Monday, May 2, 2011

Live Review - Joy Formidable @ Chelsea Market

Their debut is fittingly called The Big Roar and The Joy Formidable are a small three piece band that sound as if their are 30 people in the group. However, this is not the case, the tiny but mighty band have been making a big roar back in their native United Kingdom since last year and with their brilliant debut finally released earlier this year, all eyes and ears have been turning to them. From being named one of our "15 Artists to Watch in 2011" to NME to Dave Grohl, The Joy Formidable have been praised around the globe. They are a fierce rock and roll outfit and tonight, in a rare occasion, they stripped it all down to go unplugged and had their sound be the antithesis of what we have been praising them for. However, the measure of a good band is no matter how loud or aggressive you play, if you can make the audience feel something you have done your job, and in a rare acoustic set, they certainly did. After wrapping their longest US tour to date on Friday in Webster Hall, the band did an industry showcase at EMI Music Publishing's offices in Chelsea Market for a short, but sweet set.
The band, who have been together for a little over two years, arrived and admitted that performing acoustic is not something they normally do. Pint size but spunky singer, Ritzy Bryan would engage in banter with fellow songwriter and band member Rhydian Dafydd while drummer Matt Thomas would goof off and would really enjoy breaking down the wall of what people have come to know about this band. In a small four song set that would have the band explaining the origins of some of the songs, for instance Ritzy would introduce "I Don't Want to See You Like This," as a song that "keeps us away from people, sometimes we do not want to see anyone." While the new renditions of these songs would still resonate the same impact, as a fan of the magnificent record it was very interesting and copacetic to experience something like this. I spoke to Ritzy after the gig and asked her about her time in New York, she had said "we love it here, Webster Hall was amazing, this city is amazing." Ritzy unfortunately told me that the band will not be back in New York for a while when they return to the US to perform at Lollapalooza and other festivals, but keep an eye out, you never know what could happen, this is a band you do not want to miss.