Little Comets play the kind of kitchen-sink indie that refuses to believe 2005 ever ended, all jaunty guitar riffs and anthemic choruses; their gig tonight at the Cockpit showcases the uncomplicated fun of a good ol’ indie sing-along. By the time the four Geordies are on to first album hit ‘One Night in October’ the venue is shaking more from the waves of dancing youths in the crowd than from the trains running overhead.
The darker undertone to ‘Violence Out Tonight’ – a stark ballad about the complexities of domestic violence – offers a counterpoint to the usual buoyant indie-pop flavour of Little Comets’ hits, and shows that the band have enough depth to instantly transform the mood through the lyrics: “As he fixes her a look / All the innocence that she mistook for charm / Dies in the vacuum of his startling deep emotion.” Little Comets show that they are equally comfortable playing this alongside tunes about obscure French towns (‘Bayonne’ wins the award for quirkiest subject matter).
At the half hour mark, fans’ favourite ‘Bridge Burn’ gets a celebratory play, its chant along chorus (explaining various bridge related metaphors, of course) providing the highlight of the night. The ecstatic mood is perfectly captured when one punter crowd surfs his way to the front and saunters onstage like a teenage Liam Gallagher, before singing boldly into the mic (much to the amusement of the band) and leaping back into the crowd.
The only drawback tonight is that Little Comets played a relatively short set, clocking in at just over an hour. But all in all the band riff their way through the set at a thrilling pace, making you wonder why more bands from the indie golden-era can’t continue to write songs nearly as enjoyable as this.