Sunfest 2016: The Joy Formidable

Ritzy Bryan
Guitarist/vocalist Rhiannon “Ritzy” Bryan

This alt-rock power trio kicked off its set with the “The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade” from the band’s debut album, 2011’s “The Big Roar.”  This upbeat catchy rocker seemed like the perfect soundtrack for what guitarist/vocalist Rhiannon “Ritzy” Bryan described as a lovely evening, one she admitted was not a common occurrence in the band’s birthplace of Northern Wales.

Ritzy II

For that matter, the petite blonde’s accent is so lilting, just her talking could have been musical enough. But the other songs Ritzy sang into her microphone adorned with a mass of light-bulb strings were just as appealing.

Ritzy III

Standouts include the percussive rocker “The Last Thing on My Mind” and the introspective ballad “Liana”, both from the group’s latest release, the 2016 album “Hitch.”  The short set also featured material from older albums, such as “Little Blimp” from 2013’s “Wolf’s Law.”

Drummer Matt Thomas was set up in an unusual position: on the right side of stage, so that he faced his band-mates instead of the audience while he bashed away at a drum kit that included a very large gong.

Also going against the norm was bassist Rhydian Dafydd, who seemed considerably more animated than the typical player of that instrument, occasionally running over to one or the other of his band-mates during the show.

Despite getting noisier as it went along, this power trio’s set was surprisingly melodic overall, and definitely worth seeing.

Rhydian Dafydd II

Matt In Action

Ritzy IV

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