Live Review: The Joy Formidable @ HMV Forum

What an epic night! And not just the performance... Friday night and The Joy Formidable played the HMV Forum (the venue formerly know as the Town and Country Club) in Kentish Town to a very nicely filled out house. The Band delivered a great set to an audience that I can't imagine had any complaints whatsoever.

Support came from Creatures of Love, The Dig plus And So I Watch You From Afar, only the last of which I was in time to see - and pretty good they were too, to my ears and eyes a highly energetic take on a 'post-rock' Ned's Atomic Dustbin! In all honesty though I was somewhat distracted through their set by an enormous phallic object draped in black at the back of the stage..

And so, onto TJF, and lo and behold - off come the drapes to reveal a giant lighthouse and other 'props' such as a ship's wheel, bell, gong and (no surprise to TJF regulars) a harp. Main course was offered up by the band launching into A Heavy Abacus, of which there's some reasonable footage (not mine) below.

Three tracks in (Austere), and the crowd finally realised they were at a gig and responded appropriately. Which was nice... Similar reactions occurred throughout as the band ripped through a fantastic set including The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade, Cradle, I Don't Want To See You Like This and a load more. Sadly my timing was a bit off (as was the low number of staff behind the bar!) and I had to rush back from buying a round and only just caught the harpist (Joy Smith?) building up the intro to Whirring which closed the main part of the set in spectacular fashion.

Just to note: During an earlier 'refreshment break' I overheard someone describe Ritzy Bryan in terms of "A Wendy James for the 21st century, that you would laugh with ,rather than at." .... Analysis and comparisons aside, hilarious comment, made me laugh for sure.

An encore? Of course... Greyhounds In The Slips first and then topping off the evening; The Everchanging Spectrum Of A Lie, an odd but very effective choice to close with - the song being the opener on début LP The Big Roar.

All in all - A fantastic night was had by all. I'd been wanting to see TJF live since watching the BBC's Glastonbury coverage, but there's a big difference between a screen and actually being there. 100% recommended and I'm certain I'll be doing it again next time they come to town - It even made the ensuing public transport failure, trek across London with my imaginary friend/superhero 'Doctor Steel' (the aforementioned other 'epic' aspect of the night) and 4AM taxi journey worthwhile. Without a doubt.

And finally, just as a curiosity and for a giggle - here's the notes made on my phone as an aide-mémoire during the gig:

First? Band = noisy 4-piece Post rock neds.. Dada disco (afar? 4 sing or none
not a penis- lighthouse! , wheel yar, gong and harp, all above eve again!!! Filled out nicely + bell.
Windy James wtf? Abacus ? Austere yes ? Telescope cradle £££ ?=epic gongage, idwtsylt, ?, ?, whirring fkin yes thnx... / Greyhound, esoal. vid nothing like :)

Makes perfect sense right?