Spoiler: they're rippers-in-waiting – every single one of them
Towards the end of ‘It’s Easy Then’ – a recent single, and one of the many new songs aired at The Big Moon’s titchy comeback show in London – the room suddenly falls silent. Lit by the scattered light-flecks of a disco ball, the crowd stands agape as drummer Fern Ford smoothly produces a trumpet from behind the kit, with the sort of flourish usually reserved for slamming a flip-phone shut. She parps her way through a brassy solo – while simultaneously playing the drums, no less – with a regal air. To say that The Lexington erupts in celebration is a vast understatement.
- Read More: The Big Moon on new single ‘It’s Easy Then’ and their Phoebe Waller-Bridge-inspired new album
The Big Moon have always pushed this sort of playfulness into the spotlight. Their 2017 debut ‘Love in the 4th Dimension’ is packed with immediate bangers and outrageously yellable snippets – whether it’s ‘Cupid’s cry of “tropical rubicon courage” or ‘Bonfire’s uber-dramatic delivery of the exquisite line “blow smoke up my arse”. When the band are storming through their established older favourites, tonight is a homecoming treat. But it’s in the frequent glimpses of second album material that The Big Moon show this same mischievous streak put to new use
“You’re a room full of guinea pigs,” declares vocalist and guitarist Juliette Jackson gleefully, kicking off a show in which The Big Moon air no less than six new songs – four of them are virtually unheard. And like Fleabag’s resident pet Hilary, the tightly-packed venue is happy to spectate.
Under a haze of purple, The Big Moon kick off the experimental section of the evening with their first ever live performance of a song called ‘Take A Piece’: a stonking great slow-dance, with more than a whiff of ballady noughties pop about it. Celia Archer and Soph Nathan step into joint vocal shoes to provide ‘Leave (Get Out)’-esque bracketed refrains – “and I’ll give you everything,” they chip in – and notably, this is is a step away from the indie attack of their earlier work. Stepping off the pre-beaten track even further, it’s followed up by ‘Why’. Building up from sparse keyboard plunks, it’s the story of a somewhat distracted trip to the seaside: “I didn’t come to see the ocean, I didn’t come to see the sights,” Juliette sings with a grin: not exactly focused on the sea breeze.
Between ‘Waves’ and ‘Don’t Think’, the band veer to both ends of the spectrum: brooding, minimal soundscapes span through to some ridiculously whopping riffery: on the latter, the band swagger and yowl like they’re ready to conquer stadiums. Wrapping things up with their latest single ‘Your Light’ – already firmly embedded as a new fan favourite – tonight’s super-taster of their forthcoming record ‘Walking Like We Do’ shows a band invigorated. Their album is slated for release in January 2020 – on the evidence of their live return, prepare to hear them shake things up.
The Big Moon’s setlist in full:
Silent Movie Susie
Take A Piece (NEW)
It’s Easy Then
Don’t Think (NEW)