker and was all over the stage shredding her axe, scanning the crowd with a serious stare one moment and randomly laughing to herself the next. The interaction between all three members was great to watch, there was a real feeling of friendship and enjoyment for what they do and the massive sound exuded from this three-piece throughout the set was truly outstanding, from the roaring and screeching of Ritzy’s guitar, to the pounding of Rhydian’s bass and Matt’s thundering drums.
The set was brought to a climatic end with ‘Whirring’. Leading straight on from ‘9669’, the song itself lasted around two and a half minutes before the band broke into an explosive outro which lasted the best part of four minutes. I stood in awe as I watched Ritzy and Rhydian sprawled on the floor, fiddling with their effects pedals, trying to create as much sound as humanly possible before leaving the stage with feedback still booming from the PAs. If you like bands who push the boundaries of playing small venues, do far much more than just churn out tracks identical to their studio recordings and pretty much leave your brain the equivalent of scrambled egg, you need to see these guys.
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