The Big Moon @Oran Mor // 23.09.22

To know The Big Moon is to love them. As a group, it’s clear to see they possess that magic quality that any fan, or person starting their own band hopes to see: they are all best friends, they are a team. This companionship, authenticity and love is truly what lends The Big Moon a great amount of their charm. It’s also a big part of what made this particular performance at Glasgow’s Oran Mor such a heart-warming, inclusive and wholesome experience.

This show is the fourth in their current circuit of the UK and Ireland, which partly serves to promote the release of their upcoming third studio album ‘Here Is Everything’, set for release on 14/10/22. This album documents lead songwriter Juliette Jackson’s journey of becoming a mother during the 2020 lockdown, which marks a poignant new chapter in the songwriting narrative of The Big Moon. 

Many of these shows were originally scheduled for as long ago as October 2020, and have since been mired by multiple reschedules due to the outbreak and aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. Fans are eager to hear material from the upcoming album, and also from the band’s sophomore album ‘Walking Like We Do’, released in January 2020.

The crowd in the downstairs club venue of the Oran Mor are attentive and jubilant as members of the band take to the stage on by one, each smiling and waving as if greeting friends they haven’t had the chance to see in a long time. Each member picks up their instruments and joins the swell of serene ambience that precedes them. Once the ensemble is complete, the band transition into their opening track ‘It’s Easy Then’ which features lush backing vocal harmonies from bassist Celia Archer and guitarist Soph Nathann. As the track swells into each massive chorus, many members of the audience can be seen mouthing along, but not aloud, instead letting the sound of the band wash over them in awe-struck silence.

Between songs, the band engage in some conversational and light-hearted chat with each other whilst addressing the audience, before continuing with ‘Take A Piece’. The crowd, now put well at ease by the bands humorous demanour, have no reservations about belting along to this one. The show continues with a joyful and familiar air, tracks like ‘Don’t Think’ inviting audience participation as the band go heavy, the three standing members all group together and turn to face drummer Fern Ford for a huge riff-lead outro. Fan favourite ‘Barcelona’ opens with a three-part flute intro aptly played by Jules, Soph and Celia who finish the intro with a giggle as they disperse to start the song proper.

After the final crowd-led chorus of ‘Cupid’, Jules notifies the crowd that they’re going to play some new music. She also takes this chance to speak on a personal note about the significance of these new songs to her, how they convey her experience of becoming a mother for the first time and the excitement, uncertainty and unparalleled joy this can bring. She calls out to any mothers in the crowd to offer respect and solidarity, as they can all appreciate what she’s about to be singing about.

The show continues with a bittersweet and emotional atmosphere that’s impossible not to be taken over by. Starting with ‘2 Lines’ in which Jules describes the feeling of seeing that positivepregnancy test for the first time. Latest single ‘Wide Eyes’ describes the feeling of falling in love with your new child, and at this moment in particular anyone can see how much this song means to Jules, the band, and the fans.

At this point in the show, any invisible barrier between band and audience has been fully dissolved. The performances are heartfelt and full of touching moments. ‘Formidable’ opens A Cappella with band members arm in arm, the lighting intimate and close. ‘Sucker’ with its touching lyrics of friendship resonating with the crowd. They don’t let their audience ruminate for too long however as they play a crowd-pleasing cover of Fatboy Slim’s ‘Praise You’, accompanied by a spinning pink disco ball.

The final song of the set ‘Trouble’ sees each band member at the height of their energy, before vacating the stage teasingly, knowing full well they’ll be summoned back for more. The band encore with fan favourites ‘Waves’ and ‘Your Light’, which are both massive singalong ‘torches in the air’ moments. After a well-earned bow to thunderous applause, the band finally depart from the stage.

With this performance The Big Moon displayed each magic component that makes them the beloved and respected group that they are. Their love and trust for each other being shared plentifully with the crowd, creating an environment that is universally inviting and innately feminine. It was genuinely beautiful, and a feeling I’ve seldom experienced at any gig before. If you get the chance, do not miss out on this experience. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to have to go and call my Mum.

‘Here Is Everything’ releases 14/10/22 on Fiction Records.

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