Live Review

Big Deal, The Lexington, London

A mirror ball, felt on the walls and Big Deal. Honestly, what more do you want on a Monday night?

Still bearing crimson coloured cheeks and noses from the blisteringly bitter streets of Islington, a small yet comfortable crowd scurry from the stench of piss next to the toilets and await the warmth and summer breeze of Big Deal. Supporting act, Toy (who DO NOT conform to any connotations of actual toys, trust me, they’re not much fun at all) belong to the same niche as The Horrors and S.C.U.M, getting things started nice ‘n’ miserably with strong bass lines, deep vocals and an interesting line up of hair types.

As Big Deal scuffle clumsily onto The Lexington’s stage, in turn rearranging microphone stands and tweaking their barely tuned guitars, it’s plain to see that the two piece withstand a relaxed and dazed attitude to this music malarkey. And there are absolutely no ifs or buts about it, Alice Costelloe and KC Underwood are an aesthetically pleasing and balanced pair. Individually, they represent opposing ends of the musical spectrum, yet work fantastically. Just like… peanut butter and jam. Or bacon and maple syrup. I could go on all day. A kind of ‘pretty grunge’ motif lingers in their music and image with KC roughing it out in a worn out Bruce Springsteen t-shirt, religiously sweeping back his fringe, whilst Alice’s similarities to a young Joni Mitchell glimmer through her perfectly placed, sun kissed hair and undeniably eye catching bone structure. It’s the same with the pair’s stage presence. One (Alice) staying completely motionless and rigid, as if she’s playing a game of musical statues that no one else was told about, the other (KC) bursting with sudden urges to let loose on a grunge fuelled solo, yet ultimately deterring back to the tranquil of Big Deal.

KC’s gentle, boyish vocals on opening track ‘Seraphine’ comply entirely with the minimalism of the acoustic and electric guitar. The two tone vocals and lyricism of Big Deal produce a bittersweet trial between the highs and lows of adolescent life, focusing predominantly on the flaws of teenage relationships. Funnily enough, even the body language of the pair show this with KC constantly turning to his left with puppy dog eyes glaring at Alice with a completely oblivious Alice disregarding his presence. Suspicious…

But it’s not really. The two reveal a quirky chemistry when they (KC) speak(s) (to himself) between songs (with a giggling Alice). Next, firm favourites ‘Chair’ and ‘Distant Neighbourhood’ are played just before an uncomfortable audience member’s phone starts to ring really rather loud - not to be missed by KC, who mocks the embarrassed punter currently on her way out of the room, “Hello Mom, I’m at a gig… tell her I say Hi.”

Alice’s effortless vocals shine on ‘Cool Like Kurt’ as atmosphere is charged through the lyrics ‘take me to your bed, don’t take me home / I want to be old, I want to be older.’ A gentle cheer is heard as the muddy guitar intro of fan favourite and last song, ‘Talk’ draws near. All in all, there was a mirror ball, felt on the walls and Big Deal. Honestly, what more do you want on a Monday night?

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