It seems that you can hardly go ten steps in Southampton without stumbling across a live music venue, and accompanying Heartbreakers as the city’s newest haunt is The Loft. A 450 capacity space tucked out of sight from the public, situated above The Social bar, hosting the likes of Clean Cut Kid, The Vryll Society and Spring King over the coming months.
Tonight, it’s the turn of geek-grunge four-piece Get Inuit to set the stage for headliners The Big Moon. The support act relish their stage time, and whip speedily through a set of high-octane tunes that crank up the temperature from steamy to almost unbearable. ‘Mean Heart’ is their 100mph opener, and instantly frontman Jamie Glass’ unorthodox stage presence is captivating. His quirks and mannerisms multiply as the band, as tight as a nut, romp through ‘Cutie Pie, I Am Bloated’ and most recent single ‘All My Friends’.
…[they] whip speedily through a set of high-octane tunes that crank up the temperature from steamy to almost unbearable.
A new, anonymous song gets a rapturous response, boding well for the future of a band with a total of eight different releases and no album as of yet. The set reaches its crescendo with their closer ‘Pro Procrastinator’, its chorus of “I’m wasting my life” echoed fiercely by a crowd now infatuated with their new favourite band.
The moment that The Big Moon grace the stage isn’t that of a stadium band’s great unveiling, quite the opposite in fact. The girls’ warm smiles and eagerness to get playing feels more like meeting up with an old friend for a kick-about, and it’s evident from the speed at which they dive into ‘Silent Movie Susie’. The music is tight, and the friendships tighter as frontwoman Jules Jackson and guitarist Soph Nathan share jokes and laughs throughout. There’s a fierce sense of comfort around Jules’ audience interaction, making an open apology to the lad she pied off when asked before the gig if she was in The Big Moon, thusly exchanging obscene hand gestures with said lad.
The music is tight, and the friendships tighter…
Between songs it’s difficult to make the distinction between gig and stand-up, but any confusion is put to rest as soon as the band jump into performance mode. ‘Sucker’, and fan favourite ‘Formidable’ are the most organised messes of sound and body-thrashing on display as the band relentlessly let loose. Nonetheless, with the swift ease of a shimmy-and-shake the pace is reeled in for slow jams ‘Zeds’, described by Jules as “the sexy one”, and ‘Something Beautiful’ where Fern Ford gives a multi-tasking masterclass on drums and keys.
Testimony to The Big Moon’s reading of the room and control of the night’s ebb and flow, there’s a treat in store for us in the form of a karaoke classic. A cover of ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ (that one’s by Bonnie Tyler for those taking up residence beneath rocks) sends a party buzz throughout the room, so much so that Jules can’t help herself but take to the crowd for ‘Bonfire’ soon after. Her long legs make straddling the barrier a simple task (much to the amusement of bassist Ce Archer), but the crowd make her return to the stage slightly more of a mission. “You lot are mental” Jules remarks, wiping beads of sweat from her brow.
Words by Maddy Hardman and Rupert Taylor