Way back in January, I got tickets for The Joy Formidable for 23inertia's birthday. She'd discovered them via Indie Music Filter and loved everything about them, so it was an easy choice to make! After two long months of waiting, gig night was finally here. After the obligatory noodles at Tokyou we headed inside, on time for once!
Not many had showed up early, despite there being three bands playing that night. The first support, Bleech, started playing to the somewhat sparse crowd. They didn't do a lot for me, I'm afraid. Still, there seemed to be some support for them up front. I was content to watch from my seat at the back.
Second support, then, were the previously unknown (to me) Baddies. There are a few ways to describe their sound. Franz Ferdinand on speed. Electric Six meets Madness. Completely bonkers. However you choose to describe them, they were brilliant. Catchy tunes, immediately memorable choruses and somewhat quirky mannerisms. I immediately bought the album and the lead singer was manning the merch stand, so he toddled off with it to get the whole band to sign it for me. Lovely bloke.
Finally The Joy Formidable took to the stage. It was quite an odd stage layout. Normally for this sort of thing there are speakers, instruments and monitors all over the place. Not this time. Even the drummer was tucked off to one side leaving only the two guitar/vocalists on centre stage. Ritzy, the lead guitar and singer, was wearing what I can only describe as Victorian pyjamas, whereas Rhydian, bassist and backing vocal, was much more conservatively attired.
There were some in the crowd who were really (really) into it, pogoing and punching the air, but I've always found their music best to chill out to. Even during the heavier riffs, I closed my eyes and just drifted off with the music.
All too soon, it seemed, the main set ended and off they went leaving a somewhat bare stage behind them. Of course, an encore was a must and so back they came to satisfy our need for even more awesomeness, before finally disappearing into the night.
I picked up their album too. 23inertia was a bit disappointed because she loves the artwork on the jewel case edition, but this version just had the band name and title in a rather uninteresting layout. Little did we know that on removal from the packet, the true picture would unfold. It is actually a poster with aforementioned artwork on it, albeit rendered in monochrome, with a 12cm circular gap. The CD itself fills that gap and the printing on it completes the picture. I've never seen anything like it, and I love it.
Being a fan of the art myself, I grabbed a t-shirt with it on, as well as a Baddies t-shirt too. Got to love merchandise! It's probably the best way to directly support smaller bands; buy their stuff! So I do. A lot.
A fantastic gig indeed. I not only have a new appreciation for The Joy Formidable, but we have discovered Baddies too. That's just the way we like it.