News Reading & Leeds 2011: The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable return to Reading for a third consecutive year, this time jumping up to the Main Stage for an opening slot following the release of debut album, ‘The Big Roar’ earlier this year. Answering our Reading and Leeds questions is vocalist Ritzy.

How many times have you played the festival before? What’s been your favourite?
We’ve been invited to play every year since the band was born, each time the stage has become bigger, and this year we’re opening the Main Stage. It’s been a milestone to the history of the band and a weekend to celebrate the year we’ve had. No favourites, each one’s been great for different reasons.

Have you ever been as a fan?
I’ve been to Leeds Festival twice before, both times my tent got nicked and coincidentally both times I dropped something down a Portaloo as well.

Reading and Leeds is known as a ‘rock’ festival. What’s the least rock ‘n roll thing you’ve ever done?
You know, I get really bored by that question. I once killed a man for asking something similar. Everybody’s so desperate to prove they’re a free spirit capable of wild antics, when really the spirit of rock n roll is a silent given, it’s in the fabric of every day, it’s not about having the most fucked up anecdotes. We like Scrabble and cocoa but we also like dancing naked and eating each others’ shit.

What’s the best thing about playing festivals?
Being thrown on stage can lead to some interesting moments, it’s chaotic, spontaneous and exciting because of that.

A few rainy festivals this summer have seen artists going on stage in their wellington boots. Is this something you’ve done or would consider?
I wouldn’t say I’ve given it any thought!

Which artists are you hoping to catch live at Reading and Leeds?
As many as possible – definitely going to catch Pulp. Will also make sure I see And So I Watch You From Afar, Grouplove and Everything Everything.

What’s the secret to festival success?
It depends what you want out of it. I’m excited to be seeing the Reading crowd again, they’re always exuberant and lovely and we’re looking forward to giving them a befitting wake-up call.

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