(photo: Phil Smithies)
Being Mercury Prize nominees for their debut album Love In The 4th Dimension, I had high expectations for seeing The Big Moon live. Already justifying themselves within the industry, not only through such high esteemed recognition but also in their refreshing sound, a kind of new era grunge branching off of bands like Hole whilst also incorporating modern melodic tones and spunky female solidarity.
The Big Moon’s show in Sheffield was close to reaching maximum capacity with a very diverse mix as a crowd, something which is quite a novelty in an industry full of ‘scenes’ and genre conforming ‘cliques’. The album seemed to translate seamlessly live, with the song’s energy being showcased and maximised; especially evident in ‘Bonfire’ through the synchronized howls of the girls echoed by the roaring crowd. The set formation was also unpredictable and kept the momentum going even through the acoustics, throwing in curveball surprises like the ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ Bonnie Tyler cover which had everybody in a whirlwind of nostalgia.
Perhaps what stood out the most is the band’s banter, camaraderie, and sense of fellowship with the crowd. Having numerous informal conversations with the crowd between songs while also sharing jokes and taking song requests— not behaviour you’d expect from Mercury Prize nominees but your relatable girls next door, The Big Moon, keeping it real from rags to riches.