Little Comets

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:

January 17 2011 sees the release of 'Joanna', the new single by Newcastle's Little Comets. Closely followed by their debut album In Search of Elusive Little Comets on January 31 and a nationwide tour throughout February (see below). So with that little lot pending, we thought we'd pin them down and asked them what floats their boat, here's what they had to say...

Our main Influences:

It is always hard trying to condense our influences into sentences or paragraphs as they are wide-ranging and constantly changing. I definitely think that our thought processes when writing are just the manifestation of whatever is abounding in our heads at that time, whether a piece of music we've heard, a story, a hint, an allegation or the weather...

A friend of ours once said that he didn't think that songs were the property of any person in particular; they float about in the ether just waiting to be caught or might happen to fall on an unsuspecting commuter. The person becomes the property of the song.

All that said, if I had to try to pinpoint our influences I'd go for the following:

BOOKS

By accident or purpose we've managed to stumble across some amazing authors in the past few years. Many have directly influenced us in terms of syntax, hue and language (Jonathan Safran Foer in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Carol Ann Duffy's Standing Female Nude, Seamus Heaney or Louis De Bernieres' use of objectification), and way in which different allignments of words can enhance the emotional quality of a story. Others just make us feel a certain way, like the moribund oppressive negativity of Franz Kafka, the esoteric nonchalance of Milan Kundera or Roald Dahl's imagination. So by either putting us in a certain mood, or showing us how to get a telephone's unique perspective of a social dilemma, we get power from reading!

REHEARSAL SPACES AND OUR ENVIRONMENT

Now these have many variables in terms of directly influencing our writing: we tend to construct musically first, developing a tune and chord structure before tackling lyrics later... So if we are in a cold space we need to play energetically and quickly in order to avoid limb problems, in a house we might have to be quieter so will compose more thoughtfully. If we have a view from a window then that may be whacked subconsciously into a tune. A good example is in Newcastle - our urban environment in a rehearsing sense is quite cold and bleak so we tend to attempt to counteract this visual chill factor with more upbeat music.

PAUL SIMON

Wow, we love Paul Simon. The first CD I ever got was The Paul Simon Anthology and it is the most played thing I own. My favourite ever bass part is 'Slip Slidin' Away'. Lyrically, Graceland has some lovely imagery; in terms of a changing soundscape his career is pretty progressive but constantly interesting and challenging, and that is without mentioning 'Bookends'... The coolest thing ever was when we used a slight whirring sample from the end of one of his songs. In order to get clearance he had to listen to 'One Night in October' and apparently liked it... That is pretty bizarre.

NEWCASTLE AND THE NORTH-EAST

An isolated little place full of eccentricities and pride, and as our home it plays a large part in our identity as a band. I think if you listen to a lot of Northumbrian music, it has a distinct way of phrasing notes that is constant in our region's musical output. Despite being massively different in reason and denouement people like Kathryn Tickell, Sting, Mark Knopfler and Maximo Park all share the distinctive fingerprints of the North East in their melodies.

Catch Little Comets on tour next month and into February:

28 Jan LIVERPOOL Shipping Forecast
29 Jan GLASGOW King Tuts
30 Jan HULL Fruit
31 Jan MANCHESTER Academy 3
02 Feb LEEDS Cockpit
03 Feb NOTTINGHAM Bodega
05 Feb CAMBRIDGE Haymakers
06 Feb BIRMINGHAM Academy 3
08 Feb EXETER Cavern
09 Feb BRIGHTON Audio
10 Feb BRISTOL Start the Bus - FREE
11 Feb CARDIFF Arts Centre
14 Feb SOUTHAMPTON Joiners
15 Feb LONDON XOYO
16 Feb OXFORD Jericho Tavern
17 Feb NORWICH Arts Centre
18 Feb EDINBURGH Cabaret Voltaire
26 Feb NEWCASTLE Northumbria Uni

Check out this video from the advent calendar:

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