”I … did my level best to try and find every fault I could in the song; this was a difficult task considering that what I was hearing seemed flawless”
I remember the first time I ever heard Little Comets. The year was 2011 and I had just come out of my emo kid Black Parade phase and had just entered the Indie kid ‘tartan shirt’ stage in a big way. If it didn’t have twiddly guitar riffs, funky bass lines and lyrics that were so deep that even the singer didn’t quite understand them, I wasn’t interested. My good friend Sam, who still to this day remains the oracle of music taste, told me to stop whatever I was doing and listen to this track he’d just put on his iPod called “Dancing Song”. I thought the title was a bit naff and did my level best to try and find every fault I could in the song; this was a difficult task considering that what I was hearing seemed flawless. It was an excitement about music that I’ve only felt a handful of times; I got it when I listened to Taking Back Sunday for the first time, when I listened to InMe for the first time, and most recently, when I listened to Little Comets for the first time.
In the recent past, my love affair with the band dwindled a little as the wait for new material seemed to never end. However, when it was mentioned at the last LSRadio Music Team meeting that we were covering their gig which was in place to promote their new material, I jumped at the opportunity alongside cameraman Ben Plumpton. In all of my years as a fan, I’d never actually seen them live but had heard great things; when the opportunity for an interview arose as well, it was a no brainer.
So, the gig itself. We’d been worried in the build-up that it wouldn’t actually happen as the lead singer Robert Coles had been dealing with a throat infection, forcing the band to postpone four dates the week before. Luckily the show went on and they opened the proceedings with ‘’Tense/Empty’’ from their second album Life Is Elsewhere. The sound was tight, energetic, everything that I had come to expect from the band. Whilst he did an excellent job considering the circumstances, it was still obvious that lead singer Rob was not at full fitness. His usual high, soaring vocals wouldn’t have been able to survive the illness so the songs had to be lowered by a couple of keys which negated that bright sound that they have become renowned for. At the end of the set he was apologetic; you could tell that he felt much the same way about their sound. Having said this, it didn’t ruin the experience by any stretch of the imagination. The crowd knew the situation and sympathised with it; it also served as an opportunity to showcase how great the other elements of their music is. The harmonies provided by Mickey (guitar) and Matt (bass) were on point whilst their on stage chemistry and musicianship was second to none. They also changed up the structure of a few of the songs which made it a refreshing novelty experience for fans like myself who have the heard the songs in their original form potentially hundreds of times.
Following a few previews at the gig, Hope Is Just A State Of Mind is set to be another great album. In the context of the gig for the reasons listed above I couldn’t quite grasp exactly what it’s going to be all about, but the songs they played seemed strong and it is set to be the return that Little Comets fans have been hoping for.
Words: Tom Anderson