Live Review

Comet Gain, The Lexington, London

Everything jolts and convulses with raw devotion.

‘Will you take me, will you take me, to the movies, I’m feeling groovy*’. The chorus staggers, rises, repeats. It’s been staggering and repeating for, what, ten minutes? An hour? A year? Half a lifetime?

In 1994 I bought the ‘Holloway Sweethearts’ EP. Had never heard of Comet Gain but handed vinyl and cash to a Selectadisc worker bee because it looked real, and by real I mean authentic. No, not authentic, can’t stand that word. But something like authentic. Maybe real is enough? Hyperbole is trite, so will reign this in: It changed everything. Too much? Ok, it did what all important records do. Shook things up, opened eyes and ears, asked questions, gave answers. Nothing I was listening to sounded like it; nothing was so rough, so ready and, yeah, so real. ‘Kids At The Club’ weighed in at exactly 2 minutes 59 seconds. That’s got to be on purpose right? That’s genius isn’t it? That’s the three minute pop song in pieces. Had a mixtape / CD / playlist from me? ‘Goodbye Part One’ not on there? Sorry, probably never liked you that much. Réalistes might be their defining moment, but every record is a magnificent slab of dancing songs, top deck of the bus songs, songs that burst your heart. Or to put it simply; Comet Gain songs. They were my scuffed-up indiepop romance route to Dexy’s, Motown and Northern Soul, so really I owe them the world.

Why’s its taken so long to see them then? Here’s a theory: Fear. The dread of them failing to match expectations or, worse and better, being more special than I dared hope. The theory’s not true. I’m lying to you. I shouldn’t lie to you. It’s been logistics, clashes and them hardly ever seeming to play. And. And it’s everything. It’s haphazard, stumbling and kind of tattered but it’s the haphazard, stumbling and tattered you want. The kind that keeps it human, attainable and, yeah - here we go again - real. Do they play the tracks I’m 17 years late for? No, but it just doesn‘t matter. Not when everything jolts and convulses with raw devotion, not when every blessed moment is charged by an unwavering faith in the absolute truth and redemptive power of falling in love, 45s, good movies, London streets and dancing as hard as your soul and feet will let you. These foot-stompers, floor-shakers, finger-clicking heartbreakers (their words, not mine - theirs are better) take me right back to that feeling in ‘94. Half a lifetime flashes by and it’s back to ‘Will you take me, will you take me…’ staggering, rising and repeating again, and I kind of hope it never stops.

* only Comet Gain can say ‘groovy’ and get away with it. Please don’t try.

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