The Big Moon live in Manchester: masters of their craft close their album campaign in style

The Big Moon

The Big Moon are in town and the band are here to light up a dreary, drizzly Sunday night with their brand of anthemic indie rock. 

The night is opened by Liz Lawrence, whose solo show is a real delight. She builds tracks with loop pedals, primarily through keys and synths before adding crunchy, fuzzy guitar components which often crash in out of nowhere. The tunes are bouncy and dancey, with recent single ‘I Wish I Was There’ standing out as a catchy highlight. Lawrence dances and grooves around the stage with some David Byrneian dance moves: a short slot from the songwriter which packs a lot of fun. 

New Century Hall fills up fast for The Big Moon, who launch straight into ‘Wide Eyes’, and rally through a series of offerings spanning their trilogy of studio LPs. The intricate and sensitive indie melodies cut a different figure live; amps are turned up and the full-blooded tracks grow into muscular rock tunes in the live space. The band are loud too, with their rhythm section, Fern Ford (drums) and Celia Archer (bass), thundering through tunes. ‘Ladye Baye’ from the band’s most recent album, 2022’s Here Is Everything, is a real high point. 

They’ve been touring for a while, and Archer hints that this might be their last tour for “a while” (an announcement which is met with boos from the crowd). The Big Moon may have been promoting the album for a year, with this evening’s performance coming fresh off the back a tiny venue tour, but there are no signs of fatigue. It can be tricky to transpose an intimate show into the behemoth of a room such as New Century Hall, but the fact that The Big Moon can make the 1,300 venue feel like a sweaty basement is a testament to the band’s quality. 

Formidable’ and ‘Cupid’ from their Mercury-nominated debut is a quality double play, stripping the band back to their raw indie roots. They really capture the crowd with their charm, and it’s clear the band don’t take themselves too seriously and their good vibes transmit directly to the crowd, who feed off the energy. The main show is concluded with ‘Trouble’, which threatens to blow the roof off of the joint. 

Bonfire’ opens the encore, where vocalist Juliette Jackson gets the crowd on their haunches before inspiring a massive pogo. It’s everything you could want from an indie rock show, and The Big Moon are masters of their craft. 

feature image: El Hardwick

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