Home > Reviews > Live Reviews > 18/10/2011 | The Joy Formidable – The Limelight, Belfast

18/10/2011 | The Joy Formidable – The Limelight, Belfast

Nichola Eastwood


I have a shameful confession to make, The Joy Formidable are the first female fronted band I’ve seen and this performance is more than enough to make me regret my lapse.  If, like my accompanying friends, you’ve yet to acquaint yourself with this Welsh trio’s musical wares I strongly recommend you do so, immediately.

Creatures Of Love warm up the stage with their Gothic stylings, vocals reminiscent of Kate Bush blended with sombre and ethereal electro.  They’re the first of tonight’s female led performances and certainly do their best to set the standard.  It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but it’s undeniable this trio excel at what they do.

It’s been a while since The Joy Formidable’s last performance in Belfast and it seems they were missed.  It’s no small amount of applause that welcomes them onstage.  Any front man would find it hard to equal the presence cast by Ritzy Bryan, the little lady with a huge voice, she comes onstage eyes agog and kick starts the set with A Heavy Abacus.  It’s pretty clear our peroxide blonde and her two henchmen mean business.  The set charges on with Magnifying Glass, formidable guitar and drums, it’s a small wonder drummer Matt Thomas’, arms can remain attached to the rest of him.  This is definitely a band that doesn’t believe in doing things by halves.

Crowd favourite Austere sees tonight’s audience belting The Joy Formidable’s lyrics right back at them with as much vigour as Ritzy herself.  It’s one of the many highlights in this evening’s set.  The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade doesn’t fail to charm with it’s hypnotic electro, another effortlessly chant along moment.  Cradle and Buoy are potent indie rock, as always Ritzy is sheer ball of energy, it’s almost tiring just to watch.  A note perfect run through Whirring guides us seamlessly into the band’s encore, I Don’t Want To See You Like This wraps up the evening’s mammoth performance with ease.  It’s a set that leaves tonight’s crowd in awe and craving more.

If they’re coming your way, do not miss The Joy Formidable at any cost!!  One of the best bands to emerge in recent years and one of the best front women out there, this trio have it made and the sound to back it up.




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