The Big Moon @ Summerhall, Edinburgh, 29 Feb

The Big Moon illuminate a sold-out show at Summerhall with their pop-rock bangers and refreshing energy

Live Review by Katie Cutforth | 04 Mar 2020
  • The Big Moon

An eclectic crowd gathers in the Dissection Room of Summerhall on a rainy Saturday night to see The Big Moon. Some might be here for their shredding guitar riffs; some for their infectious, poppy refrains; some for their riotous girl band energy.

The support tonight is another all-female outfit, who admit they have been mistaken for the headline act backstage. It’s delightful to watch Prima Queen work through their delicate, tentative rock songs, doused in heartbreak and bittersweet teenage angst. The Big Moon are one of their all time favourite bands, they say, and their evident excitement at being here makes the performance all the more enjoyable. Almost too on-brand, they announce halfway through the set that bassist Kitty Drummond had broken up with her boyfriend 20 minutes before sound check, and invite the crowd to visit the merch stand and buy her a drink.

The four members of The Big Moon file onto stage: singer Juliette Jackson, Soph Nathan (also lead singer of Our Girl) on guitar, Celia Archer on bass and Fern Ford on drums. Despite arriving in their “original” line-up, they swap instruments regularly throughout the set, demonstrating their remarkable musicality. “We can all play bass,” they laugh. “It’s not as hard as it looks.” 

The most striking aspect of tonight's show is that the band is clearly having a great time, performing with impressive energy – despite Jackson's confession that she’s “not very athletic.” As they work through their recent release Walking Like We Do, as well as some older tracks, their confidence as musicians becomes increasingly apparent, as well as their touching closeness and coherence as a group. 

Finishing the set is the undeniable earworm Your Light, which begins as a lilting rock song and evolves into an uplifting pop anthem. ‘Days like this / I forget my darkness’, sings Jackson with an involuntary smile, echoed by her bandmates. ‘And remember your light’.

Standing on the barrier with just a mic in her hand, Jackson addresses the crowd directly to perform the bittersweet Waves. This is a bit of a sad one, she warns, but not to worry – it builds to a shouty bit. It’s a sentiment that captures The Big Moon’s music well: tender, genuine, and always fun.