Little Comets recently tweeted “Tour done and dusted after last night at Koko. Massive thanks to everyone who came out and supported us, means so much.” I met up with Rob, Matt and Mickey at their Portsmouth date at the Wedgewood Rooms.
How’s your tour going?
Rob: Very well. Normally by this point in the tour we’ve all got some illness but we’re all in pretty good spirits. It doesn’t usually go quickly, but I’d say this time it has, it’s really flown by!
Any favourite venues so far?
Rob: I think it’s evolved as the tour’s gone on. The first night was a really big lovely venue called The Ritz in Manchester. Normally we’ll ask to start with a quite a small venue. We ended up playing a really good gig, which gave us a lot of confidence! Newcastle was in a fantastic venue as well, that was amazing that gig! Leeds was great. Sheffield was a smaller room but the Sheffield crowds just go completely wild. It’s been really good!
Have you been to Portsmouth before?
Never! Been to Southampton though.
So, while you’re on tour, have you got any music that you’ve been listening to in the bus?
The Smiths, Jimmi Hendrix, Outkast. A bit of Delphic as well!
Delphic, who you supported in Southampton!
We did yes! First album. A bit of Jeff Buckley is a staple, a lot Darwin Deez as well.
Does anyone take charge of the music?
Rob: The rule is meant to be whoever is driving. But Steve does most of the driving – he’ll have Radio 1 on, it’s just awful music.
I love 6music but you can’t get that in the car. You have to buy a special thing that makes it work.
Matt: Can you? You can get XFM in certain places.
Rob: Stations like XFM and 6music play music that they actually like! It’s lovely to be played by people like Steve Lamaq who we’ve known from being little. He was kinda like our Zane Lowe. Or our John Peel! It’s really nice that Steve Lamaq likes us.
Your new album, Life Is Elsewhere, is out now, it’s really cool! Are there any favourites that you like to play live?
Rob: We’re really enjoying playing ‘Western Boy’ at the moment. We were a bit worried about it before rehearsing it, but it’s grown on us.
There’s lots of percussion sounds, are there any weird things you’ve used as instruments?
Rob: Yeah for the percussion track on ‘Western Boy’, for one of the sounds, it was a shaker. We didn’t have a shaker so I got a pair of scissors. We wanted a high percussion noise, so I just shouted a high percussion noise. Sand paper as well!
Do you think that you’ve grown into your sound more since your first album?
Rob: I think the process of writing is very different this time. I think when we wrote the first album, it was in a rehearsal room, and we weren’t writing songs for an album, we were just writing songs. It was just the three of us and a drummer. When you’ve got somebody driving the melody and driving the chords, you just need the rhythm part to be very simple. You have to keep it quite regimented – the song structure and the time signature.
Whereas when we wrote a lot of the songs for this album, it was just me and Mickey, so there were no constraints. I think we could just play it, and I could just do what I wanted. Working that way round was a lot more free to just write songs. We’d just record them and demo them and the demo was part of the writing process as well. It worked quite well, the studio we went into was quite homely, well, it was a home, in Worcestershire. It was a big, big house. It was really pleasant, the couple who own it and run it are really really lovely, Moira makes lovely scones, and we always love to have a cup of tea!
Who’s idea was the name Little Comets?
Rob: You hear all these ridiculous reasons for band names. Most bands come up with names by just sitting in a room and going “Right, we need a name” and choose the least worse one. Our least worse one was Little Comets. We went through a period where we made up reasons why we were called that. You get some good reasons! My favourite one was that an angel came in my dream and said you should call yourselves Little Comets…
Is your scarf (Rob) to do with football, or are you just cold?
Rob: I needed a scarf today, and this is the only one I had in the house. I’ve had it since I was about ten! It’s a Sunderland one. Some Irish bloke came up to us in the bar and he said “That’s a Manchester United scarf from 1965, you should give it to me because I’m a Manchester United fan!”. That was a really bad Irish accent! I was like “Nah, you’re alright”. He wanted to swap it!
Matt: Someone nicked my scarf off stage, I ran after them outside the venue to get it back! It was wrapped round the stand. There was no security or barriers at the Cockpit, that’s what’s great about the venue! The downside it that things get taken off stage when you really don’t want them to!
Rob: Glad you wanted to come back and interview us, not a lot of people do!
Little Comet’s second album, Life Is Elsewhere, is out now! They were supported by a band called General Fiasco in Portsmouth. They were fantastic too, check out their page here.