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Page last updated at 16:24 GMT, Monday, 11 January 2010
Bakery gig? It must be Little Comets

Kristie Kinghorn
By Kristie Kinghorn
BBC Tyne

Little Comets. Photo: Tom Beard
Little Comets - Rob, Mickey, Mark and Matt

Little Comets are no regular band. If you're looking to catch them live you're more likely to find them playing on your Metro journey home or charging into your university lecture than at an arena.

The Tyneside band are well known for taking inopportune moments to promote their melodic sound. With unofficial police warnings, they're a band who stop at nothing to entertain their fans.

Having been together nearly two years, they have delighted their followers with gigs in universities, on public transport and even in Marks and Spencer.

Little Comets are made up of singer Robert Coles, 25, guitarist Michael (Mickey) Coles, 24, drummer Mark Harle, 24, and bassist Matt Hall, 22.

Frontman Rob told us the idea for their quirky gigs came from a member of the band:

"The idea came from Mickey, after he saw a video on YouTube of a guy singing Michael Jackson songs on the subway in New York.

"He had the idea that the band could do impromptu gigs on the Metro. It took a lot of persuading for us to agree to it, but we did in the end."

Front man Rob at Evolution Festival in Newcastle in 2009
Front man Rob at Evolution Festival in Newcastle in 2009

Music on the Metro

There were a few false starts before the band got the bottle to climb aboard the Metro to entertain Tyneside's commuters, but it turned out to be a good move.

"We deliberately picked a busy time of the day to do it, going from West Jesmond to Central Station," Rob said.

"We had no bother and the people really enjoyed it, they were bemused because it was the last thing they were expecting.

"We would go on the back carriage so that the driver was unaware we were playing. Once we tried the front carriage, but the driver heard us and stopped the train.

"After a few gigs on the Metro it turned into a tactical battle with Nexus because they were almost expecting it."

Gate-crashers

The Metro now being a no-go area, they had to look elsewhere to satisfy their new found love for their off-the-cuff gigs.

It's a lot more personal as the crowd are so close, so it's easier to make a connection with them
Rob, Little Comets

Now when they go on tour, instead of staying in their hotel room between shows, they spend their spare time gate-crashing university lectures.

Rob said the best one yet was in Salford:

"Two of us scour the university for security guards and after we work out our plan we enter the lectures and start playing.

"[In Salford] the lecturer had gone for a cup of tea and he had left the students watching a film.

"We stormed in, stopped the film and started playing. The students went mad."

Band in the bakery

Continuing their search for a venue with a difference, last year the band decided to ambush department store Marks and Spencer in Newcastle.

It turned out to be their most successful unconventional gig with a video of it ending up on YouTube

Rob said: "We had a sold-out gig in Newcastle last year so we decided we would do a free gig in the bakery aisle in Marks and Spencer.

"We mentioned it on our Twitter and Myspace page and Nihal from Radio 1 read it out on air so a lot more people ended up turning up.

at Evolution Festival in Newcastle in 2009
Guitarist Mickey from the Little Comets at Evolution Festival in 2009

"The security guards were fine and they were smiling when they chucked us out. I think they saw the funny side of it.

"We went to do it in the bus station outside but the security moved us from there as well. We ended up doing it outside on the steps."

The band are avoiding their impromptu gigs for a while after they were warned by police, following their Marks and Spencer gig, that they would be arrested if they did it again.

However, Rob said they do prefer their spontaneous gigs over proper venues:

"It's a nice change and it's great to do something for free for the people who enjoy our music.

"It's a lot more personal as the crowd are so close, so it's easier to make a connection with them. It's sometimes difficult at a proper venue, especially when there's barriers."

The group are hoping to announce a new tour in March 2010 and release a new single.

Find out more at: The Little Comets website




SEE ALSO
Introducing: Little Comets
12 Jan 10 |  BBC Introducing

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