The Joy Formidable, Twin Atlantic

Miss Fliss 30/09/2009

Right here, right now in this packed venue, The Joy Formidable belong. They've arrived, they've come into their own, developed a confidence and presence, and every cheer that sounds like a homecoming celebration and that would usually greet a band above their still subtle stature, is deserved. The band have grafted hard this year - a mini album, a scattershot of perfect singles, umpteen tours all over the world, and now tonight: recording a live album. Their prolific, pro-creative attitude garners much respect.

GIITTV has been attached to the band all year, from tipping them for 2009, to catching them in tiny venues, and now the band we see before us is fully fledged in performance, filling the room with their charisma and a sound that is fit to burst with prowess and pop nuance. Ritzy, Rhydian and Matt have an air of a band far into their career rather than on the cusp of the beginnings of recognition. The excitement of this is electric, and pulls you into its force rather than allows you to stand and be an onlooker.

The crash from The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade into Cradle as openers is perfection consummate. The sound in The Garage is the best of any gig I've been to in quite some time. It's crisp and exact, with the rhythm section dominating with aplomb. It's ideal.

The Joy Formidable are a band in control, that's clear from the exactitude of their performance, but also present in the way they're using this gig as an opportunity to record a live album, something a band this early on would not normally consider. There's a respect and celebration of the fans similar to that which you get with British Sea Power - the enjoyment of special feats like limited runs of records, self-designed/home-made sleeves, posters and series of T-shirts, and giving fans the chance to buy album/T-shirt packages - it's part of what sets them apart so attractively and makes you want to commit to fandom so soon. Then there's the clutch of precious singles the band have released, none of which will appear on their debut album which is still in the making. It's that ability to hone their art, to be as prolific as, say, Mansun were in the 90s with all their EPS and quality B-sides, that has allowed them to hold on and hone their music. And in a time where so many new band rush release and are pushed from the moment they release a press shot into the world, this is all to be applauded and treasured too.

Slowly but surely, The Joy Formidable are becoming pros. But still at the level where they'll talk to fans and run their website/forum themselves, they're also personable and committed to their fans. And with music and gigs that sparkle with such brilliance, they've got the whole package sealed.


The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade
The Last Drop
The Magnifying Glass
A Heavy Abacus
While The Flies

Photography by Andy Wright, courtesy of