P H O T O :


P H O T O :



82 THE LIST 1 Feb–31 Mar 2020

INDIE POP THE BIG MOON Summerhall, Edinburgh, Sat 29 Feb

Although London four-piece The Big Moon seemed to arrive fully-formed in 2016 with their springy, pithy indie pop, frontwoman Jules Jackson knows all about the slog, having spent years in bands as the co-pilot, singing someone else’s songs. ‘There are so many people out there in bands who will know how this feels,’ she says. ‘You can spend years and years putting your heart and soul into it and it doesn’t go anywhere. It’s so heartbreaking and eventually you just give up.’

For Jackson, the catalyst for change was a

shortlived dalliance with art school. Art’s loss was music’s (re)gain, but this time Jackson was at the wheel, putting her love of Pixies to good use in her maiden efforts at songwriting before wasting no time assembling a band around her: drummer Fern Ford, guitarist Soph Nathan and bassist Celia Archer. Debut EP ‘The Road’ was swiftly followed by their

Mercury-nominated album, Love in the 4th Dimension, which Jackson freely admits was all about falling in love. Its newly released follow-up Walking Like We Do is a smoother, less puppyish proposal with some unlikely inspiration from ex-One Directioner Zayn Malik for whom she initially wrote the album track ‘Piece of Me’.

‘When I came back to writing I felt older and I cared about different things, so I guess this album is the sound of me trying to process that,’ says Jackson. ‘I was trying to get out of my rut and one way was to pretend that the song wasn’t my song. It just makes it easier sometimes playing a role; it frees you up a bit.’ (Fiona Shepherd)

EXPERIMENTAL ROCK BLACK MIDI Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh, Mon 17 Feb

From racking up a reputation for their eccentric live shows to being nominated for the 2019 Mercury Music Prize, it’s been a whirlwind year for Black Midi. ‘Because we’ve just been playing shows most of the time, I haven’t really had much time to sit back and think about whether it’s gone to plan or otherwise,’ says frontman Geordie Greep. ‘It’s just gone really quick but it’s been really good.’ Bold and frenetic debut album Schlagenheim was reviewed favourably for its chaotic post-punk grooves and imperfect delivery. With the early buzz around the band, Greep notes that they were keen not to overthink things with the album’s release, keeping in line with their generally easy-going temperament. ‘I always thought that if it got really, really, really bad reviews, we’d say “who cares, let’s keep going”. You can’t get too bogged down or over-enamoured with yourselves, you have to just keep doing what you know is good and what you know your standard is.’

For those that haven’t managed to catch Black Midi live yet, the upcoming tour will be a real treat with the songs from Schlagenheim continuing to develop in real-time along with the band’s own individual style. ‘The way we play in this band would probably get us fired pretty quickly from other bands,’ Greep says. ‘But it’s quite enjoyable to play like that. And because we’re all kind of in the same groove, it fits together a bit more. But if Morgan [Simpson, the band's drummer], for example, was to do that crazy drum style in almost any other band, it wouldn’t go very well. More than anything, it’s about fitting it round us as a band.’ (Arusa Qureshi)

ALT ROCK SORRY Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, Sun 9 Feb

Despite the name, genre-juggling bunch Sorry really have nothing to be apologetic about. When speaking from his home in north London about the release of the band’s long-awaited debut this spring, guitarist Louis O’Bryen is still fairly modest about the hype. ‘I don’t even really believe it’s coming out yet,’ he admits, letting out a nervous laugh. ‘Once I see the vinyl then I’ll be like “oh yeah, the album is actually coming out”, but until then I’m still so sure that something’s going to go wrong.’

Even with such a steady output of singles to date, Sorry have kept us waiting for their debut. ‘I don’t feel like a lot of bands spend that much time recording before they go to a studio, but we spent hours and we were a bit precious about it,’ he recalls. ‘We knew how we wanted it to sound and in the early stages of going to the studio we didn’t really find anyone who could translate that.’

Thankfully, now with the right team behind them (the band signed to Domino in late 2017) and that big decade energy in tow, the wait is almost over. To mark the occasion, Sorry will head back out on the road including their first time to the States for this year’s SXSW. Even in the face of O’Bryen’s reticence though, Sorry’s rise from lo-fi Londoners to international wanderers looks fairly certain. And there’s really no reason to feel bad about that at all. (Cheri Amour)