“BEST TOUR EVER BIG SNOG HUG LOVE BITE,” is how The Big Moon sign off the first ever Neu Tour on Twitter, and it’s a fitting statement. With Vant and Inheaven joining the ride, three of the best new bands around have conquered eleven cities, each packing their own surprises. Vant were first on stage for a penultimate night at Brighton’s The Haunt, but they shunned traditional running order etiquette by prompting a stage invasion. They tick the same boxes headlining Dingwalls on a triumphant closing night that exposes all three bands’ unique appeal, while emphasising their bright, linked-arms spirit.
On paper, these three acts have very little in common. Inheaven make sky-reaching, shoegaze pop with enough ambition to outmuscle giants. Vant keep things simple with hook-crammed, politically-charged rock. The Big Moon are in a world of their own, forging huge melodies out of playful interchange. They’ve all been taking different paths, but this October these parallel lines have locked together. They’re all at the same stage in their career - fresh out the crib, just a couple of tours and singles under their belts - and before the Neu Tour’s opening night in Nottingham, they were chomping at the bit to get on the road.
That excitable enthusiasm hasn’t shifted one jot by the time Dingwalls comes round. Inheaven are more enraptured than ever as they open proceedings. Frontman James Taylor plays a shaman-like role, bouncing on the spot and rinsing noise at any given opportunity. Throughout the tour, headliners and openers have rotated - everyone’s had a shot at topping bills. On a closing night, each band looks like they’re playing their own headline set. They’re schooled in the art of almighty send offs. With closer ‘Regeneration’, Inheaven have an anthem-in-waiting, filtering The Jesus and Mary Chain-style bombast into a chart-ready charge.
The Big Moon played their first show less than a year ago, but on the basis of Dingwalls’ second-on set, they’re mates for life. All four fail to miss a beat, the dynamic between Juliette Jackson and co. being just as much of a draw as their playful, ever-changing take on pop. Before tonight even kicks off, punters are treated to a playlist of Westlife, Craig David and The Spice Girls. That’s The Big Moon’s doing. The thread runs through to their amped-up cover of Madonna’s ‘Beautiful Stranger’, and it’s hinted at in their originally-penned giants ‘Nothing Without You’ and ‘The Road’. With each note played, they look more confident, egging each other on and sharing in-jokes without a care in the world. There’s nothing else quite like watching a band progress at this rate.
There’s similar cause for celebration with Vant. Stage invasions being their forte, they spend half their fully-charged set forcing crazed fans to go more insane, to make photographers in the front row “sweat a bit more”. Mattie Vant is a no-fucks-given frontman. Off stage, he’ll pen enraged songs kicking and screaming about gun culture, foreign policy, any divisive issue he can get his hands on. And when it comes to actual application, he turns these topics into vicious beasts on stage. Again - Vant are unlike any other new band around right now. Three acts taking their own wildly different route have pooled together for an unforgettable tour, and it’s a watershed moment for anyone asking what’s next on the agenda.
Photos: Carolina Faruolo.
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