NME/Radio 1 Stage

These are exciting times for The Joy Formidable after signing to Atlantic Records in the week leading to their performance at the NME/Radio 1 Stage. Maybe a bit too exciting if frontwoman Ritzy Bryan's antics were judged. Not that anything was amiss during opener 'Whirring'. As true exponents of menacing grunge, Bryan cut a striking figure dressed in a neat black dress but with the voice of a brooding songstress. Upon the track's climax, her warm intones gave way to a distressing smile as she picked up her guitar and wielded it proudly before the crowd before slamming the sixstring repeatedly into the stage.

Quite the entrance and one that set up a memorable performance instead of hinder. With her guitar replaced, the band then launched into 'Austere' and showcased a penchant for building atmospherics and awe-inspiring refrains. The primal drumming and spiked vocals of 'The Last Drop' evoked Blood Red Shoes whilst 'Cradle' proved more welcoming with its screeching guitar breaks.
For an early afternoon, the set proved suitably unnerving as 'Popinjay' gave a masterclass in seismic guitar solos. After the earlier antics, their grand finale was far more straightforward as 'The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade' impressed with its hypnotic blend of seductive vocals, tantalising reverbs and satisfyingly bizarre electro noises. Just do not expect a smashed guitar every time they perform.