Review: Little Comets live @ Manchester Club Academy

Little Comets live in London, 2014 (Photo: Andy Crossland for Live4ever)

Little Comets live in London, 2014 (Photo: Andy Crossland for Live4ever)

Little Comets seem to be all about harmony, both musically and within the world they live.

In the years since first album ‘In Search Of Elusive Little Comets‘ their voice has grown and grown and grown, and today they speak loudly and clearly about the world in which they live – but more important than this clarity is the honesty they bring to the discussion.

What bothers them is often what many people just don’t want to face. And this is probably why it bothers them, but also where much of the power of what they do comes from.

This power is tempered and given purpose by the harmony and balance of their music. They constantly walk a thin line between beauty and panic. The music is harmonic and wonderful, whilst at the same time being powerful and often frantic, these two sides of their personality making the music both compelling and exciting.

From stunning opener ‘The Gift Of Sound’, at the Manchester Club Academy they hammer home everything they are about. This song speaks directly to the audience, and tells them exactly what the band stands for. It’s passionate and encompassing.

It’s this wonderful inter-play between impassioned subject matter and powerful, driving rhythms which truly inspires. Live their sound is infectious, causing excitement and movement in equal turns. The crowd really do get on board with what they are trying to achieve and it’s this reciprocal relationship, this dialogue between band and audience, that makes the performance fascinating to watch.

The brothers Coles seem to feed off the crowd and their acceptance, pushing them to go further and further. There is no half-measure, no one is sold short. Brilliant versions of ‘Little Italy’, ‘Joanna’ and ‘One Night In October’ keep the evening moving at pace while a beautiful version of ‘My Boy William’ doesn’t lose any of the beauty of the recorded version.

It is a wonderful and vital set of songs. The tempo and rhythms ensure that the pace and mood of the evening never dips, even when the subject matter or messages are at their most visceral or bitingly honest. Again, it is their ability to be able to balance these sides of their personality and in doing so create something cohesive and powerful that brings the true excitement of Little Comets out.

Little Comets breathe life into their music – in fact these songs have never felt so alive and energised. The band over the years have found their sound, and now fully understand how to use this to its full intensity. They can manoeuvre and shift whenever necessary, never sounding stilted or as if going through the motions.

Live they are a band that really conveys the joy and passion they feel about music, and this is just as much of a joy to watch. The more independent they become, the more individual they are becoming. And it’s their wonderful ability to balance their individuality, their energy and their voice that makes them such an exciting proposition today.

They are no longer a little comets, they are burning brighter than ever.

(Dylan Llewellyn-Nunes)

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