BIG CRY Cool, calm, collective

This year’s line up at Fairbridge Festival might feature a wealth of talent from across the globe, but it also stars a number of exciting acts from our own backyard. Big Cry is a folk fusion act from Fremantle that blends together the styles and members from a number of popular Western Australian bands that you could just about label a local ‘supergroup’. BRAYDEN EDWARDS spoke to frontman Hugh Manning (also known as the oft-shirtless frontman of local post-punks Shit Narnia) to find out how the group came together, where their sound sits on the spectrum between Calmly, Salary, Shit Narnia et al, and what acts they are also looking forward to checking out at Fairbridge Festival this Friday, April 26 to Sunday, April 28.

Some of our readers might not be familiar with Big Cry, but are still likely to know some of your members from other bands. Who makes up the group and do you all play the same instruments as your other acts?

Maisie’s a sick guitarist, she has been playing folk and jazz for a long time in groups like The Lonely Brothers and Brassika but this is her first time playing bass. This is my first time playing guitar. Iven used to play guitar and sing in hardcore bands but he plays synth in Big Cry. Sean (Salary) and Ash (Calmly) play their usual instruments (guitar and drums, respectively), which is good because it means someone knows that they’re doing.

How did Big Cry come together?

I had started learning guitar and writing songs that way and Maisie and I had been talking about starting a band together for ages. We hit up our dream drummer and guitarist and they said yes. Iven waged a long campaign to be allowed in the band so we said he could join if he learnt how to play keys.

For those who haven’t heard you what do you sound like? Where does it sit on the scale between, say Calmly and Shit Narnia?

Very far up the Calmly end. No yelling. Sounds a bit like jangly Australian bands like Dick Diver and Lucksmiths and a bit like sad-sack North American indie rock.

And do you still take your shirt off?

Big Cry are a 100% shirts on band.

Who writes the songs and are they about anything in particular? Is it all as mopey as your name suggests?

They are about heartbreak and queerness and landscapes and science fiction. It’s all pretty sad but hopefully in a cathartic and beautiful way rather than a depressing way.

And what’s on the horizon for Big Cry? Are you releasing any music or having any other shows coming up?

We’re playing at Mojos on Wednesday, May 1 with some great bands, Laurel Fixation, Arrester Bed, Con Art. Then we’re gonna go on break for a bit while we do other stuff.

What are you looking forward to at Fairbridge this year? Any acts you’re keen to check out?

Keen to see New Nausea cause they’re the best band in Perth. Also really excited for Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse who are always heartbreakingly beautiful.

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