Gig Review

The Joy Formidable
The Chapman Family
Bristol, Thekla
2nd February 2011

The Joy Formidable          The Chapman Family

The Thekla really is a spectacular venue, situated on the docks in Bristol’s city centre, it was a fantastic feeling to actually be on board a boat and listen to some live music. The Chapman family were a fitting support band, they were tight, the sound was clear, and the vocals were good. These guys were fairly easy to listen to; you could just sit back and appreciate what they were doing on stage. Also reminded me at times of Joy Division, which isn’t such a bad thing in my book.

As The Joy Formidable entered the stage this boat was filled to the brim! There wasn’t one square inch left in the place. We were like sardines in a tin, but none of it mattered when this amazing sound blasted from the amplifiers. Never before have I heard such a crisp, beautiful sound. Lead singer Ritzy Bryan has it all, this woman is beautiful, she has style, she can play guitar, and her vocals are so captivating. She knew how to interact with the crowd, and seeing as we were on board a boat she mentioned how the band had tried to learn some nautical terms, it was fun and uplifting to have such a pleasant atmosphere in the place.

This set was nicely broken up by some electro twists in places, it really tied in well. There were some outstanding build ups to the finales, becoming so intense in places, the noise getting louder and louder, you could see the band putting every single drop of energy they had into this performance and it wasn’t going unnoticed. Every note was perfect, every drum beat was on queue and not one person in the place could hold back from moving to the music.

Ritzy and vocalist/bass player RhydianDafydd had about 14 guitar pedals each, not one of them was going unused. This music was experimental, but not so psychedelic that it could be specified to an acquired taste to that of bands such as Yes or JethroTull. When Ritzy and Rhydian sang vocals together they complimented each other really well, especially during ‘’Buoy’’. There was such a powerful silence before dropping the riff back into this song, and then everything exploded. Ritzy even grabbed a drum stick and battered the cymbals for the end of the tune.

‘’Cradle’’ was another highlight, such energy on stage, you could see the passion for thisemulating from Ritzy’s eyes, it was incredible to witness. They went off stage and roadies came to re-tune their guitars. They returned and thanked the crowd, and expressed how much of an awesome venue we were in. They went full steam ahead into ‘’A Heavy Abacus’’. I couldn’t help but think how awesome it was to see a female fronted band that wasn’t generic or stereotype, it really was an experience watching these guys.

I would recommend anyone and everyone to go and see The Joy Formidable, the pure, raw talent is something worth being a part of. Remarkable.

The Chapman Family - 3.5/5
The Joy Formidable - 5/5

Review By Karlie M

 The Joy Formidable

Ritzy Bryan
Rhydian Dafydd
Matt Thomas

 The Chapman Family

Kingsley Chapman
Paul Chapman
Pop Chapman
Phil Chapman

 Band Related Links
The Joy Formidable Myspace
The Chapman Family Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?