Looking for Alice Costelloe and Kacey Underwood’s band online isn’t very fruitful. Among the search results is an actually awful pub rock combo, but tonight, on a charming Dutch barge on the Southern bank of the Thames, Big Deal are the focus of everyone’s attention.
The US/UK boy/girl duo could not have chosen a better location to celebrate the release of their album, ‘Lights Out’. No matter where you’re standing, you’re never further than seven feet away from the band and the vessel sways gently back and forth in time to the music. Big Deal’s set is only really revelatory if you haven’t heard their devastatingly simple, gorgeous combination of acoustic and fuzz guitars, topped with textbook harmonies before, but it’s great to see how the two of them manage to fill the room with single-note riffs and Jesus & Mary Chain barre chords (her) and earnest strumming and puppy dog eyes (him).
Their post-coital shoegaze might, to the casual listener, appear slightly samey, but the choruses in the beautiful lament of ‘Talk’ (“All I wanna do is talk/but seeing you fucks me up”) and the jangly ‘Distant Neighborhood’ are huge, and will no doubt reverberate around countless bedrooms – and possibly boats – before the year is out.
By Matthias Scherer
Originally published in issue 31 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. September 2011.