As The Big Moon gear up to play a sold-out show at The Roundhouse tomorrow (May 31), the indie group have shared a stunning session of tracks which was recorded in the intimate confines of East London’s Bow Church. You can watch it first on Rolling Stone UK.
The performance from the Mercury Prize nominated group sees them backed by a string section as they deliver a fresh twist on ‘This Love’, ‘2 Lines’ and ‘Satellites’ – all taken from the group’s acclaimed third album Here Is Everything.
“It was a really special experience,” singer Jules Jackson told Rolling Stone UK of their Bow Church session
“When we’re rehearsing we stand in a circle and that’s the set-up we had here too, so that felt pretty special. It was cool to be in this cavernous, crumbling space which was freezing cold for the whole time we were performing in there.”
The inception of the performance, meanwhile, came about after the group teamed up with Mercury Studios and delivered them the simplest of briefs.
“We knew we wanted to do a live session, and the brief we gave Mercury was that it had to be a big space with big windows and it had to have a lot of natural light,” explained bassist Celia Archer.
“I think it might have even been their suggestion to film the whole thing in the round too. Bow Church was perfect, we found ourselves conceptualising for months and then shooting it in a matter of hours.”
While the string section – comprised of Kristin McFadden, Freya Hicks and Blossom Caldarone – adds a fresh depth to the songs, the group explained how they hoped that the special session would allow them to attract fresh attention.
“When Jules sent over ‘Satellites’, we all had a strong emotional reaction to it,” explained Archer of the song – which details Jackson’s experience of pregnancy with her first child.
“Our drummer Fern said that these songs were the stand-outs and not all of these songs are singles,” so you’ve just got to give all your babies the best chance.”
Looking ahead to the Roundhouse show, the group admitted that it marked a full circle moment. The sold out show marks their biggest headline performance to date, at a venue they’ve frequented as punters over the years.
“I remember going to see a double bill of The XX and Wild Beasts, which was so fun,” explained guitarist Soph Nathan – who also used to rehearse at the venue as a teenager.
The group also praised The Roundhouse for putting their cut of the group’s merchandise sales back into community initiatives at the venue. In contrast, a show at London’s O2 Forum Kentish Town last year saw the band selling merch at a nearby pub in order to avoid unfair cuts from AMG (Academy Music Group).
“The Roundhouse offers really cheap rehearsal rates and they do help when you’re just starting as a musician,” explained Archer.
“We’re also making everyone who’s on our guest list give a donation to this organisation called Saffron,” she added.
“They support young women and non binary/trans youth in getting into production and radio, podcasting and DJ. Their funding was cut recently, so they’ve been struggling a bit and it’s so important to help.”
The Big Moon play The Roundhouse tomorrow night.