If sound had physical strength we would have been utterly exposed to the elements on Monday night, as alternative rock band The Joy Formidable positively lifted the King’s College roof clear from its foundations.
The Students Union was truly packed to the rafters ahead of the popular Welsh trio’s arrival and there was a palpable buzz of anticipation in the air as Cut Ribbons entertained the crowd. The appearance of the headline talent was met with deafening appreciation from a crowd clearly impatiently excited for the show ahead.
Lead singer Ritzy Bryan, preceded, as ever, with exceptional artistic flair and a wholly flagrant presence, to provide the crowd with an absolutely incredible night, peppered with witty, on occasion foul mouthed yet always insightful banter that engaged the expectant crowd. There was not a hint of the illness with which the petite vocalist had suffered previous to the show, and the band was the perfect picture of professionalism and genuine enjoyment.
The Joy Formidable put on a spectacularly pleasing show, kicking off with album favourite The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade and former single I Don’t Want To See You Like This, which saw the audience, littered with all manner of ages, respond with near hysteria.
Bassist Rhydian Dafydd held his impressive own during the performance, whilst drummer extraordinaire Matt Thomas pounded the very life out of his drums and smashed the gong to smithereens during a downright booming outing of Whirring.
Powerful heavily guitar laden anthemic tracks A Heavy Abacus, Cradle and, arguably the band’s second most recognised track, Austere were notable highlights, in between which was nestled catchy current song Cholla. Austere’s signature high pitched hook was sung for the band by the frenzied fans, only faltering at when Ritzy, who, looking more like an unpinned grenade than your typical blonde bombshell, commanded every corner of the slight stage, looked as if she might address us. Scattered throughout the set were tantalising teasers from forthcoming album Wolf’s Law, including This Ladder Is Ours.
Ritzy embodies everything a true front woman should, blissfully belting out her tunes, potent with passion and full of honesty, entirely free of reservations. The trio are visibly respectful of each other, actively demonstrating the speciality of seeing them live.
The Joy was indeed Formidable, as our hearts near burst with glee when faced with the unique sound of a band steadfastly sure of themselves and contentedly forging their own way.