Venue: Norwich Arts Centre Support Bands: Faster Than Robots and Hasikara Smile Date: 11/12/09 By the looks of the crowd at the Norwich Arts Centre, The Joy Formidable are popular among the middle-aged. Who would have thought it. Fresh from supporting the likes of Passion Pit and Editors, their final headline gig of the year see's them join forces with Norwich's ever impressive Wombat Wombat promotions to play their sell-out Christmas party. Because as the compere keeps telling us, “Christmas is coming up.” They are a ferocious and intense live band, enough for one man the wrong side of middle to get his air guitar out and another to crash into an unsuspecting gig-goer within seconds. Debut album 'A Balloon Called Moaning' gets most of an airing, ripping on through the best of it, 'Cradle' has an added grunt to it and 'Whirring' is anthemic. Front woman Ritzy Brian is fit for any stage, captivating and controlling the crowd and venue with vocals to match. The Joy Formidable6 They've seemingly taken on something of a more punkier side recently, although laced still with their epic and pounding sound of before. And it still suits them. They still have an enviable sheer size and power, the kind of aggressive power that moves planets. The flurry of songs is as incessant as their sound, barely stopping to even acknowledge the crowd. They only break to ask if the crowd's “alright” at the onset of the encore. The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade is that encore, and it doesn't matter that it's just one song. It's trebled in size as they disappear, exploding, experimenting away from the initial theme. The song itself would have sufficed but it sounds so much more special now and will never again sound as good at it's usual mere five-minutes. A live album is on it's way along with a second studio one, if they catch half the power and brilliance on show tonight then everyone should be waiting on it as it's going to be a good one. The Joy Formidable 5 What say you on this? Sound off in our Fourum!