The Joy Formidable @ Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton – 1 March 2013


Review by Lucy Thompson

The Joy Formidable - UK Tour 2013 PosterSince forming in 2007 and releasing their debut The Big Roar in 2011, The Joy Formidable have become one of the most hot-tipped bands around. Their heavy riffs, fast drums and Ritzy Bryan’s captivating vocals have all combined to create a signature sound unlike any other. Halfway through their extensive UK tour to promote their brand new album Wolf’s Law, the Welsh trio stopped off at Wolverhampton’s Wulfrun Hall on a cold Friday night and rather than the usual rowdy fangirls sipping on coke, it appears that the trio seem to have attracted a slightly older audience.

After much anticipation, the trio finally took to the stage to huge cheers and dived straight into ‘Cholla’, my personal favourite from Wolf’s Law followed by ‘Austere’. That the setlist was dominated by tracks from Wolf’s Law wasn’t a bad factor, the crowd, who were surprisingly with the tracks given that the album has been out less than two months, seemed more than happy to hear them. And with hit after hit, Ritzy, Matt and Rhydian showcased their talent and thrashed around the stage.

The band’s sound was spectacular, somehow sounding better live than on their album, much like the triumphant Muse who they must have stolen a leaf from after securing a support slot. ‘Tendons’ juxtaposed with the slow tempo ‘Silent Treatment’ created an intimate atmosphere which was soon smashed to smithereens when ‘Maw Maw Song’ screamed out before finishing their fantastic set with The Big Roar classic, ‘The Everchanging Spectrum of a Lie’.

Such a brilliant set called for an even better encore, before which The Joy Formidable chatted to the eager crowd, cracking out a few jokes here and there. They finished on everybody’s favourite The Big Roar single, ‘Whirring’ which eventually got every crowd member on their feet as they watched the trio thrash around the stage and Ritzy’s guitar smash off the drums in their extended instrumental.

The Joy Formidable have proven just why they’ve gained such a substantial amount of recognition and an ever-growing fan-base: a spectacular show from three talented, down-to-earth individuals that create one hell of a noise.

Setlist: Cholla, Austere, This Ladder Is Ours, The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade, Little Blimp, While the Flies, Cradle, Tendons, Silent Treatment, Maw Maw Song, I Don’t Want to See You Like This, The Everchanging Spectrum of a Lie

Encore: Bats, Forest Serenade, Wolf’s Law, Whirring