London Fields Brewery – April 13th
Those frustrated by the stuttering shift to seasonal warmth could have done worse than step inside the London Fields Brewery last Wednesday night, as that intimate cavern of plywood, cloth, bottles, barrels and hops was sweltering from the tightly packed back-row to the vigorous performers on stage. Indeed the trio making all the noise, The Comet Is Coming, were generating their own unique thermo-climate through a set that wrought powerful joy from a fruitful coupling of Ornette Coleman and the Chemical Brothers.
Once their dissonant intro had given way to the head-nod dub-throb groove of ‘Journey Through The Asteroid Belt’, TCIC set out the boisterous game plan. Max Hallet’s commanding drumming formed a funky substructure for Dan Leavers’ floppy fringe to trampoline metronomically as he wrestled subsonic squelch from his Roland synth, holding down the basslines while layering ecclesiastic organ swells in tandem with the extraordinarily gifted sax raspings of Shabaka Hutchings. The latter’s relentless reed-work was sometimes cemented in syncopation with his bandmates, sometimes meandering and explorative of its own accord.
Their early numbers punctuated by a spoken-word cameo on ‘Lightyears’ from Benin City’s Joshua Idehen (who subsequently downed his drink in one before leaping off stage), The Comet Is Coming excelled in their creation of rave-like dynamics via free-jazz squalls – comprising more pivots and distortions than a Tory’s tax return – which climaxed in intense techno-esque drops that had the audience whooping and bouncing as the refrains kicked back in. The band threw all their energies into many of the tracks from their second, recently released, album, Channel The Spirits, and, just when it seemed the three-piece may have been all blown out, Leavers, aka Danalogue The Conquerer, took to the mic and introduced each of the band. The Comet Is Coming then launched into the furiously high-tempo ‘Neon Baby’, their most reductive, riff-driven, enthusiastically received banger of the night. Single ‘Space Carnival’ closed the pre-encore set, its psychedelic electronica meets tribal-jazz hypnotics again owning the room.
These three musicians are already stalwarts of some of the live scene’s more memorable acts – Soccer96, Super Best Friends Club and, of course, Melt Yourself Down – but for all their light-hearted aspirations to galaxial transcendence and interplanetary travel, it’s the earthbound muddy fields of the festival circuit that The Comet Is Coming should be blazing a trail for next, as theirs is a live show to dazzle any summer bill.
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