Little Comets @ Oran Mor, Glasgow, 11 Apr
In the basement of Glasgow’s Oran Mor, Newcastle’s Little Comets face down a talkative audience to deliver a set of indie pop gems with a social conscience
First up tonight is Mattie Vant to show off his latest work-in-progress. It’s a massively varied support slot, taking in everything from stripped-back acoustic guitar to complex loop pedal work and white boy funk, and while plenty here is well-deserving of the in-progress tag there’s also a sense of exploration and possibility that marks him out as one to watch.
Little Comets arrived just as the mid-2000s indie boom was winding down but they seem none the worse for it, building a cult audience who love their homespun aesthetic and endearingly gawky stage presence. Musically, they’re surprisingly ambitious too, flitting from scratchy Vampire Weekend riffs and hiccupping vocal deliveries to kitchen sink tales of urban decay. In fact there are so many hooks that sometimes you wish they’d stick to one idea just a little longer.
With a restless audience it takes a little while for the band to find their groove, not helped by a sound mix that leaves frontman Robert Coles’ vocals far too low. This is a crowd who seem more interested in dancing songs than tales of Grenfell and the horrors of the benefits process – but Little Comets can do both and if, as noted philosopher Andre 3000 once said “Y’all don’t want to hear me, you just want to dance,” then Coles and co seem perfectly grateful nonetheless.
Recent single M62 is a perfect wide-eyed skiffle pop song while the The Man Who Wrote Thriller is a fantastic tribute to Rod Temperton, the reclusive Cleethorpes songsmith, who penned one of the most famous songs of all time.
The final trio of Bridge Burn, Joanna and Dancing Song get arms in the air and feet shuffling. It’s not quite a perfect show but the crowd love them and like any self-respecting comet, half the fun is they’ll keep coming round.