Catch The Big Moon total eclipse in Preston

The Big Moon are playing in Preston on Monday

A quintessential discussion about the Great British weather is always a sign that you are on track for a sure-fire great interview, and Celia Archer, bass player of all-female indie band The Big Moon, played her part perfectly.

"Is the weather nice where you are? It's a really sunny day in London," she asks.

When I replied that it was raining, and that it always rains in Preston she was surprised. "I don't think it was raining last time I went to Preston," she says. And when I told her she must have been lucky, she agreed, adding: "Maybe it will be the same next time we come for the gig. We'll bring the sunshine."

And The Big Moon should be feeling sunny, for they are setting off on this latest tour on the back of a Mercury Prize nomination for their debut record Love in the Fourth Dimension.

"It was amazing. And incredibly exciting being nominated and then playing the show was so much fun. It was all a bit surreal and dreamlike, and now it is over you're like, 'Did that really happen? Were we really there?' But luckily it is on YouTube for posterity so every time you think that it wasn't real we can just Google it and be like, 'Nope we did it, it was great'.

"But it was crazy and fun and such an amazing thing to be part of."

The Big Moon were probably the smallest band nominated this year, alongside eventual winner Sampha, and other artists Alt J, Blossoms and Stormzy.

Celia said: "What's really great about the Mercurys is that it is a cross section of the best music in all the different genres, and kinda like a snapshot of what the whole of the British music scene is producing. It was amazing to be nominated for an award alongside Stormzy. I mean, what other awards would we be in the same category as Stormzy?

"And I think that is really great because then you aren't sectioning people off or trying to define music too closely, or separating people, which is great. I quite like that."

It has been a long, hard and busy summer for the band, playing the Radio 1 Big Weekend, Glastonbury and Reading and Leeds festivals, to name but a few - and at one point they played four festivals in just one weekend!

"When we played Big Weekend we were doing this other festival called Dot to Dot as well, so that's a festival that happens in Bristol, Manchester and Nottingham, so we did all of those and Big Weekend, which was in Hull, in one weekend, so it's like four festivas in a weekend. Just like a fun rock 'n' roll marathon!

"And we did a three-week tour of America as well. We went out with Marika Hackman, as we played on her album. So we also played on her show. And we did our own show. So we did two shows a night."

You supported yourselves?

"Yeah - we supported ourselves. Which is great because then you know you are going to like the support band!"

Love in the Fourth Dimension was released in April this year and was favourably received.

"Getting the album out was a dream come true for all of us. And that is partly the thing that happens when you grow slowly and steadily. You forget that this is something that we all never believed would happen when we were teenagers.

"Everyone has their dream and that was mine.

"And then to have that album out and go, 'Oh my god, we did this. We got a record deal. We made an album and it is in shops and you can go in to the shops and buy the album that we made and it gets played on Radio One and we got to play at Rough Trade, and tour it round the world.'

"And now that has become our job it is good to have moments like that, like the Mercurys and like the actual album release date where you can can look at what is going, take a step out and look at it and say, 'This is amazing. This is special'.

"And we are very, very lucky and incredibly grateful to everyone who has allowed us to keep doing this. Which is why I like going out and playing shows."

The Big Moon's upcoming gig in Preston isn't their first visit to the city (when incredibly it wasn't raining), for the band supported The Mystery Jets at 53 Degrees last year. And Celia was pleased to hear that the location they are playing this time round is the most up-and-coming new place in Preston - LiVe Venue at the Guild Hall.

"This tour is going to be so good. We are really excited for it. It's really long and it means we get to go to all the places we don't normally get to go to. This time we are going to places like Hebden Bridge, Middlesborough, Aberdeen, Coventry and Preston!

"A few of them are sold out already and a few are very close to capacity and we are so excited."

And what should people expect on the night?

"We are going to play a new song that Jules has just written, so there's going to be new music. We are going to play some songs we've never played before - like B-sides that we've never played live. And Jules is going to play a stint.

"And we are going to swap instruments - but not in a lame way!

"It will be really fun. We are going to have a lot of beer!"

Catch The Big Moon at Preston's LiVe Venue on Monday, October 2. Doors open at 7pm and tickets are £11. Available online at https://prestonguildhall.co.uk/shows/the-big-moon/ or via the box office on 01772 80 44 44.

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