The Big Moon may have been the opener at DC9 last Friday, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell that by the crowd they drew! DC9 got full quickly and early for the four ladies from London, who shined brightly with guitar jams that crashed and ebbed as furiously as the tides.
The shoegazey quartet have released a very well-received string of singles in the United Kingdom, and they are poised to publish their first full-length album, Love in the 4th Dimension, on April 7, 2017, via Fiction Records. Meanwhile, Juliette Jackson (guitar, vocals), Soph Nathan (guitar, vocals), Celia Archer (bass, vocals), and Fern Ford (drums) hit the United States for a sneak preview as openers for The Japanese House. In doing so, they successfully ignited anticipation here as well for whatever they do next.
Early in their all-too-short set, The Big Moon play “Cupid,” a single released earlier this year, and one that will feature on the upcoming album. Band leader Juliette takes lead vocals on the song, which starts out peacefully, floating upon her pleasant voice, before the ladies blow it up with the chorus and a cacophony of guitars. In the song, Juliette sings of struggling to resist new love, but in concert she sings with graceful ease as her “Woooooo” in the refrain seems more inviting than combative.
If The Big Moon hadn’t won me over already (they had), the ladies surely would have done so with their cover of “Beautiful Stranger” by Madonna. The pop siren’s psychedelic contribution to the second “Austin Powers” movie gets a brilliant treatment by The Big Moon, who draw out its verses with hazy, languid guitarwork but then explode into the da-da-da-dum hook that caps off a verse.
As their set approaches the end, the band light up “Bonfire,” another stupendously catchy number with alluring melodies and clever riffs. With “Cupid” and “Bonfire” both appearing on the upcoming album, it’s destined to be a winner.
Although I have spent a fair amount of time here praising Juliette’s lead vocal, she is more than capably supported by Soph and Celia, who provide some appealing harmonies. And I confess I was rather impressed by bassist Celia, who had a great deal more stage presence than I anticipated as she rocked out on stage left. The next time I catch a performance by The Big Moon, I certainly plan to pay more attention to the rhythm section of Celia and Fern. Keep an eye and ear on them yourself when you see them live!
The Big Moon have only a few US dates remaining on their current tour, which resumes tomorrow night in Seattle and then wraps up in California with a final date in Los Angles on Dec. 7. It is a no-brainer that we are likely to see them again perhaps later in 2017 as they undertake their first US headlining tour? It’s sure to be a hit.
Here are a few more pictures of The Big Moon performing at DC9 on Friday, Nov. 25. We did what we could but it was pretty crowded for their show early, and a bit chaotic (in a good way) as well!