It’s been three years since the last Joy Formidable album Wolf’s Law.

Earlier this year the band released their third studio album, Hitch. The album took 12 months to write and record, with the band locking themselves away at their home studio in Mold, North Wales. The result of which being that the band has come out of the studio, united and stronger than ever.

Having only very recently returned to the UK followings shows in the U.S. and South America tonight The Joy Formidable head north for an intimate show at Think Tank in Newcastle.

The unmistakable intro to “The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade” plays the band out onto the stage, they come out with all guns blazing, and full of energy. That energy doesn’t seem to subside as they break into “The Ladder Is Ours.” From this point forth the band has the audience eating out of the palms of their hands.

The room is packed to the rafters and it doesn’t take long for things to get hot and sweaty. Lead vocalist Ritzy exchanges witty banter with the audience throughout the show whether that be about up and coming bands from Wales or Matt’s Uber taxi ride with Jimmy Nail’s friend. The Welsh trio chose to play just three tracks from their latest album in their set including “Radio of Lips” which has such a huge sound live and “The Last Thing On My Mind.”

Ritzy and Rhydian venture out into the middle of the audience to get up close and personal with the fans as they perform a beautiful acoustic rendition of “The Brook,” although the song is interrupted by a scuffle which broke out in the audience, much to the band’s surprise. A fight during an acoustic song? The security staff promptly deal with the situation. Ritzy rightly indicates that live music is about bringing people together, not fighting much to the crowd’s agreement.

The band closes their set with a couple of old favorites in the shape of “Cradle” and “Whirring” from their seminal album The Big Roar, which lights the blue touch paper in the room. It’s been a long while since the last time The Joy Formidable performed in the North East of England, but it was most certainly worth the wait.

The Joy Formidable
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About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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