No Joy at The Victoria
“Has anyone got a spare amp?” No Joy’s shoeless drummer asks over the microphone. Bandmate Jasamine White-Gluz’s mic has just broken but it’s only one of the problems for the group here tonight inside the dimly lit venue of The Victoria pub in Dalston. No Joy is a Montreal four-piece, formed by White-Gluz and Laura Llyod, and are well-versed in dreamy melodies over shoegazing sounds. An inauspicious sound check — microphones hurling out feedback — causes a delay to beginnings, setting a mood that never quite recovers.
By definition, shoegazing is more concerned with layers of loud guitar and distorted effects obscuring the vocals. But, it takes a feat ear straining to try and identify White-Gluz’s voice buried too deep beneath the instruments. The feral force of Remember Nothing gets away with it, though, and there is something innately comforting about the warmth of sounds they produce, the blue-tinged spotlights making them look like they are under a giant sunbed.
Between songs, vaporous drones cover the constant guitar tunings while the bass player — whose enthusiasm is laudable — and drummer fiddle about waiting. Lloyd plays Moon in my Mouth’s repetitive, beguiling riff in the centre of the stage and it’s where she is for the whole show, despite not singing even backing vocals. It’s a curious choice to do this and to cushion away White-Gluz, who is the main singer, to the right of her because Llyod either looks bored or is aware that things aren’t going well. The packed room lets off whistles of encouragement regardless and a few people lose themselves in the roaring decibels, particularly in the lingering final notes of E.
Technical issues could be overlooked if there was some kind of interaction going on, but there isn’t. Not one word is spoken to anyone. The truth is that there is a stop-start, band-practice vibe over an actual gig performance that doesn’t do justice to a very appealing No Joy that can be heard on record.
Photo: Torben Helbo Bjerreggaard
For further information about No Joy and future events visit here.
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