It’s two years and two weeks since Little Comets last played Academy 2 and what a difference that has made. Last time, a very small crowd turned up to see the band play a fantastic show. This time, the venue is sold out.
Lights Camera Sundown are a four piece folk outfit who have been given the task of opening for Little Comets. The quirky band features guitar, cajon, autoharp, fiddle and male and female vocals. Despite not seeing their entire set, your scribe can you tell you these are an interesting bunch and feature excellent fiddle playing. Put seeing these guys on your to do list.
The venue fills up rather quickly before the Little Comets take to the stage. Without fuss, singer Rob Coles, introduces the band and the party begins. That’s what a Little Comets gig is really like; rhythmic catchy tunes that just make you want to dance, and opening track Tricolour sets the pace. The assembled audience is already dancing. The appeal of the Little Comets is shown in the crowd, which is made up of people from their teens to what seems their forties, girls out with their friends, blokes out with their mates for the night, and couples. They all have one thing in common, they sing every word of every song in unison.
Little Comets have been working as a trio since the departure of Mark Harle in 2011, drafting in Greenie for touring duties. Harle was a quite animated drummer but Greenie is solid, without frills, and fits into this role perfectly. They also have a clever and practical way of keeping extra percussive instruments/pots together, by tying them to pieces of rope which hang across the stage. Instead of having to look to the ground to get a tambourine, you just look up.
With two albums and a string of E.P.s under their belt, this really is like a greatest hits from Little Comets, with tracks from their debut, ‘In Search of Elusive Little Comets‘, sitting well with those from their current, ‘Life is Elsewhere‘, despite having slightly darker lyrics. Violence Out Tonight is different with its stark barren sound scape and clever lyrics beautifully and sensitively dealing with rape issues. It gets the attention it deserves.
Onstage, the band are flawless. Rob Coles’ trademark vocals are backed up by Matt Hall on bass and Mickey Coles on guitar. While their sound has previously been described as kitchen sink indie (hey, they’ve got a pot on stage!), influences of ska and reggae can also be heard. Where Little Comets excel, and what makes their live shows so special, is the energy generated from their catchy chorus hooks. They just make you want to sing. One Night in October, Joanna, Jennifer and Adultery are all more than familiar to the audience and even though a lot of them can’t see the band, it doesn’t take away from the fact that they are enjoying the music.
That’s the problem with this venue, the stage is practically on the same level as the audience, and if you’re not in the first couple of rows at the front of the stage, you’re destined to spend the night looking at the back of someone’s head. It’s a pity as the atmosphere is awesome and the band are simply superb.
Little Comets put on a show and a half with the biggest cheer of the night going to fan favourite Dancing Song. If there’s justice in this world they’ll be playing to much bigger audiences, they deserve to be heard.