Firefly Firefly Music Festival has announced its full lineup for 2013. Red…
- Posted on Jun 28th 2010 4:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
As it happened, the Joy Formidable sold out both Brooklyn's Union Hall and the Lower East Side club Pianos, ending its inaugural US tour on a triumphant note.
"It was really a great reaction," lead singer and guitarist Ritzy Bryan tells Spinner. "We were definitely surprised, because we'd been doing such a lot ourselves, in terms of releasing our stuff and making some things available on our website. It's difficult to gauge how far that travels outside the UK. It was really nice to see people had connected with us on an Internet level before seeing us."
If the Joy Formidable didn't know what to expect, fans may have been equally in the dark. On 'Balloon,' which was available online at the time and has since been released on CD, the group plays an aching, epic, moody brand of pop music: Siouxsie and the Banshees gone stadium rock. By rights, Bryan, bassist Rhydian Dafydd and drummer Matt Thomas could have sulked through their sets and cashed in the capital that comes with being a UK buzz band.
Instead, the band tore through its performances, smiling between songs and making no attempt to hide its enthusiasm.
"We really like playing together," Bryan says. "We feel very close to the material we've written -- and sharing that. I think we really thrive on the live dynamic. We really get off on being together. I find the live thing just kind of so rollercoaster-ish sometimes. It's quite a weird experience because I think it really depends on how we feel, the connection with the songs and the audience from day to day. In that sense, we're quite spontaneous."
While that spontaneity can make for great rock shows, it also has its drawbacks. In the closing moments of the Union Hall gig, Bryan's vigorous flailing left her clutching a busted instrument, unable to play an encore.
"I snapped the nut at the top of the guitar," Ryan says. "We normally have a second guitar when we tour the UK, but we hadn't been able to shoot it over."
"It was kind of like, 'Uh-oh,'" she adds. "That was kind of weird to deal with."