The Joy Formidable
You can gauge the rise of The Joy Formidable by their numerous slots at Leeds Festival. From the Festival Republic stage to the NME/Radio 1 stage and now the Main Stage in successive years. The opening slot on the final day was always going to be tricky and a swirling wind diluted their usually potent sound for opener 'A Heavy Abacus'.
Not that front-woman Ritzy Brien was notably fazed, only the distance between her and the crowd seemed off-putting yet a largely knackered audience was not much help. Despite her stamped feet and jabbed fingers at the crowd the apathy she received after a redoubtable rendition of 'The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade' probably was not the reaction she was after.
Thankfully their power quickly returned, if not drawn in by the drum solo then O'Brien's swelling vocals signalled their intent during 'Cradle'. Brien has a habit of destructiveness here, only last year she attempted to smash her guitar BEFORE their set and this year she left the episode for their closing track 'Whirring'. The track was engrossing enough but soon after completing her vocals she kneeled on the floor to manically distort her reverb drenched guitar riffs. Still charged, bassist Rhydian Dafydd was next as she kicked his bass guitar then threw her own at a well placed gong. Promoters take note, next year they will need a better slot.