Anyone who has a taste for indie music will know who Little Comets are, the band from Tyne and Wear formed in 2009 and were immediately signed to Columbia Records. Having seen some lineup changes, with two of the original members leaving, the existing lineup consists of brothers Michael and Robert Coles, and Matt Hall on bass guitar, plus touring musicians throughout the years.
Little Comets have just finished their UK tour and spent the month of February playing to crowds all over to promote the release of their fourth album Worhead. The previously major label-signed band announced that they would be releasing the album in March on the teeny tiny The Smallest Label (who also released their 2015 Hope Is Just a State of Mind), and after eight months of hard work in the studio, they would be celebrating by going out on tour.
They missed Bristol on their list of album tour dates – an honest mistake, I’m sure – but will be gracing our city this May to headline Thatchers Haze Sessions at the Passenger Shed, alongside Bristol’s very own Elder Island and Eva Lazarus.
It’s an understatement to say that they have grown up in the last few years, not only musically, but also in becoming fathers: ‘We’re not different because we’re dads, it was a natural process – we’re just more responsible now,’ Robert Coles says on their transition from rockers to parenthood.
‘The only thing is, our body clocks are insane – when we’re on tour we are up late and when we’re at home the kids need us at completely different times. It’s like jet lag!’
Little Comets have always been big believers in engaging with their fans, and their tour this time around was no different – introducing the concept of ‘choose your own set list’.
‘We always want to give what the fans want,’ Robert explains. ‘Doing nights where the fans pick the set list means the atmosphere is always full of goodwill and we’re very laidback’.
Although Robert explains that this is only feasible in super-intimate settings of 100 or so people, and so won’t be possible for their Haze Sessions performance – where they’ll be playing a mixture of songs from their back catalogue, and of course, songs from the brand new album.
In another touchingly earnest way to connect with their fans, Robert has been working hard on a side project, creating his lyric canvases – these pieces of artwork go above and beyond the usual merch on offer from bands.
It’s not about making money; it’s about giving back and engaging with our audience
‘Fans really appreciate the little things,’ Robert explains. ‘In the long haul, items like this are personable and special from us to our fans. It’s not about making money; it’s about giving back and engaging with our audience. That’s why we often invite fans to our sound checks.’
In the same vein, Robert discusses his mixed feelings about ticket touts and secondary ticketing services, and why the band tries to limit signed and limited edition CDs to two per customer: ‘The fans are number one to us, so we always do the best we can, however it’s that fine line between business and pleasure!’
It has been a busy couple of months for Little Comets from their album release to their UK tour, and they show no signs of slowing down with many festival dates in the pipeline, including Kendall Calling, Hit the North Festival and, of course, Bristol’s very own Thatchers Haze Sessions.
LITTLE COMETS LIVE: 6 May – Thatchers Haze Sessions, Passenger Shed