A near-capacity Komedia in Bath played host to indie rock trio Little Comets last Friday, marking the penultimate date of their nine venue UK tour. The band’s February dates across the UK followed a short European tour last November in support of their February 2015 release, Hope Is Just a State of Mind. In addition to founding members Robert and Michael Coles and Matt Hall, the band’s live ensemble also included Matthew Saxon and Nathan Greene, who provided guitar and drum support respectively.
The up-and-coming Hippo Campus, originally from Minnesota, opened the night with a brief but nonetheless energetic supporting set. The band, in particular flamboyant lead singer Jake Luppen, succeeded in engaging the already bustling crowd and inducing an infectious atmosphere for the majority of the audience, especially with the repetitive ‘South’ and an animated rendition of ‘Little Grace’.
Indeed, the two-tiered venue excelled in terms of acoustics but arguably lacked visually compared to other venues I have experienced of a similar scale. But, after a short interval, Little Comets’ introduction soon overshadowed this. I must admit I was not Little Comets’ biggest fan prior to this gig, but my position near the front of the crowd allowed me to fully appreciate a band of real quality in a relatively intimate venue.
‘Little Italy’ represented a reserved opener for the Tyne and Wear band, which was met with limited vocal support from the front rows. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Little Comets’ older tracks from their first album, In Search of Elusive Little Comets, such as the anthemic ‘One Night in October’ and ‘Joanna’ were better received than those from their latest record Hope Is Just a State of Mind. In spite of this, frontman Robert Coles’ vocals were generally assured over the course of the emotive and diverse set, most notably in the more demanding ‘The Gift of Sound’ and ‘B&B’, some of the band’s newer releases.
Other notable tracks from their first record included the addictive crowd-pleaser ‘Adultery’ and ‘Dancing Song’, which achieved exactly that, further energising a suitably raucous crowd. A personal favourite of mine, ‘Little Opus’ concluded the set and its chorus bellowed harmoniously around the venue and generated a rapturous applause. The lack of an encore was somewhat disappointing and would have capped off what was an otherwise enjoyable evening of upbeat indie rock.
Little Comets have just announced their first festival appearance of the summer, at Lindisfarne Festival on the Northumberland coast. The band will appear alongside the likes of The Cuban Brothers, Beardyman and C Duncan between 1st and 4th of September.