LIVE REVIEW: The Big Moon at The Deaf Institute, Manchester

The Big Moon’s shows are hailed for their boisterous and playful nature, and tonight we are lucky enough to witness the London hailing group’s debut record ‘Love In The 4th Dimension’ in its animated live format. The debut captures the transient fun of millennial youth in catching garage-pop raucous, a sound at its most destined thrust upon stage.

Whilst The Big Moon have been said to be nostalgic for Britpop and noughties indie, with comparisons to bands such as Elastica, tonight the foursome come into their modern own. As a contemporary rock and roll band, the quartet kick noughties-enthused indie pop into a current romantic rocking rumble. For fans of Spanish indie-rock band HINDS, The Big Moon similarly grasps at an entirely new playful indie resonance.

With a mischievous purr of “Ahhhh… Manchester…,” spoken with all the rascal-wisdom of the Cheshire Cat, like they know what’s about to go down, The Big Moon begin by hurtling into a riotous ‘Silent Movie Susie’, capturing pure youth and fun. Live, the band are grungier and punker than you would expect, yet still the indie bop flair of their recordings peaks through. Bobbing their long pony-tails and trails of lose hanging hair over their rocketing guitar strums, the group rattle the venue straight into life as fans bounce below. In an instant, the party is instigated. An impressive kick-off for the London quartet’s first headline Manchester show.

‘Happy New Year’ continues in catching live vigour and frolicsome spirit. Lead singer Juliette Jackson scoffs a ‘live in the moment’ mantra with sheer cool eloquence: “Cos I’m never gonna be this young, and everything I do one day will just be done!” With her foot on the front speaker, and her striking red dungaree covered legs spread-eagled, Jackson hangs her head and guitar low over the crowd for thunderous riffs that echo the electric verve of fleeting youth. As a band keen to rouse a community spirit, Jackson even holds out her guitar for some lucky fans to strum.

Demonstrating their exhilarating experimental nature, as each track on their debut differs stimulatingly from the next, ‘The Road’ even teeters on a hip-hop beat. A bopping high bass riff and sultry keys ooze a ’90s hip-hop cool, as The Big Moon eclectically mix their modern indie with the subconscious of the past.

With a pink glow of light, The Big Moon break into the crowd pleasing ‘Cupid’. From first to final verse, the crowd echo along the lyrics in adoration. The band react with beaming smiles and genuine modesty, the London four don’t seem to take their job for granted. The poppy bounce of ‘Cupid’ develops into a devilishly confident rocking roar of “Pineapple juice, tropical Rubicon courage!” Jackson’s playful lyrics, “Baby take my wallet my round, see my johnny awfully tucked out…” wickedly bounce over whirls of hurtling guitar, catching the exhilarating speed of youths short-lived passionate affairs.

Teasingly Jackson strums the all to well know chords of ‘Wonderwall’, and we fear another lame Oasis cover from a visiting band… “Not really!” she sniggers. “We did listen to a lot of Oasis on the way here though…to get us in the mood.” With convulsive humour as jolting as their vibrant sound, The Big Moon behold entertaining charisma and wit that stretches further than their spirited lyrics.

We are told with seductive cheek: “This next song is about getting off with strangers…” Covering Madonna’s 1999 hit ‘Beautiful Stranger’, The Big Moon inject serious reverberating guitar shred and fire shaking millennial temper into a classic pop song. “Heaven forbid, I fall in love with a beautiful stranger…” coolly croons Jackson with alluring chemistry.

Closing with the fan-favourite, ‘Sucker’, The Big Moon josh us into their most tumultuous track, “Shall we play a ‘rock’ song?” they teasingly giggle. Capturing the challenging ups and downs of youthful lust and love, ‘Sucker’ bounces from frustrated brooding verses to an exasperated thrilling chorus. Cascading from poppy “oooohs” and slaying guitar chords into free-wielding fun, the band’s final chorus unwinds into a wild instrumental jam and jovial wolf howls. Several fans (aka. ‘Big Mooners’) join in on the wolf howl merriment, throwing caution to the wind, as Jackson closes the evening with a spine-tinglingly crooned, “I’m a sucker for you…”

A Big Moon set, it seems, is all about making its patrons feel alive. Like the fluttery-butterfly feeling of being in love, tonight four girls and their drumsticks and guitars have sucked us from the monotony of reality. With raw and electric indie-pop energy, tonight we have rocketed to another planet. Landing on **cringe metaphor intended** The Big Moon. Like the whirlwind speed of an exciting first-date, after tonight’s show, we can disclose we have fallen head over heels in love with this astounding band. Who knows how far these playful indie bright sparks could rocket?

The new album ‘Love in the 4th Dimension’ is out now on Fiction Records.

Photos courtesy of Gaz Haywood: // @PhotographyGaz

Find The Big Moon on Facebook and Twitter.

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