Comet Gain


Comet Gain are a British indie pop band, formed by singer-songwriter and guitarist David Feck (aka David Christian/Charlie Damage) in 1992, with musical influences including post-punk and northern soul.Comet Gain’s first release was two tracks on Wiiija compilation EP Some Hearts Paid To Lie in 1993, alongside three riot grrrl bands. Following an EP on Soul Static Sound in 1994, Comet Gain signed with Wiiija and released debut album Casino Classics and a further EP in 1995. The album featured sleevenotes by Television Personalities frontman Dan Treacy. During this period Comet Gain were both loosely associated with the UK riot grrrl scene and regularly compared to Dexys Midnight Runners; however from the first release their music varied dramatically in style from indie-pop influenced by sixties girl-group sounds, through early-80s alternative pop, to pure punk.
1996’s Say Yes To International Socialism EP reflected the influence of late-period Jam/early Style Council and was promoted by Comet Gain’s debut video, for the more radio-friendly b-side “Hideaway”. A second video was produced the following year to promote the “Strength” single and accompanying mini-album, Magnetic Poetry, which was also released (as Sneaky) on Beggars Banquet USA in an attempt to promote the band stateside. However, due to ongoing artistic differences, in early 1997 the majority of Comet Gain split and formed the band Velocette, remaining on Wiiija, leaving Feck to continue Comet Gain with new members.
Joined by new vocalist Rachel Evans, alongside bassist Kay Ishikawa and Darren Smyth on drums, Comet Gain released Tigertown Pictures in 1999, following a move to KRS records. Additional members on the record included John McKeown (The Yummy Fur) and songs included the signature “Saturday Night Facts Of Life”, later covered by The Cribs.2002’s Realistes, saw Comet Gain augmented by guitarist Jon Slade (ex-Huggy Bear) and drummer Woodie Taylor (ex-Morrissey/The Meteors) and continued the garage-punk influenced direction of the previous album. Guests included Chris Appelgren (The PeeChees) and Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill).
2005’s City Fallen Leaves was released on Track and Field records, and showcased a more expansive production, to further critical acclaim. Songs included “Fists In The Pocket” which had a rare accompanying video. The follow-up release, Broken Record Prayers, compiled singles, Peel Sessions and unreleased tracks from 1998 to 2008.2010 and 2011 saw the release of a series of limited-edition singles to support next album Howl of the Lonely Crowd (Fortuna Pop! records). Produced by Ryan Jarman and Edwyn Collins, the album cemented Comet Gain’s reputation as respected and influential indie-pop veterans. During this period, Comet Gain settled as a 7-piece band with the addition of Ben Phillipson (ex-Kicker, Eighteenth Day of May) on guitar and backing vocals and Anne Laure Guillain on keyboards and backing vocals.
Members of Comet Gain have collaborated with members of tourmates Crystal Stilts and others as Cinema Red and Blue, a long-term side project which released a single and an eponymous album in 2010. A follow up EP was released in October 2011.In 2014 a new Comet Gain line-up, with James Hornsey of The Clientele replacing both Ishikawa and Slade as full-time bassist, released seventh album Paperback Ghosts. Noted for an emphasis on ballads and orchestration, the record received universally positive reviews.