little-comets– CLUB ACADEMY, MANCHESTER –

Club Academy is the underground venue in the Manchester University Student Union. It is a venue with a huge amount of seating space at the back and it is sold out this evening for Little Comets. Unfortunately for tonight’s support act Catfish & The Bottlemen, the space at the back means some of the people in attendance stay well away from the stage, leading to a slightly muted atmosphere. A young looking crowd assembles down at the stage to watch them nonetheless. Early in their set there is a hint of style over substance, but they relax into the performance a little and I enjoy the last few songs. The turning point for me, and the stand out song, is ‘Sidewinder’.

A few older faces start to creep towards the stage as we await the arrival of Little Comets. The set begins with new song ‘Little Italy’, which will get an official release later this month as part of The Gentle EP. Frontman Robert Coles apologises to the crowd after the song, saying it’s the first time they have played it live and he “Is sorry to make us guinea pigs”. It isn’t necessary for him to apologise, the song certainly doesn’t sound like an experiment and since it has been available to listen to online since last month a number of the people watching already recognise it.

Next up is a pair of singles from 2012 album Life is Elsewhere: ‘Jennifer’ and ‘A Little Opus’. They stir up a little bit of reaction from the crowd, but in general the atmosphere remains a bit flat. I am personally becoming quite irritated by how many people in the room are just standing around having conversations, the performance from the band certainly merits a more attentive audience. Continuing their set by alternating between album tracks and singles, both ‘Worry’ and ‘Isles’ raise the activity in the crowd a little, but it’s not until we get near the end with ‘Joanna’ and ‘Dancing Song’ that it actually starts to feel like the majority of the people in the room are here to see Little Comets.

There are three new songs played over the course of the evening and it is the second of these, ‘The Blur, the Line and the Thickest of Onions’, that I enjoy the most. Introducing a keyboard in place of one of the guitars results in this song having a slightly different feel to the others played. There are some interesting musical ideas explored in the song, I’m confident there is more to be mined from this particular avenue and I hope the band continue exploring this sound while preparing for their next album.

‘In Blue Music We Trust’ is the penultimate song of the night and I really enjoy it, it builds extremely well and could easily close the show. That accolade instead goes to the third new song ‘Coalition of One’. I have no complaints to make about the performance of the band, the songs were consistently well performed and the new songs played all held their own amongst the established hits. I only hope next time I’m at a Little Comets show I am not surrounded by people who don’t seem particularly interested in watching them.


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Adam Smith

There is nothing I'd rather be doing with my evenings than watching excellently crafted live music. In fact, there isn't much I'd rather be doing than watching half-decent live music. Having too often seen excellent bands fail to garner the attention I believe they deserve, I'm here to spread the good word of the under-appreciated musical performer. I encourage everyone who is reading this to do the same.