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Saturday, 20 April 2013

Little Comets | The Gate Arts Centre Cardiff, Live Review 19/04/2013

Having lived in Cardiff for 3 years as a student it must be said that it's quite shameful on my own part that last night was my first venture to The Gate Arts Centre. A beautifully converted church set in the heart of the city aiming to educate, engage and promote the arts in all its forms.

Tonight it was playing host to a band that for some reason or other I was yet to see live in the 5 or so years I'd been listening. Half way through their current UK tour and still basking in their striking and undeniably well recieved second album 'Life Is Elsewhere' the Geordie four piece that is Little Comets make their way on to Welsh soil for what became a fantastic and enthralling night of live music. 



Denuo


Kicking off the evenings proceedings was the delightful Denuo. Having seen their name appear on numerous line-ups across Cardiff the past few years it was nice to finally catch the North Walians in action. Whilst sadly the crowd was a little apprehensive to make their way down from their seats the band put on a gripping performance fuelled by Tom Mason's expansive vocals.With hard hitting percussion and emotive guitars that bounced around the high ceilings Denuo go a long way to cultivating a high brow maturism that echoes throughout their music. Joined on stage halfway through their set by fellow musician Greta Isaac their three way vocal harmonies provided an uplifting twist to their powerful, captivating sound. A thoroughly enjoyable performance. One I hopefully won't wait so long before seeing again.


George Waite of The Crookes


With the crowd loosened up and the front of the stage becoming ever more populated Sheffield's The Crookes, a band I've been looking forward to seeing for quite some time since missing their last show in Cardiff, took their place. Their crooning 50's inspired Indie acquiescently welcomed with open arms. Playing through a highly energetic set featuring tracks from both 'Chasing After Ghosts' & 'Hold Fast' the band look genuinely pleased to be here which translates well to the young fresh faced audience who are more than happy to join in clapping along to 'Maybe in the Dark'. With a brash sound toned down by piercingly beautiful guitars the crowd is whipped in to a frenzy with such high enthusiasm from both them and band alike. Whilst some of their songs carry a poignant reminder of love & loss the band's laddish charm adds an instigative responsiveness edging you on to dance; Something you can't refuse. Frontman George Waite does his best to entice the remaining fans down to the front (who at this point must have been fighting every temptation to join in the fun) for one final blast of their poetic tenderness before heartwarmingly thanking Little Comets for inviting them out on tour with them. A showstopping display of high flying, jangly guitar-pop that has no doubt earned them some new fans tonight.


Little Comets
 
With a slightly longer wait between transition and everyone suitably rehydrated Little Comets emerge on to the stage in a rather lowly fashion. Despite the band's ever growing recognition that continues to snowball Robert Coles and co. are humble and genuinely appreciative to each and every member of the audience which becomes more and more apparent as the night goes on. Diving straight in to 'Tricolour' they clearly have no intentions to ease us in gently. Their youthful vigour ever present as they blend in to the crescendoing 'Tense/Empty' prompting early singalongs and crowd participation.
Having been an avid supporter since their early days from when they used to perform countless guerrilla gigs crashing supermarket bakery aisles and University lectures with their carefree, fun attitude it's been a joyous experience to watch them mature in to the prominent musicians they've become.

Having attended many gigs in Wales I've sadly had to witness on countless times the less than ecstatic welcome that band's receive but there's no sign of a static crowd tonight. I may even go as far as saying this is the most receptive audience I've seen in Wales for a long time. Even the band have to ask for a little calm as they work their way through their extensive catalogue of tracks playing some of their quieter numbers such as 'Woman Woman' and 'Bridge Burn'. One thing I can say for tonight is that with the majority of the ticket holders under 18 I haven't had to contend with the lager (piss) throwing louts that can often spoil a good atmosphere which makes for a nice change. Damn. Am I really becoming that 'old' guy?

As the set moves in to their arguably most memorable and instantaneously recognisable classics such as 'One Night In October' and 'Dancing Song' it's no bold claim to say the room becomes amped to its highest level. Each and everyone raucously singing back the falsetto styled "woo hoos". With the band continuing to melt songs in to one another Little Comets leave no room to breath as they drive forwards in their mission to cram as many fun filled anthems in to their one hour set as possible. The musicianship on stage in its clear and articulated form paves its way to our hearts, reminding us exactly why we fell in love with Indie music!

My admiration for the band soon outlives its current state as Coles announces (coming as a saddening blow to some) that there will be no encore. Explaining that all meaning has been lost due to the synonomousity of bands writing them in to their sets thus killing the whole spontaneity and apprehension of 'will they/won't they return'. Hence their reason of deciding against them; and quite rightfully so. As they begin to round up what has been a wonderful evening with 'In Blue Music We Trust' through shouted, harmonising vocals and an emotional trait that staggers across the audience I think it's safe to say we can all go home having had our full moneys worth of entertaining fun fuelled Indie-Pop.

If you're heading out to see the band on the remainder of their tour, you're sure in for a treat!

f: www.facebook.com/denuomusic
f: www.facebook.com/thecrookes.music
f: www.facebook.com/littlecomets

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