Splendour in the Grass is almost upon us and the sideshows kicked off in Melbourne last week, including an intimate set at the Workers Club with the UK’s best kept secret The Joy Formidable. The Workers underwent a slight transformation for the evening, with the front bar closed off to the general public and the night beginning with a short, restrained DJ set from two of the Temper Trap boys.
Supporting The Joy Formidable on their first trip down under were local artists Strange Talk. The four piece are heavily influenced by Friendly Fires and 80s new wave, and play fun, electronic rock like its going out of fashion. The boys delivered a tight, energetic set, that tended to lag during their slower, mellow numbers. However, their upbeat dance songs were very good and well executed live, with a host of loops and samples provided by the bands laptops. The local lads have an enjoyable stage presence and are definitely worth a listen for fans of the electro pop genre.
The Joy Formidable have been busy winning the nation over in support of The Temper Trap and Passion Pit on their current tours. The three piece from North Wales play with a fierce intensity and blew the crowd away with their passionate performance. Vocalist Ritzy Bryan is beguiling and unleashed a monster sound that was hidden beneath her petite frame. Their music is a mix of ambient noise and flat out sweaty rock. Along with their brooding tones, the band whipped up a heady atmosphere that was complimented by a backing track between songs, adding to the ethereal feel they had created in the band room.
The Joy Formidable powered through an incredible set and had the crowd enthralled with their relentless energy and uncompromising approach to their live show, giving everything they had to the performance. The band clearly love what they do and thrive in each other’s presence, evident with Ritzy playing up to band mates Rhydian Daffyd and Matt Thomas, who proved to be an incredible drumming machine. The trio brought the music to a standstill midway through the set to remark on their amazement at the turnout that night. With Ritzy in particular perplexed by the amount of people showing their support for the band. “This is our first trip to Australia. We don’t even have a record out here. Did you hear about us online? I’m surprised anybody knows our name. We’re very grateful to you all for coming out tonight”. If their set at the Workers was anything to go by, than The Joy Formidable is soon to become a household name on our sunny shores. This is a band you must see to believe, their passion, energy and intense sound was killer live and the trio were graceful enough to sign autographs for the punters at the end of their show.
For the fortunate few who were lucky enough to score tickets to Splendour and the remaining Temper Trap and Passion Pit sideshows, be sure to head to the gigs early to catch the awesome force that is The Joy Formidable. They will make it worth your while.