About six months on from seeing The Big Moon’s excellent gig at the Scala, I was at the Village Underground in Shoreditch – fast becoming one of my favourite venues – to see them again. This time they had their debut album “Love in the 4th Dimension” to promote. It’s a good pop-punk album, one that I think should appeal to the youth who don’t like their riffs too hard, and enjoy a good singalong. Which I don’t mean disparagingly – pop makes the world go round.
But it explains why I didn’t get too excited by the album, along with the fact that I’d heard and downloaded the best ones like “Sucker”, “Cupid”, “The Road” and “Silent Movie Susie” before. And songs like “Formidable” and “Bonfire” sounded like they were still templates for the live performance. Most Big Moon songs are based on a slow-quick-slow-quick format which really comes alive on the stage. On record, that sometimes feels a bit samey.
But live, The Big Moon rock – and the audience rocks. The riffs are louder, more distorted, and the dynamics of those songs like “Formidable” and “Bonfire” really reveal themselves. The (relatively) old favourites are at key moments in the show. “Susie” was the opener, “Cupid” kept things going after two or three, and “Sucker” was a rousing closer. And the Madonna cover “Beautiful Stranger”, which they’ve played whenever I’ve seen them, was a chance to get the moshers going. Doesn’t bear too much resemblance to the original, but who cares? This was the last date of a successful and pretty lively tour, judging by the reports, and I could see how the band have become slicker and more confident six months on. And they were good the last time! Nothing succeeds like practice – and success.
The Big Moon are Juliette Jackson on vocals and guitar, Soph Nathann (guitar, backing vocals), Celia Archer (bass, backing vocals and song intros a lot of the time) and Fern Ford (drums, the person who holds it all together). These next three photos are Juliette and Celia.
I’ve predicted success for a few bands recently. Time will tell. But I suspect that The Big Moon have a better chance than most “indie” bands, because their formula looks right for the older teenage market. I’m waiting for that moment when one of my daughters says, “why are you playing Big Moon?” I’ll resist saying, “well I discovered them at End of the Road in September 2016 and then saw them at the Scala and Village Underground.”
Or will I?