Almost two years ago, while on a small trip to London, I got to see Comet Gain live for the first time, at a small venue called the Verge in Kentish Town. By that time, they had just released the fantastic single 'You Can Hide Your Love Forever', and as I bought that very single while on the same trip to London, I had not yet had the chance to listen to it. So, prior to this gig (where also Free Loan Investments from Sweden and Airport Girl played), I had only heard a few songs by the band, among them 'Say Yes', which to this day remains one of their finest moments!

Later that year I really began to like the London-based Comet Gain, and I wanted to see them play live again. It turned out it would take almost two years, and then it was on Kulturbolaget (or KB as it’s often abbreviated) in Malmo. I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard that they were coming here! As you might have guessed, we are not very used to having great bands playing in Sweden…

The evening started off with a band from Gothenburg called Buck, and as there is a slim chance that a member of that band might read this, I won’t write too much about them. But let me just say that they might have been listening a bit too much to old grunge records lately.

Then one of the most talked-about bands in Sweden at the moment, the Radio Dept, entered the stage, and now I don’t have to be scared of band members reading what I have to say about them, as I am sure they would be happy if they did. They have just released their first album, 'Lesser Matters' on the Swedish Labrador label (and also on Shelflife in the US), and it is very very good. It was also obvious to me this evening that they are a great live band too! My favourite song off the album is probably 'Why Won’t You Talk about It', which is located somewhere between the Jesus and Mary Chain and the Clientele, and it was fabulous to see three guitarists hammer along to the simple beat from the drum-machine and Johan Duncansson’s whispering voice.

And then, with one hour to go before a new day was to begin, Comet Gain got up on stage. I didn’t really realise that they had begun playing at first, as singer and guitarist David Feck was just strumming his guitar a little and talking into the microphone. But then they kicked off and I got to re-live those memories I had from their London gig. David also appeared to be in a good mood this evening, and when his guitar broke down halfway through the set, the rest of the band played an ad-lib blues song, which reminded me a bit of an old song by Thee Headcoatees. Maybe it was. The vocals were handled by Rachel Evans, who was quite energetic, jumping around the stage with the microphone in her hand. David cheered them along. When he finally got his guitar back from the technician, they launched into that brilliant song I mentioned earlier, 'You Can Hide Your Love Forever', and even though it sounded great, it was not as good as on the single. It got more rough and loud on stage, and while that can be a good thing for some songs, it’s not very good for other songs. Later in the set, they also played 'Strength', which was a fantastic pop song on record as well, but on stage it got a bit too punky. I think that was the main reason why the songs from their latest effort, 'Réalistes;, were the best ones of the evening, like 'Why I Try to Look So Bad' and the marvellous 'The Kids at the Club'. One of the funnier moments occured when a girl in the audience shouted for 'Hideaway', a song off the brilliant ''Say Yes'-EP, of six years ago or so. “You must be kidding?” was David’s answer to her request and then went on about how the band were made up of hired studio musicians and that they didn't know any of the older songs.

With 'The Kids at the Club' still ringing in my ears I walked out into the cold Malmo night. I was very pleased with the evening and how it turned out. I was also happy that I don’t have to go to the Emmaboda festival this summer. There are only two bands that I really want to see there so far, and one of them are Comet Gain. The other one is Tullycraft, and it seems they will play in Malmo too when they come here in August. Whoo-hoo!


The photographs that accompany this article were taken by Bob Stuart and originally appeared on his website www.underexposed.org.uk












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Commenting On: Kulturbolaget, Malmo, 15/3/2003 - Comet Gain








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