Earlier this year, The Joy Formidable celebrated 10 years as a band by re-releasing the trio’s debut EP, A Balloon Called Moaning. In doing so, the band added a disc containing acoustic versions of the song recorded in their home Welsh language.
The noise poppers celebrated that anniversary — 10 years as a band really — with a rousing show at Rock and Roll Hotel recently. Jason Nicholson photographed them in action.
Guitarist and vocalist Ritzy Bryan and bassist Rhydian Dafydd have known each other since they were children, and the duo took their talents to several different bands prior to finally forming The Joy Formidable, for which they recruited drummer Matthew James Thomas.
To date, The Joy Formidable have released four full-length studio albums, most recently AAARTH in 2018. Indeed, the band toured in support of that record and landed at Black Cat for a show last year.
Visiting again on Nov. 29, The Joy Formidable set their gaze backward, taking eight of a 15-song setlist from A Balloon Called Moaning. The first half of the show consisted of the entire album played in tracklist order before the band broke into several songs from other albums.
Stream A Balloon Called Moaning (10th Anniversary Edition) by The Joy Formidable on Spotify:
In a terrific opportunity for friends and fans, The Joy Formidable sold a “VIP” ticket that allowed early access to an additional acoustic set. When you look at Jason’s photos of The Joy Formidable below, you’ll see the first several photos were taken from this beautifully delicate arrangement, which captured the heart of The Joy Formidable’s earthy, honest music.
Opening The Joy Formidable was Twen, a psychedelic band from Nashville. Fronted by vocalist Jane Fitzsimmons and guitarist Ian Jones, Twen recently released Awestruck, the band’s first studio album. “Twen’s genre-defying songs fall somewhere between dream pop and psych rock, with an inherent DIY ethos. While the ‘Damsel’ video’s playful nature speaks to the band’s desire to make thoughtful art and to simply have fun doing it… Twen is a diy band about to make it big,” said i-D.
Watch the official music video for “Damsel” by Twen on YouTube:
Here are some photos of Twen performing at Rock and Roll Hotel on Nov. 29, 2019. All photos copyright and courtesy of Jason Nicholson.
Here are some photos of The Joy Formidable performing at Rock and Roll Hotel on Nov. 29, 2019. All photos copyright and courtesy of Jason Nicholson.