THE JOY FORMIDABLE‘s performance at Rough Trade East is best described as a frenzy, and that is meant in the best possible way. It’s a rare thing to see a band sustain such a high level of energy throughout a 45-minute set, but Ritzy, Rhydian and Matt make it look easy.
Now on their second album “Wolf’s Law,” the trio pepper their setlist with new tracks. The sound hasn’t altered much and the new songs don’t have as much impact as, for instance, “Austere” and “The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade,” but new song “This Ladder is Ours” has just as much anthemic quality and it shouldn’t be long before their audiences learn to love it as much as the old favourites.
The band is in great spirits, chatting and joking with familiar faces in the crowd, some of whom have probably been following the band since their beginnings. One of the things that sets The Joy Formidable apart from their peers is how easily they interact with their fans, and it has seen them develop an incredibly loyal following.
The set closes with a cacophonous “Whirring,” with all three members throwing every bit of energy they have into every beat and note. Ritzy grins, wide eyed as always, and says, “It’s good to be back!” I think we can unanimously agree.