Famed for their impromptu gigs in unorthodox venues, North East four-piece Little Comets' blend of tricky percussive rhythms and Afro-beat-tinged guitars has seen them labeled as the British Vampire Weekend.
Hailing from Sunderland and Newcastle, brothers Robert (lead vocals, guitar) and Michael (lead guitar) Coles, bassist Matt Hall, and drummer Mark Harle formed the band in 2008. With influences as varied as Debussy, Paul Simon, and Roald Dahl, they released their first single, "One Night in October," a year later, which reached number three in the U.K. indie charts. Inspired by a YouTube video of a busker singing Michael Jackson songs on the New York subway, the group decided to showcase its sound with spontaneous live shows in places as diverse as university lecture halls, the Metro, and the bakery aisle of a Marks & Spencer store. This maverick approach attracted the attention of Columbia Records, who promptly signed the band in 2009. After supporting the Twang, Hockey, and the Noisettes on their U.K. tours, they traveled to France to record their self-produced debut album. However, they parted company with Columbia before it was released, with the band claiming "it didn't sound enough like Kesha" for the label. "Isles," their first single with independent label Dirty Hit Ltd., was released at the end of 2010. In May 2011, drummer Mark Harle announced he was leaving the band. The re-grouped and released their second studio album Life Is Elsewhere in October 2012. For the third record, 2015's Hope Is Just a State of Mind, the band switched to the Smallest Label, which would also release their fourth studio album, Worhead, in 2017. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi