Live at Stylus on Wednesday, 5th October 2016
'Can you come forward a bit, we can't see you,' implores The Big Moon's lead singer Juliette. Don't worry, we can hear you and your sugar-rush indie-pop just fine. Like a rockier Haim boasting a bigger 4AD back catalogue, this all female London band quickly got the crowd involved with endless choruses (chori?) and cunningly deployed changes of pace. None more so than on 2016 single 'Cupid,' with its crashing drums and jet-pack guitars. Another change of pace came, this one even more unexpected: like starting the sentence 'Can you put your ...' and ending it with 'elbows up.' The crowd readily obeyed, jauntily flaunting their elbows across a steadily growing Stylus dancefloor.
Bang on the stroke of 9, the Mystery Jets strolled onstage. With half the band in leather trousers - guitarist Will finishing his look with a charity shop blazer and lead singer Blaine letting his ringlet hair do the talking - and barefoot bassist Jack Flanagan looking like a Green Day extra, the band appear at first glance a disparate act.
As soon as the bombastic hush of 'Telomere' opened their set, the band instantly gelled onstage, the by-product of over a decade together. As the song soared, so did Blaine's vocals - worryingly so: if he can sing live like this all the time, why can't everyone else?
2011 single 'Serotonin' quickly followed, sparking the first moshpit of the night as muscular riffs battered through the crowd. 'Safe,' smiles bassist Jack wearing a Big Moon t-shirt and sporting a hair do last seen terrorizing Bart Simpson, before whistling his way into live favourite 'Flash A Hungry Smile.'
The classics are a precursor for 3 new tracks ('Are you up for some new music,' asks Will, 'You might not know the words and we might not know the chords, but it'll be fun!), the first of which is the hip hop paced groover 'Centurion' and its friendly metal-lite riffs. It's the last new track that's aired that gets the moshpit animated as atomized dancers pogo and ping as the angular riffs whirl and escalate. Phew.
In between, there are some more tried and tested classics. 'Half In Love With Elizabeth' and 'Two Doors Down' sound as good as they did in 2008, while 'Bubblegum' wades in with its melancholic chords and amped up backline. And then there's 'Someone Purer,' the Mystery Jets encapsulated. Obscenely fun, and with a planet sized chorus the crowd can belt back, it's also gentle and tender in the post-chorus troughs. And the crowd know it off by heart, howling back the 'ooh wooh wooh oohs' and whistling the hook long after the band have left for Oporto to carry on the night.