To the Scala in Kings Cross to see The Big Moon, another of the bands I saw for the first time at End of the Road, and really liked. In fact I saw them twice at End of the Road: first in the Big Top on Saturday afternoon and then in one of the “Surprise Shows” in the Tipi Tent in the early hours of Sunday morning. Both times I enjoyed the energy, the riffs and the joie de vivre of the band. So I was really looking forward to seeing them again, headlining.
The Big Moon are Juliette Jackson, who fronts up the band, Soph Nathan, Celia Archer and Fern Ford. They sold out the Scala, which is pretty good when they haven’t yet released an album, although I think they are on the verge. There have been a few EPs, with some good songs, combining a touch of the Ramones and surf music, with any number of British influences. Some reviews I have read have cited the likes of Elastica, PJ Harvey and even the Slits (The Big Moon are way more musical). But thinking about it after the show, and today, I came up with Ash, in their early days, when they combined a real pop sensibility with some awesome riffs.
And last night we got the melodies and the hard rocking. And a lot of smiles. The Big Moon are a band who are clearly enjoying themselves. And they transmit that to the audience. The Scala isn’t massive, but it was sold out and a big part of the crowd was really going for it. The bouncers were a bit heavy on people getting on shoulders, but thankfully didn’t intervene when Juliette did a bit of crowd-surfing herself towards the end.
The band know how to pace a show too. Their three best known songs to date were placed at key points in the set. “Silent Movie Susie” at the start, “Cupid” in the middle, and “Sucker” at the end. “Nothing without You” was lively, as was a new one toward the end, called “Bonfire”. They do an interesting cover of a Madonna song too – “Beautiful Creature”. I don’t remember the Madonna version, but I think it’s been slowed down, speeded up and generally beaten up! Another one that really got the crowd going.
So, just a high energy, positive, rock’n’roll show. Reminds you of all sorts of things, but like any good band, also makes its own distinctive sound. A band with a powerful presence in Juliette, clearly attracting an enthusiastic and fairly young following. Sounds like all the ingredients for success. Good luck to them!