The Big Moon at Stereo, 2/4/16

Tonight, The Big Moon arrive on stage with all the energy and irreverence of a young Beatles – silly, playful, charmingly awkward.

It’s hard to believe that the band began as the solo project of Juliette Jackson, as onstage they’re a cohesive, collective gang of four individual personalities.

 

“It’s a pity [drummer] Fern [Ford] doesn’t have a microphone – she’s the funniest one in the group!” says Jackson, with her, bassist Celia Archer and guitarist Soph Nathan taking turns introducing songs and howling a count-in.

The set’s energetic, full of rollicking choruses and about-turns, with particular highlights coming in new single ‘Cupid’, ‘Nothing Without You’ and ‘Eureka Moment’ from recent EP The Road.

“Dance!” screams Archer before ‘Nothing Without You’, and throughout the set we’re implored to move over and over again, while Archer and Nathan provide howled, frenzied harmonies throughout.

The best example of The Big Moon’s ingenuity may come in the form of a cover of Madonna’s ‘Beautiful Stranger’ (introduced to cries of “Madge! Madge!”) that does exactly what a cover of the song ought to do while sounding nothing like the original.

The Big Moon’s version takes us on a journey from a creepy, noir opening to a punk rock, da-na-da-na chorus, leading into an alluring, seductive pitch-shifted guitar solo, conveying all the intensity and mixed emotions of actually meeting a beautiful stranger.

Against Juliette Jackson’s deep, measured vocals, Jackson and Nathan’s guitar solos are overblown and ridiculous, drawing from hair metal, surf rock and punk.

It’s all taken with a pinch of salt, though; “you rocked too hard!” gasps Archer after Jackson breaks a string.

“I did!” wails Jackson, “I rocked too hard!”

Here’s hoping they don’t rock too hard again, then.

Words: Tony Boardman

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