NME Review Of The Joy Formidable Live In Belfast

25 06 2010

The Joy Formidable

Spring and Airbrake, Belfast, Saturday, May 29

Shuffling onstage amid a wall of ear-buggering feedback, Welsh/English trio the Joy Formidable roll up their metaphorical sleeves and get straight down to business this evening, quickly serving up huge slabs of suicide rock “like they used to make in the ‘90s.” Yeah, their recycled sound borrows heavily from Veruca Salt and the Juliana Hatfield Three’s songbook, but the pure power pop suss of ‘Cradle’ and crowd favourite ‘Popinjay’ ensures that there’s more to the band than furious riffs and a front-lady who looks a little bit like (whisper it) Kim Gordon in her youth.

And while they’ve yet to unleash their debut offering (that’ll be happening later on in the year we’re told), a respectable smattering of the crowd sing along to every word of EVERY song as the pit heroes at the front throw the kind of mad shapes you’d expect at a party round Leatherface’s gaff. ‘Austere’ in particular (culled from their mini-album ‘A Balloon Called Moaning’) is a portent for the greatness to come and it boasts a sugar sweet melody coupled with a riff that’s fuzzier than a billy-goat’s bum. If Ritzy Bryan and Co. can make a record full of songs as good as that, then surely superstardom beckons. Either way, as it stands right now, we’re mad about the Joy. Edwin McFee