The Joy Formidable, Chapel Club, Flats, Wilder
Paul Cook 28/09/2010
Despite being one of the most promising three pieces in the UK (something I'll contest as fact not opinion) The Joy Formidable were greeted by a sparse gathering inside Norwich's Waterfront for the NME Radar Tour. Any number of other bands might have looked out across the barely half-capacity venue and been disheartened but, being the ever optimistic and gracious trio that they are, the band thanked the crowd for their support and as ever described their delight to be back in Norwich again.
The Joy Formidable are the kind of band that regardless of their success and status, which I'm adamant will rocket in 2011 with the release of their debut album proper, would be as grateful and sincere as always. This is part of their appeal, a genuine charm and politeness that has never failed to impress me on the four occasions I've seen them perform. Of course their primary appeal is the wonderfully soaring grandeur of their music, a perfect blend of heavily building choruses with gentler, endearing verses that ignite any crowd instantaneously.
Ritzy, Rhydian and Matt played their hearts out delivering rousing renditions of everything from early material to new forthcoming album material. Fan favourites Cradle and The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade were mesmerising and a sneaking suspicion that the band turned the volume up after their sound check meant that the huge choruses almost blew the roof off.
Latest single I Don't Want To See You Like This was a refreshing addition to the band's already impressive set formula and topped off another brilliant yet disappointingly under-appreciated performance. More one-off single releases electrified the set like Greyhounds in the Slips and My Beerdrunk Soul is Sadder Than a Thousand Dead Christmas Trees.
One thing is for sure, The Joy Formidable are without doubt a tip for success in 2011 and if the debut album is anything like A Balloon Called Moaning I would even go as far to tip them for a Mercury nod.