Show Review & Photos: The Joy Formidable & The Lonely Forest @ The Crocodile

Tuesday nights, in general, are tough nights to get a crowd into a venue to see some live music. After all, most people have work or school on Wednesday morning, and Tuesday just isn’t close enough to Friday to call in sick. So when you have a couple of up-and-coming bands from fairly obscure places (North Wales and Anacortes, WA) sell out one of Seattle’s best-known clubs on a Tuesday night, you know you’ve got some powerful draws there. The Joy Formidable and The Lonely Forest provided the Croc’s Tuesday night pioneers with a superb evening of sonic goodness, showing performance and songwriting skills one would expect from far more seasoned bands.

I absolutely love the mix that Ritzy Bryan, Rhydian Dafydd and Matt Thomas bring to The Joy Formidable: classic melodic pop meets My Bloody Valentine somewhere in the middle, forging very accessible and strong work. It’s a big, big sound this trio makes, but not bludgeoning – the band’s dynamic range is impressive, moving seamlessly between quiet, emotional pieces and molten-steel walls of chaos and noise. There is a genuine sweetness, ease, and playfulness onstage between the band members and in interactions with the audience; their enjoyment and confidence was infectious. Bryan smiled like an angel, then proceeded to knock the audience on their asses as she stomped around the stage like Guitar Godzilla. She pounded drums, smashed effects pedals, and generally owned the stage completely, reminding me strongly of fellow tiny Welsh blonde Mary Hopkin (the ‘60s “Those Were The Days” songstress). . . if Hopkin picked up some dirty shreddy guitar skills.

NW indie-faves The Lonely Forest provided excellent support with an energetic set which set aside their quieter material for the night, and it served them well. They, too, had a camaraderie that was strongly evident, built from their five years of live shows. Hometown crowds (or close enough) are always a treat for a band to play to, and The Lonely Forest seemed a little awestruck and very happy about the very loud and enthusiastic crowd response they received. I think I saw the drummer blush behind his beard. They are a young band who have suffered a little at times from some lyrical simplicity/naiveté, but seem to be maturing very quickly, and they already have their live chops down. Very likable bunch.

The Croc was the place to be on a Tuesday. The crowd ate it up, and I think we all would’ve stayed on far longer if the bands had kept playing, Wednesday morning be damned.

Review by Marianne Spellman


The Joy Formidable – photo by Marianne Spellman


The Joy Formidable – photo by Simon Krane


The Lonely Forest – photo by Simon Krane


The Lonely Forest – photo by Marianne Spellman


Joy Formidable – photos by Marianne Spellman


The Joy Formidable – photos by Simon Krane


The Joy Formidable – photos by Marianne Spellman


The Joy Formidable– photos by Simon Krane


The Joy Formidable – photos by Marianne Spellman


The Joy Formidable – photos by Simon Krane


The Joy Formidable – photos by Marianne Spellman


The Joy Formidable – photos by Simon Krane


The Joy Formidable – photos by Marianne Spellman


The Lonely Forest – photos by Marianne Spellman


The Lonely Forest – photos by Simon Krane


The Lonely Forest – photos by Marianne Spellman


The Lonely Forest – photos by Simon Krane


The Lonely Forest – photos by Marianne Spellman


The Lonely Forest– photos by Simon Krane

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


6 + = eight


*