- Wed, 2010-11-10 13:24
Little Comets @ The Lumiere, Kilburn, London 03/11/10
Little Comets have to be the best-humoured band in the country just now. They always, without fail, turn in a frenetically energetic live show, their enthusiasm absurdly and contagiously high. This consistency alone would be enough to impress, but when seen in the context of their back-story it becomes all the more remarkable.
The four lads from Newcastle and Sunderland released their debut single, One Night In October, back in February 2009 and spent the subsequent months as any hopeful young band should; drumming up excitement and gigging like hell. It paid off, and Columbia swooped in and signed them. In 2009’s dying days the boys finished mastering their debut album, which the label planned to release in early 2010. Then it all went pear-shaped. Columbia decided that the band “didn’t sound enough like Ke$ha,” so Little Comets told them to get stuffed. Cue a long and bitter battle to wrest back control of their album.
All of which means that tonight, some 21 months after releasing their first single, Little Comets would be perfectly within their rights to be a tad cheesed off that they’re still playing a largely unchanged set of songs to a similar quantity of people as they were back at the beginning of 2009. Far from it though, tonight’s show is a typically impassioned one.
The band’s fusion of staccato gang vocals, afro-beat rhythms and bright, restless melodies exudes exuberance, and favourites Joanna and Matilda delight the large crowd immediately. Her Black Eye and current single Isles allow Little Comets to air a more serious side whilst preserving a buoyant undertone, delivering sharp and observational lyrics that manage to deal with heavy subjects without sounding trite or contrived.
Friday Don’t Need It re-introduces the party atmosphere, and the vocal harmonies at its climax are particularly spectacular. A new song follows, preventing the audience from singing along for the first time tonight, but Adultery - mischievously dedicated to the newlywed drummer Mark - sees the crowd joining in again from the off. By now drenched in sweat, the boys finish things off with a rabble-rousing duo of One Night In October and Dancing Song, throughout which both the band and the masses do indeed dance.
It’s no wonder that Little Comets are note-perfect, given the time they’ve had to perfect their live set, but it’s astonishing that they can still deliver it with such vivacity. Such is the enthusiasm in the room tonight - from on-stage and off - that the gig feels like a triumphant homecoming when it is in fact just another stop on the tour. When their time finally comes Little Comets are going to be huge.