Welsh riff wizards The Joy Formidable serve up an whopping exercise in power anthems, Getintothis’ Sean Bradbury finds beauty within their crash, bang, wallop.
The main feeling sweeping across the audience for the entire set? Joy. Finding a better live act than this? Formidable.
Maybe it’s the water in the valleys, but there is something about Welsh bands and an innate, infectious and uninhibited sense of fun.
The Joy Formidable‘s potent brand of stadium shoegaze packs the power pop punch of Feeder with a hint of the wild-eyed mania of The Super Furry Animals. They can easily go lick for lick with Biffy Clyro or crank the volume up as loud as Queens of the Stone Age.
But above all tonight their music puts smiles on faces. Grown men are moved to pogo with reckless abandon as frontwoman Ritzy Bryan leans into the crowd, throwing a piercing gaze here and a delirious grin there.
The trio have recently supported Muse on an arena tour and despite generating enough noise to fill an aircraft hanger, there is a feeling that they thrive on interaction with the fans.
Their stage set-up in the Kazimier looks great with visuals on a giant screen flowing with the beats and changes of every track, and a glowing lupine outline making reference to new album Wolf’s Law.
A fair few of their tunes may be forceful three-minute barrages of what feel like constant choruses, but it isn’t all crash, bang, wallop and the band have the ability to surprise.
Silent Treatment saw bassist Rhydian Dafydd reach for the acoustic guitar to accompany Ritzy’s haunting vocals with dark drones and folk finger-picking.
But when they really get the riffing right the effect is overwhelming. Their set was bookended by their strongest suits, recent single Cholla opening and old favourite Whirring bringing the night to a dizzying end.
Pictures by Michelle Roberts.
The Joy Formidable.