I thought I wouldn’t get the chance to see The Joy this festival – with just two scheduled big ticket shows, one being the support for Arlo Parks, a coveted Spotlight Show, my chances of catching them were slim.
Thanks to local next-generation radio station Platform B sharing their hottest Great Escape recommendations, I caught The Joy’s brief, three track performance upstairs at newly established Family Store Records & Gallery, a captivating scene framed by vinyls, books, and a packed crowd of 20-something people. The five voices moved like a quintet of lovingly played instruments; a rich choral sound led by an athletic one voice melody. It’s times like these that a phone camera just doesn’t cut it – the sound was soft, sincere, and expressive; a combination of traditional Zulu music with a modern a capella lilt.
There’s something really special about in-store performances – artists occupying a space that isn’t designed for live music really calls for agility and adaptation from the hosts. Family Store and Platform B accommodated this intimacy well, drawing in people off the street both new and familiar to The Joy, a fast spreading musical phenomenon truly taking the UK by storm.
In their very essence, festivals are bringing people together to listen to live music – there’s a feeling of comradery, and at times, an ever-so-slight feeling of exclusivity as you flash a wristband at the bouncer, and stride straight in through the doors. Free events like this are a wonderful example of how important accessible live events are – free music is a leveller, and something we can always do with more of.
The Joy was just that; a generous performance, and one I will come back to time and time again.
Follow The Joy @thejoyofficial
Follow Platform B @platformbradio
Follow Family Store Records and Gallery @fsrecordsandgallery
The Joy, Family Store Records & Gallery, Saturday 13th May