Radar Band Of The Week – No.40: Big Deal

Big Deal: The anti-twee coupling putting the chemistry back into indie duos
“You’re a boy. I’m a girl. There’s two of us.” You can’t fault Alice Costelloe’s powers of observation, but offer up the idea that this equation, therefore, makes them a boy/girl duo and the fidgety blonde looks bemused. “When I see a boy/girl duo I just think ‘Oh. Weird’. I think of us as a band. Whatever, I guess.” It makes sense.
Big Deal: Talk

Though their gender and number may group them with a plethora of other emerging couple duos –see Tennis, Cults, Summer Camp – Costelloe and bandmate KC Underwood’s brooding musings are a million miles from cuteness. Armed with just an acoustic and electric guitar, the set-up may be sparse, but its bittersweet soundtrack certainly packs a punch.

Big Deal: Homework

Let’s dispel some more myths. The band formed not from the slightly inappropriate guitar teacher/pupil relationship that’s been tagged onto them, but from a couple of casual, matey lessons and mutual musical loves (“You got me into Dinosaur Jr and stuff. What did I get you into? Trouble?”) Also untrue – or so they claim – is the common misconception that the pair’s relationship extends to more than just a mutual appreciation of ’90s slackers…

Big Deal: Locked Up

“Whether we were together or not, if you see a boy and a girl onstage singing about relationships, people will assume we are,” explains Underwood. It’s true – but the undeniable chemistry and penchant for a candidly lovelorn lyric certainly do nothing to quell the rumours. Even so, you get the feeling that Big Deal are all about the mystery. “I think people feel they have to give all of themselves to get people to listen,” adds Costelloe.

Big Deal: 13

“But if I was on Twitter and saw my favourite band post a picture with like ‘Lol, look at this jokes pizza’,
I’d think ‘No, you’re not cool! I want you to be a band, not a product.’” With The White Stripes’ mystique, The Kills’ chemistry and the nonchalant cool of Cat’s Eyes, Big Deal have combined the best of boy/girl duos past and present, and the result is one of the most electrifying new combos around.

Lisa Wright

Need To Know

• When the band first started, they were called Hard Cheese

• The only instruments on the forthcoming album are two guitars – except for one track that uses a GarageBand music typing feature to get the effect of a string quartet

• Big Deal are playing on the Emerge NME Radar Tour this May, alongside Anna Calvi and Grouplove. See p24
for full details

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