Noise Annoys: The Big Moon shoot for indie stardom
THIS week's Noise Annoys is dedicated to fabulous London indie rockers The Big Moon, who overcome the questionable quality of their name by virtue of being pretty damn fantastic at penning sultry, sarky guitar pop.
Their craft incorporates sonic nods in the direction of everyone from 80s indie heroes like The Wedding Present and The Flatmates through 90s trailblazers like PJ Harvey and Elastica to 21st century artists such as Howling Bells and Anna Calvi.
Whether you prefer the fast-fingered fret-bothering of punky debut tune Eureka Moment, Nothing Without You's nonchalantly anthemic ode to love/neediness or the more sophisticated, slinky sounds of last year's break-up lament The Road and upcoming single Cupid – their first release as newly-signed Fiction Records recording artistes – The Big Moon have already proved themselves to be a very promising prospect.
Since forming in 2014, the band – Juliette Jackson (guitar/vocals), Soph Nathan (guitar/ vocals), Celia Archer (bass/vocals) and Fern Ford (drums/keys) – have enjoyed a whirlwind 18 months of exciting activity including support tours with the likes of The Maccabees, The Vaccines and Ezra Furman.
The girls' first ever headline tour brings them to Belfast and Dublin next week and, to celebrate, Noise Annoys called up Fern for a quick chat about all things The Big Moon, neatly interrupting a pre-tour interior redecoration session.
"I'm painting my flat," reveals the Welsh drummer and keyboard wrangler. "It's a really boring off-white colour."
Such DIY drudgery is a far cry from The Big Moon's recent trio of gigs at London's Brixton Academy with The Maccabees back in January, which found the band riding on the crest of a wave that built in momentum throughout 2015.
"Last year was just fab, it was amazing," enthuses Fern.
"We ended 2015 pretty massively, I think we were all taken aback by it. Playing Brixton the first time (with The Vaccines), we just couldn't get over the fact it was actually happening.
"We kept expecting somebody to kick us out. Even in our own dressing room we felt a bit like frauds. It was like, 'f***, how did we end up here?'"
While the upcoming Irish dates are part of the The Big Moon's first ever headline tour, it's not actually their first time in Ireland – they played in Dublin earlier this year with The Maccabees just prior to their Brixton gigs.
"That was amazing, the Olympia is a lovely venue too," enthuses Fern, who has recently been caught up in the serious business of whipping material into shape for their now hugely anticipated debut album.
"We've been cracking down and trying to get our arses in gear," she tells me of the record that should be ready for release by the end of 2016.
"We're in this weird position of having too many songs – which is kind of lucky in one way, but the hardest thing is choosing the right ones that will make sense together as a good album.
"All being well we'll get our heads down in the next couple of months and record the thing."
It seems next weeks' gigs may feature some as yet unheard material, including "a couple of slow ones" that are currently contenders for the album.
"We're a bit more rough and ready and louder when we play live, so we've come up with a couple of really downbeat, chilled out numbers – it would be nice to let everyone have a bit of a breather in the middle of the set, so people can go to the bar."
She jests, of course – there can be no doubt that all eyes will be firmly on The Big Moon next week and throughout what's already shaping up to be their biggest year to date.