Comet Gain

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Comet Gain
Comet gain london popfest 12.2.12.JPG
Comet Gain play the 100 Club for London Popfest, 25th Feb 2012
Background information
Origin London
Genres Indie pop
Years active 1992–present
Labels Wiiija, Kill Rock Stars, Fortuna Pop!, What's Your Rupture?, The Track & Field Organisation, Milou Studios
Associated acts Velocette, Huggy Bear, Kicker, Eighteenth Day Of May, Cinema Red and Blue, The Clientele, The Yummy Fur
Members David Feck
Rachel Evans
M.J. "Woodie" Taylor
Anne Laure Guillain
Ben Phillipson
James Hornsey
Past members Phil Sutton
Sarah Bleach
Sam Pluck
Jax Coombes
Jon Slade
Kay Ishikawa
Darren Smyth
Blair Cowl
George Wright

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.[1]

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 [2] 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)[3] 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,[4] 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.[5]

2002's Realistes,[6][7] 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.[8][9][10] 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.[11][12]

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.[13][14][15][16][17] 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.[18][19] A follow up EP was released in October 2011.[20]

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,[21] the record received universally positive reviews.[22][23][24][25]


Main band (as of 2014)

  • David Feck [aka David Christian] (vocals, guitar)
  • Rachel Evans (vocals, percussion)
  • M.J."Woodie" Taylor (drums, production)
  • Anne Laure Guillain (keys, backing vocals, percussion)
  • Ben Phillipson (guitar, vocals)
  • James Hornsey (bass)


  • David Charlie Feck [aka Charlie Damage] (vocals, guitar, keys)
  • Sarah Bleach (vocals)
  • Sam Pluck (guitar)
  • Jax Coombes (bass, keyboards)
  • Phil Sutton [aka Hoffner Burns] (drums)

Additional members[edit]

  • Kay Ishikawa (bass) (1997-2011)
  • Jon Slade (guitar, bass) (2001-2012 and later guest appearances)
  • Darren Smyth (drums) (1997–2001)
  • Blair Cowl (guitar, bass) (1997–1999)
  • Lorna Lithgow (keys) (1999)
  • John McKeown (guitar) (1999 and later guest appearances)
  • Erik Brunulf (guitar, bass) (2001)
  • George Wright (bass) (1992)
  • Chris Appelgren (drums) (2002)
  • Gary Jarman (live drums - one gig) (2008)
  • Steve Dore (drums-newspapers-spiritual advice) (1922–present)


Singles and EPs[edit]

  • "Holloway Sweethearts EP" (7" / 1994 / Soul Static Sound)
  • "Million And Nine" (one sided 7" / 1995 / Wiiija)
  • "The Gettin' Ready EP" (7" & CD / 1995 / Wiiija)
  • "Say Yes! (To International Socialism) EP" (7"/CD / 1996 / Wiiija)
  • "Strength" (7" & CD / 1997 / Wiiija)
  • "Jack Nance Hair" (7" / 1998 / Mei Mei Records)
  • "Mailorder Freaks Singles Club" [If I Had a Soul, He Walked By Night, Brothers Off the Block] (7" / Sept. 1998 / Kill Rock Stars)
  • "Red Menace EP" (7" / 1999 / Piao! Records)
  • "You Can Hide Your Love Forever" (7" / 2001 / Fortuna Pop!)
  • "Beautiful Despair" (12" / Jul. 2006 / What's Your Rupture?)
  • "Love Without Lies" (7" / Oct. 2008 / Twee as Fuck / What's Your Rupture?)
  • "Herbert Hunke Pt 1" (7" / Feb. 2009 / Germs of Youth)
  • "The Weekend Dreams" (7" split with Hello Cuca / May 2010 / Doble Vida Discos)
  • "I Never Happened EP" (7" / 2010 / What's Your Rupture?)
  • "Working Circle Explosive" (split 7" w/Crystal Stilts / 2011 / Fortuna Pop!)
  • "An Arcade From the Warm Rain That Falls" [7" / 2011 / Fortuna Pop!]
  • "Avenue Girls" (7" / 2013 / WIAIWYA)[26]



Compilation appearances[edit]

  • "Aliens At War" and "A Kind Of Loving" on "Some Hearts Paid To Lie" (2x7" / 1993 / Wiiija)[27]
  • "You’ve Been Gone Too Long" (live) on Heartache fanzine tape (CS / 1995 / Heartache fanzine)
  • "Like A Sparrow" on Godz Is Not A Put-On (Godz tribute) (LP+7" / 1996 / Lissy's Records)
  • "Dreams Of A Working Girl" on NME C96 (CD / 1996 / NME)
  • "Pinstriped Rebel" (Would Be Goods cover) on All Done With Mirrors (CD / 1998 / Le Grand Magistery)
  • "Asleep On The Snow" on A Christmas Gift From Fortuna Pop! (CDEP / 2000 / Fortuna Pop!)
  • "I Close My Eyes To Think Of God" on Jackson's Jukebox (CD / Kill Rock Stars)[28]
  • "Look At You Now, You’re Crying" on Fields And Streams (2xCD / 2002 / Kill Rock Stars)
  • "Ann Don't Cry" on Everything Is Ending Here: (A Tribute To Pavement) (2xCD / 2003 / Homesleep Records)
  • "Look At You Now, You’re Crying" on POW! to the People (2xCD / 2003 / The Track & Field Organisation)[29]
  • "If You Ever Walk Out Of My Life" (Dena Barnes cover) on "More Soul Than Wigan Casino" (7" / 2005 / Fortuna Pop!)[30]
  • "Beautiful Despair", "Never Die" and "Mainlining Mystery" on Imagine The Shapes (CD / 2007 / What's Your Rupture?)[31]


  1. ^ "Comet Gain Interview with David Feck Interview". SoundsXP. 2011-10-08. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  2. ^ "Comet Gain - SAY YES ! To International Socialism - Wiiija - UK". 45cat. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  3. ^ Nitsuh Abebe (1997-09-09). "Sneaky - Comet Gain | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  4. ^ Everson, John (1999-09-05). "A3 Interview". Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  5. ^ "Cribs, The - Martell (Vinyl) at Discogs". 2005-08-22. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  6. ^ Wallen, Doug. "Comet Gain: Realistes". PopMatters. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  7. ^ Bryan Thomas (2002-03-19). "Réalistes - Comet Gain | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  8. ^ "City Fallen Leaves: Information from". 2005-11-08. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  9. ^ Brett McCallon. "Splendid Magazine reviews Comet Gain: City Fallen Leaves". Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  10. ^ Tim Sendra (2005-11-08). "City Fallen Leaves - Comet Gain | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  11. ^ "Comet Gain: Broken Record Prayers | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. 2009-05-01. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  12. ^ "Comet Gain - Broken Record Prayers". The Line Of Best Fit. 2008-11-25. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  13. ^ Tim Sendra (2011-05-23). "Howl of the Lonely Crowd - Comet Gain | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  14. ^ "Comet Gain - Howl of the Lonely Crowd - Review". SoundBlab. 2011-05-23. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  15. ^ "Dusted Reviews: Comet Gain - Howl of the Lonely Crowd". 2011-06-20. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  16. ^ "Comet Gain reveal new LP ‘Howl Of The Lonely Crowd’ | God Is In The TV". 2011-05-13. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  17. ^ Rowlinson, Dave (2011-06-23). "Comet Gain - Howl Of The Lonely Crowd | DIY". Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  18. ^ "Cinema Red & Blue | Features | Clash Magazine". 2013-07-30. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  19. ^ "Cinema Red and Blue: Cinema Red and Blue | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. 2010-10-21. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  20. ^,296,en
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  25. ^
  26. ^ "Avenue Girls | wiaiwya". Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
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External links[edit]