The Big Moon are really, really engaging. On record this is the case, but live it is even more pronounced. For a band that are ostensibly garage-rock, there is an intelligence and proficiency to both the song-writing and performance that many other bands aim for, but end up falling well short. There is always multiple intriguing things going on both visually and aurally, from drummer Fern Ford simultaneously playing the organ and drums at the same time, to the playful three-way harmonies across the front of the stage.
Due to the multi-roomed, multi-attraction nature of the venue – London’s sprawling House of Vans – the main space is only partially filled as the awesome foursome take to the stage. Those (and there are many) that surge towards the source of the noise made by The Big Moon’s grungy opener are rewarded as they seamlessly drop into the jewel of their crown, ‘The Road’, second up. On record this is a coldly slinky alt-rock jam, whereas live it’s given a fuzzier lease of life – the chilled opening forgone for a loud and proud bout of riffery.
Another set highlight is most recent single ‘Cupid’, the infectious ‘oooohs’ of chorus filling the room up to its high and arched ceilings. Not for the first time, front-woman Juliette Jackson remarks that ‘this is a lot of fun’ – it’s clear that both band and crowd are feeding off of each others energy in the most positive way possible.
Madonna’s ‘Beautiful Stranger’ proves a curveball set addition as the girls play a bonkers tempo-twisting cover midway through, complete with punk ‘da-da-da’s and Speedy Ortiz-esque solos chaotically spiralling out of control. On this occasion however, it’s a short and concise set from the band, so it’s not long before we reach set closer, and debut single, the relatable and understatedly anthemic ‘Sucker’, with it’s signature lead guitar line bouncing around your head. It’s the perfect way to walk away from an impressive, noisy and seriously fun Big Moon set.
See The Big Moon at The Great Escape this weekend (Saturday 21st May).