Big Deal at Madame Jojo’s
A month after its release, Big Deal take to the star-lit stage at Madame Jojo’s in Soho to celebrate the launch of their second album June Gloom.
Nothing but modest, the crowd watch as the band quietly ready their instruments for the set, walk off stage and immediately return, fog billowing, to open with the first track of the album Golden Light. Led vocally and on guitar by both Alice Costelloe and Kacey Underwood, the former is much more reserved on stage, her guitar intro is soft at first and coupled with morose lyrics: “I don’t want to die”. But even as the tempo picks up, there is little energy evident from any of the musicians. The vibe is unnecessarily calm and subdued, perhaps as they’re simply easing into their stride.
The drumming is generally more energetic by nature, specifically for the second half of Swapping Spit. With simple but effective beats, it’s fast-paced and rhythmically catchy, and when the overhead lights turn to red, the mood lightens, resulting in a less bland performance.
As they continue to play, the audience sees Underwood become much more comfortable on stage, incorporating his own dance moves and head banging to the melody. His riffs are absorbing but there is no interaction between the leading pair, which makes for an impersonal and stiff atmosphere. However the strong instrumentals easily divert from their lack of personality and presence.
Pillow is quite different from their other numbers, slower-paced with a greater emphasis on the drums and bass. The beat and tempo flow well but the audience reaction is minimal. There is some moderate swaying, but no singing or energy despite the venue being full.
Such is Big Deal’s style that they are reliant only on their instrumental and vocal abilities. They appear casual to the point of seeming indifferent for most of the tracks including PG, Catch Up and In Your Car. Only when they return for the encore Close Your Eyes, are they more convincing, demonstrating a greater depth and interest in what they’re doing, but perhaps it only appears genuine as this initially disconsolate tune is fitting of their serious, melancholy persona. Although a strong set musically, overall it’s a lacklustre performance.
Photos: Mario Menti
For further information about Big Deal and future events visit here.
Watch the video for In Your Car here: