Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Welsh Wednesday #54

#54: The Last Drop by The Joy Formidable

One of my fave bands of the last few years, The Joy Formidable make one heck of a noise for a three piece. Their songs are big and bold and anthemic and hummable as feck. MrsRobster and I have caught them live twice, most recently last summer at the tiny Globe in Cardiff just before they hit the festival circuit. Since then, they seem to have done little but tour, mainly in North America where they seem to be going down rather well.

If you ever get the chance to see them live, do so. They're quite an enigmatic bunch. The lovely Ritzy has a smile to brighten the darkest night and really gives it some welly on stage. Bassist Rhydian looks like he may have played a bit of rugby in his time. Definitely a fave of the band's female fans. Drummer Matt looks a bit like Russell Brand but isn't a knobhead as far as I know. He is good to watch though, and his kit is often set up to the side of the stage at the front alongside his bandmates.

I can't believe I haven't actually featured the Joy Formidable in this series before now. I've chosen an early track, from their first release, a mini album entitled 'A Balloon Called Moaning'. It features the original version of their monster song Whirring and was the first thing I heard by them. It hooked me immediately. It was reworked and, along with three other songs from the record, ended up on the proper debut album 'The Big Roar' a couple of years later. This track, however, wasn't one of those, which means it's a little obscure and rare. It is still representative of the band's sound and is a pretty darn good song, worthy of inclusion in the Welsh Wednesday collection.

New material has been scarce since 2013's 'Wolf's Law' album. A couple of Welsh-language singles were released in the second half of last year, but a third album is in the works apparently. I keenly await its arrival.

In light of the ongoing refugee crisis some of Wales' leading musicians have come together to unite under the banner of Welsh Rock For Refugees. The result is 'Reach Out' – a 30-track album from which all proceeds will be donated to Refugee Action – a UK based charity that helps refugees at home and abroad.

The Joy Formidable have recorded a brand new exclusive track for the album which is available on Bandcamp here. Among other contributors include Super Furry Animals, Gwenno, Stereophonics, Charlotte Church, Kizzy Crawford, Mike Peters, Cerys Matthews... 'tis a veritable who's who of Welsh music! Read the story of the album here.

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