Live Review: Little Comets with Lisbon and Model Aeroplanes at London Koko – 12th March 2015

By on Tuesday, 24th March 2015 at 2:00 pm
 

In an era when indie rock bands strive to play international arena shows, Little Comets have instead spent the last 7 years capturing adolescent spirits across the UK’s smallest venues. The Tyneside trio have subsequently inspired a dedicated legion of fans and last Thursday night, following on from the release of ‘Hope is Just a State of Mind’ (reviewed by editor Mary here), they brought these fans together at London’s Koko.

Move aside, Kanye: this might have been your patch for a secret show a week ago, but this near sell out crowd was always going to prove very different. Little Comets added fellow Geordies Lisbon to open up, with a short but sweet taster of spritely indie pop. A tight sound and crowd pleasing set offered great variety; from the slow jam catchiness of ‘Blue Love’ that makes these guys a big tip for the future to the other end of the spectrum where the electro-pop grit of big drums and chanting lyrics on ‘I Don’t Know’ and ‘Native’, also sparked appreciation.

Already hotly tipped, Dundee’s Model Aeroplanes were also supporting and showed exactly why they’re commanding so much buzz lately. In short, this lively four-piece are the band to tell all your friends about, with driving rock melodies and an outstanding stage presence. Vocalist Rory Fleming-Stewart delivers youthful lyrics superbly on all occasions, even during the drunken sentiments of ‘Club Low’. “So much regret stuck in your teeth and you’re too proud to pick it out…”, he brims confidently, before changing tact on an upbeat chorus that the entire crowd can chant, “let’s face it we’re wasted, nowhere else to go…”.

This is a band who clearly enjoy their live sets, as Grant Irvine (guitar) and Ben Buist (bass) slid across the stage to add intricate riffs, whilst Kieran Smith gave a flawless performance behind the drums. There is an ever-present air of The Holloways in their jubilant indie refrains, and a tight set that included the likes of ‘Whatever Dress Suits You Better’ and ‘Rollercoaster’, showcased the potential for every track to be a worthy single. Don’t be mistaken by their playful charm, because this band have the showmanship and quality to hit even bigger stages in the next 12 months.

But it was when the headliners arrived that this crowd really started to get interesting. ‘Gift of Sound’ from Little Comets’ latest, independently released album – the first of their three to enter the top 40 album charts at number 31 – begins their set, followed by the timeless Brit-rock swagger of early, first album track ‘Isles’. By this point there are already fans climbing on one another’s shoulders, surging mosh pits and crowd surfing. It’s yet more evidence of how this band have channelled a youthful energy and angst, that other bands find impossible to replicate.

It would be naive however, to think their song writing has remained unchanged, and solely epitomised by these youth-cult classics. For all the excitement and wild scenes provoked by ‘Joanna’ and ‘Dancing Song’, Little Comets have also touched on as many profound and philosophical problems. ‘Woman Woman’ and ‘Violence Out Tonight’ create a chilling atmosphere, and amidst the enthused audience, still command a respectful peace. A respect that is held for just how diverse and thought-provoking this band’s songwriting can be.

They race through nearly 20 songs in all tonight, spanning across all their albums. There’s no encore here, and aside from there simply not being enough time, it would remain impossible to pick a select few to close on. Rob Coles, his brother Mickey and Matthew Hall, have been overcome by the scenes judging by their patter between songs, and it’s easy to see why: tonight undoubtedly highlights why this band are so special. This is a crowd that’s grown up with Little Comets over several years, and every time the band have reinvented themselves and their influences. It makes ‘In Blue Music We Trust’ all the more fitting to close their set, with lofty harmonies and a tale of positivity, and poignancy. Little Comets won’t be burning out anytime soon.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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