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THE JOY FOMIDABLE

Living up to their name, The Joy Formidable bounce onto the stage
accompanied by whoops and cheers.

Speeding along through ‘Cradle’, guitars circle round like a
dog endlessly chasing its own tail, simply, daftly happy.

Sporting a shorn off bob and a vacant expression, singer Ritzy Bryan
looks increasingly doll-like as she faces up to the crowd,

small pockets of The Plug bouncing along to the decidedly Paramoreesque ‘Whirring’. Drummer Matt gamely flings his arms around as Ritzy sinks dramatically to her knees,

thanking the crowd a little too profusely to come across anything less than desperate even when they add a hint of a snarl it stills feels a bit too cutesy for comfort. FOMIDABLE

Dancing gingerly round the stage, Ritzy tries to inject some life into the performance as ‘Austere’ descends into a feedbackinduced haze. She whirls around,FOMIDABLE


propelled by her guitar through the sonic swell, but as it goes on she looks increasingly like she’s starring in a Tommy Cooper dog-walking sketch,

clumsily knocking over mic sta ds and stumbling into speakers.
Having been fully prepared to be blown away,

we’re instead left not so much formidably joyful, as decidedly under-whelmed.

And his now trademark handwear? “He was just nervous and he just wanted to take something on stage. He kept looking around and put the
gloves on.

It was the idea of the security blanket – the thing that turns you from every day Brendan into Brendan Suppression. Now it’s just a habit, a good luck charm.”


Not that the rest of the gang are particularly well versed in this band-lark either. Their ramshackle sound is deliberate.


“We just don’t want to learn the songs too well,” he reasons. “Just to not work it and work it and play it ten times and lose an edge to it. The same goes for the band’s recorded output.


Album one was recorded in one day, the second in two. Urgency,
isn’t just key, it’s a foundation.

“If we can’t play a song that we normally play live in three goes then we probably shouldn’t be recording it anyway.

It just works better if we keep it really skeletal. I think people respond well to simple, repetitive music as well.”

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