Culture, Manchester, Review

Live Review: The Joy Formidable @ The Bread Shed

0 16

The Joy Formidable’s mini-tour, which stopped at The Bread Shed in Manchester, celebrated the 10-year anniversary release of the band’s first EP, A Balloon Called Moaning.

To commemorate the occasion, The Joy Formidable have released a special limited edition double vinyl / double CD with brand new Welsh language acoustic versions of all the tracks, titled Y Falwn Drom, which according to a Welsh language translator means ‘The Heavy Balloon’.

At the start of the gig, lead singer Rhiannon Bryan mentioned that Welsh is her second language, although it’s Rhydian Dafydd’s (bass, vocals) mother tongue. This may explain why Welsh songs were not included from the start of their career; although it’s likely that bands from Wales feel pressure to comply with the industry and sing in English.

The EP is more of a mini-album, with eight tracks in total and half of the tracks making it onto the band’s first album on a record label, The Big Roar.

It was interesting to hear Rhiannon recall how the band started out in Manchester – recalling fond memories of Withington. Rhiannon is a ball of kinetic energy; swearing like a sailor in such a lyrical way the audience hang on her every word.

The audience was made up of true fans – most have clearly been with them over the long haul. The younger attendees had the air of 90s alternative rock connoisseurs about them; which is where The Joy Formidable’s sound originates from – taking cues from bands like Belly and My Bloody Valentine.

They played the EP from start to finish in order, starting with the classic song that in many ways defines TJF, ‘The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade’, which is the perfect meeting of Shoegaze and alt-rock. Maybe if TJF had produced five or six songs that good, the whole world would know who they were; especially as Rhiannon is one of rock’s great guitar players and frontwomen – effortlessly creating the most swirling hypnotic wall of sound with her dynamic thrashing. It was frenzy and control in total balance. The only downside is that she has to tour with a pedalboard the size of a small car.

After 10 years and four albums, you won’t see many other performers express such an obvious love for what they do. The whole band are on point and rarely miss a beat; although Rhydian’s backing vocals don’t add much – often making things too chorus led and poppy.

Despite that, every good band has a good rhythm section, and Rhydian and Matt Thomas (drums) blend really well. Songs like ‘Cradle’ and ‘Whirring’ are crowd favourites and are the basis for a small mosh pit. ‘The Last Drop’ was a real highlight of the night and makes you feel that true greatness is always lurking just below the surface with TJF. 

About the author / 

Louis Andrew

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More News Stories:

  • Lightopia Festival is offering 30% off tickets for all aAh! readers

    Just use the code UNIMETRO30 at checkout to receive your discount Manchester’s Lightopia Festival is offering 30% off tickets for all aAh! Magazine readers. The event, which is the largest light festival in Europe and the UK, will be illuminating Heaton Park this year until 31st December. The discount code for aAh! readers is UNIMETRO30…

  • Review: The Reno Reborn @ Whitworth Art Gallery

    The Reno – a safe space in an “unsafe” neighbourhood. The funk & soul cellar of Moss Side in the 80s was packed with iconic regulars, MPs and people like ‘Hurricane’ Higgins; all dancing to the beats of DJ Persian. Last Thursday on the 28th of November, The Reno’s atmosphere returned to Manchester with the…

  • Andy Burnham and Sacha Lord talk drugs, crime and safety at night for students at Manchester Met

    A student safety event hosted by Sacha Lord, the Night-Time Economy Adviser, featuring the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burham and the Greater Manchester Student Assembly encouraged students to discuss safety issues in their university lives and on nights out. The event, held at Manchester Metropolitan University and attended by over 150 students, addressed concerns…

  • Live Review: Mac DeMarco @ Manchester O2 Apollo

    Mac DeMarco is an artist who performs like he’s inside his own living room. With the lights down low, the Canadian king of chill and his bandmates wreaked absolute havoc on socially acceptable gigging norms under the cavernous oval stage of the O2 Apollo, with an onslaught of unexpected stage antics and impromptu outbursts backed…