This was one of those Sunday evenings where weariness meant it took an almighty effort to leave the house for a gig but it was to our beloved Norwich Arts Centre that I headed for two Welsh trios. Adwaith and The Joy Formidable. Chatting with some friends it was clear there was a lot of fatigue about but we all made it. Due to various things conspiring against my gig-going this was actually my first NAC visit of the year, rather than the fourth or fifth I would have expected it to be.
Opening were the very promising Adwaith, singing some of their songs in their native tongue and in our native tongue cheekily announcing that we were their favourite audience of the tour so far. It also happened to be the first date of the tour but we’ll take the compliment.
The Joy Formidable are a band I’d seen only once before, playing a support slot and totally stealing the show with a powerful grungey set and I felt at the time they were possibly destined for greatness. That was ten years ago and they have certainly made a name for themselves and grown a devoted audience, which was clear to see at the NAC. Fresh from a lunchtime Sofar Sounds gig at the Birdcage The Joy Formidable smiled and joked along easily and with charm, even playing their Christmas song ” … which we only seem to play in Norwich” and are as powerful as ever. The massive drumkit was at the front of the stage and was every bit as loud as it looked. The adoring audience lapped it all up and looked very happy with the performance, singing along to most of the set, there’s a strong connection there.
Norwich: Music City, UK. A Norwich playlist of well over 30 hours of local music on Spotify: