The Joy Formidable @ Tut’s 03-04-10

May 6, 2010

THE JOY FORMIDABLE
King Tut’s, Glasgow, April 3 * * *

On previous visits to Glasgow when The Joy Formidable supported the likes of The Young Knives and White Lies it was hard not to be impressed by the explosive energy of their performance. For 30 minutes the trio, and in particular singer/guitarist Ritzy, were unstoppable.
Tonight’s hour-long headlining set on the other hand showed them in an altogether more realistic light. Full of passion yes, but with melodies and anything even vaguely resembling a hook noticeably absent at times, the music quickly became secondary to the delivery.
Playing songs from their recently recorded full debut album, the three-piece got off to a good start – The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade, Cradle and The Last Drop proving early highlights. But as the set wore on the lack of hooks began to tell.
Despite Ritzy’s best efforts, her love of distortion and an intensity and style of playing not dissimilar to Kurt Cobain, the longer the set went on the more they diluted and diminished their potency. By the end it was a whimper rather than a bang that heralded the end of a set that was as entertaining as it was disappointing.

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