Review: Little Comets at Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth

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Dance-y

An honorary sing-a-long/dance party to England’s best kept indie secret

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If you’re looking for a band who are as unique as they are talented then you need Little Comets in your life. It astonishes me how the Wedgewood Rooms wasn’t full to the brim. Nevertheless, this offered up more room to dance, which is definitely something that is required if you’re watching these guys. Kicking off proceedings with two tunes from their sophomore album, ‘Worry’ and ‘Jennifer’. This allowed the crowd to warm up both their singing voices and dancing feet as these songs switch from charming vocals to catchy guitar riffs so elegantly. They then moved through a selection of old and new tracks from the extensive Little Comets back catalogue, which consists of four full-length albums interspersed with excellent EPs.

New and upcoming bands Drusilla and Pioneers had played prior, who helped with warming up the crowd. Particularly the Southampton-based Pioneers with their tracks upbeat tempos and the clever use of an acoustic guitar and some classy covers; ‘You’re Gorgeous’ and a bit of ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love with You’. There was no ‘Lost Time’ with it being a ‘Common Thing’ that Comets would play banger after banger, each one met with excitement by the Pompey crowd. In a short gap, lead singer Rob Coles introduced the band, the core members consisting of his brother Michael Coles on lead guitar and Matt Hall on bass (who gave me a free poster when he was manning the merch stand so is therefore obviously the best band member). Making up the line-up were touring musicians, drummer Nathan Greene and Matt Saxon who pretty much played a bit of everything. Coles described them as a mix of Geordies and Brummies, then proceeded to play recently released single ‘M62’, which just for the record, does not go past Newcastle or Birmingham. Nonetheless, the only logistical confusion people would have been worried about is how such a good lyrical hook can be followed by such a brilliant guitar hook as Comets raced us down the trans-Pennine motorway.

Midway through the set, Coles spoke to the crowd about how they set off to personally rerecord their first album In Search of Elusive Little Comets for vinyl after a dispute with their record label. He explained how the experience became more than just re-recording of the record for its 10-year anniversary, becoming very sentimental for the band. Subsequently, huge hits from said album were blasted out, such as ‘Her Black Eyes’ and ‘Adultery’ with minor edits to their original recording, but still sounding fantastic nevertheless. I think throughout their set they must have got through the entire first album, ending with two huge hits from it: ‘One Night in October’ and ‘Dancing Song’. Coles said a few heartfelt words thanking the crowd and the support acts, seeming genuinely humble, before ending with their latest single ‘3-Minute Falz’. A track that has been praised for its brilliant lyricism relating to some of the big problems we face in today’s world.

A shout out to two long-haired, head-banging, middle-aged gentleman who did not move from the front for the entire gig. I recognise you from the last time I saw Little Comets at Wedgewood rooms when they supported The Pigeon Detectives. You seemed to be loving them as much now as you did then and no wonder why, they’re legendary and so too are you, good sirs.

Tickets for the remainder of Little Comets’ UK tour are available here

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