Two band names that scream biscuits at me. The Orielles and Big Moon were put together in the Sackler Space at the Roundhouse on Saturday night at the 6 Music festival. Pre-coronavirus ban, the “small but perfectly formed’ space, as our host Tom Robinson describes it, was packed out.
The Orielles are, possibly more than any act I saw this weekend, 6 Music’s thing they’re Northern, percussive, quite bouncy. It is easy to trace the sound of the Orielles back to the grunge of the 90s. Though the whole set is much sunnier than Sonic Youth or Pixies, where they found this light in Halifax I’m not sure.
Before the Big Moon come out, we’re prepped in the behind the scenes logic of a live radio broadcast. No shouting when they emerge, wait for our signal. Everyone behaves very well, though the temptation later on for some promotion of the county of Yorkshire gets the better of one man. Listening back I can’t quite make out his shouts, so that’s Yorkshire’s loss.
The Big Moon, currently touring Europe, or maybe not? They have angelic voices. They chant and harmonise together with a minimal but searing lead guitar line. The Big Moon have a formula in their songwriting. This is at its absolute best for me, during Your Light. As voices combine on the refrain ‘days like this’ the effect is stunning.
Their set is highly euphoric, highly positive, highly energetic. Front lass joins the crowd for a picture purfect bit of engagement – which you can see I managed to not quite capture in this photograph. This disregard for social distancing lets Juliette Jackson lead the crowd in a singalong of the aptly named song ‘Waves’. As in, the second wave. Er.
Some of the lyrical musings can be twee, ‘Don’t Think’ has some cringe inducing discussion of a night out, but a stronger chorus. There’s the strength in songwriter Juliette Jackson’s creations – catchy lines. The weaknesses edge into Alex Turner-esque landfill indie. A turn in her voice on ‘Why’ tells you that Turner woz here.
Something happens with two flutes. Jackson and Celia Archer get out some flutes. It’s funny? They play a little ditty. Celia is far better at it than Juliette, she must have some propa training back in the past. I’m not sure what this was about, the flashcards in my mind say Wes Anderson, Mighty Boosh, Camden. Then I short circuit.
Musically the band have multi-instrumental talents, and the aforementioned vocal power, these traits make for a great live show. There’s a cover of Praise You expertly dished out, dedicated to Ed O’Brien and his weak grasp on the working week. You get the impression the lasses are fans of a bunting-based party at a festival, maybe with a cider.
Every time I’m a bit lost in the set, or something is slightly jarring the Big Moon comes out again. ‘Sucker’ has another strong belting chorus that’s tapped into the grungey teenager. That’s really it with the Big Moon. Joyful, maybe a bit overbearingly so at times, but with such fun and love you can’t deny them.