“I’ve just moved in with my boyfriend so he’s around and will be like ‘do you want some dinner? Do you want to go to the park with me? and I’ll be like ‘urgh I can’t right now I have to be this creative person,” jokes Juliette Jackson ahead of THE BIG MOON going away to record new music. It is no surprise the London quartet already have one eye on the future; a whirlwind couple of breakthrough years has seen support slots with The Maccabees and endless festival performances topped off with a Mercury Prize nomination for debut LP Love in the 4th Dimension.
I am joined by lead vocalist and guitarist Juliette, bassist Celia Archer and guitarist Soph Nathan before their show at Middlesbrough Westgarth Social Club – a venue favoured by the likes of Wolf Alice and one that has been left with a damaged roof on several occasions. The Big Moon are no strangers to this vibe, describing their Sheffield show last week as “insane. One of our favourites yet. The audience were in pitch black darkness and we couldn’t see how people were reacting until about five songs in when someone turned a strobe light on.
“You can kind of tell, but people post videos afterwards and I [Celia] was like ‘WOW!’ I didn’t see or hear that!” With these wild antics on the live front it is no shock that several of their dates are sold out and people are still begging for more shows. “It is so funny because even when you do a tour like this [20 dates in total] you still get people going ‘why aren’t you coming to Bristol? Why aren’t you coming to Birmingham?'”
This is the first major Big Moon tour since their nomination for this year’s Mercury Prize was announced – something they can only define as “unbelievable,” Love in the 4th Dimension sadly didn’t win the award, but the experience was one that made The Big Moon “feel like we are at that stage, because it is always proper bands who win it.
“It is the kind of thing you dream about when you’re in a band. We have never been to anything like that before; we were sat a table in a big fancy room, they gave us food and everything felt weirdly familiar because we had seen it on TV,” recalls Celia. Brushing shoulders with the biggest and best hasn’t went to their heads, though, instead the Londoners are still keeping it real with their list of tour essentials.
Jumping straight in with “Toothpaste! Teabags! Phone chargers! Comfy van clothes!” it is clear that is the simple pleasures that make a tour of travelling, especially with 20 dates, a successful one. The grim side of touring, for Celia in particular, is being bunged up. “Yesterday I was like ‘do you think we’ll ever go on tour and I’ll not get a flu,” she laughs, before giving the science behind it all.
“I remember my doctor telling me about it. It is what Freshers’ Flu is – everyone has brought their own flu, so you get used to the cold in your area then everyone brings a new thing you’re not used to.
“We sit with a lot of recycled air in the van, and I am VERY huggy at the merch desk, too. That’s why.”
In a less flu based and a more positive breath we come to the synopsis of what is next for The Big Moon. “I guess the next one [album] is going to win a Grammy [after a Mercury Prize nominated first]. I’m excited to see what comes out, but as long as we keep having fun and working hard the record will mean something!”