One Night in February with Little Comets - XOYO, London - - Soundblab

One Night in February with Little Comets - XOYO, London

by Mark Young Rating: Release Date:

It feels like forever ago that cheeky chappy Geordie clan Little Comets first arrived on the scene. However, they only released their debut album, In Search of Little Comets, a couple of weeks ago. The band were at one of London's trendiest new venues, XOYO, on Tuesday February 15 as part of an extensive nationwide tour to promote it.

The two year gap between the band's first single and the album release is apparently down to a frustrating relationship with record label Columbia, with which the band have since parted ways. On tonight's evidence, their woes seem behind them. The band all but packed out the venue with an early 20-something crowd who received them with raptures.

To call them a poor man's Vampire Weekend seems a little harsh. So too does lumping them into the same group as excruciatingly irritating outfits like The Hoosiers or The Wombats. In truth, they're probably both but they are certainly of a higher quality than the latter two, even if their music isn't a million miles away. Nevertheless, though guiltily maybe, it's actually not too hard to get drawn into the band as they play out their tight, bouncey little sunshine indie tunes with chirpy picked guitar melodies and regular helpings of, "Oh, oh, oh! Ey, ey, ey!" fillers delivered in short, shrill and pronounciated fashion from the frontman.

The band are at their most interesting when they indulge in four-way harmonies, which they do at regular intervals, and when they utilise the arsenal of percussion hanging across a washing line above their heads, consisting of a half-moon tambourine and a large beaded maraca supplemented by what looked suspiciously like a pizza baking tray and a saucepan.

Unfortunately, though, bar a couple of numbers - most notably new single 'Joanna' and first release 'One Night In October' - the songs just aren't that memorable. Most of them begin quite promisingly but they don't tend to go very far and it's often difficult to differentiate from one to the next. Also, the main vocal can begin to grate slightly after a while. In fact, though the crowd were in the main appreciative throughout, giving hearty applause after each number, it wasn't until penultimate song 'One Night in October' that tail feathers really began to shake outside of the first few rows.

The boys are likeable in themselves, perhaps because there's not a hint of pretension about them. They are humble in that softly spoken, dry, nice guy fashion that Tynesiders seem uniquely able to propagate. They thanked the audience - "It's nice for you to come and watch us because there's usually a band on after as a rule" ( I paraphrase) - and span a vaguely entertaining yarn about a scampish little mate that had been arrested a couple of nights previously for a frolicsome robbery of a gym back home. Visually, it's refreshing to see a new indie band turn up in shabby old jumpers with unkempt hair, as the front three did, rather than the now customary Shoreditch school of uber-cool eclectic attire (read 'douchebag chic'). However, adorned in a basketball shirt and beanie skull-cap, the drummer looked like he'd fit in better on stage with Limp Bizkit than the other Little Comets.

All in all, though, it's probably not worth wagering they'll still be about doing the same thing in five years time, Little Comets are likely to entertain a lot of people in the short term with their clean-cut, radio friendly indie pop and the amiable way they deliver it. And they're just about good enough to get away with it for a while.

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