When I attended a Little Comets gig in Birmingham, I didn’t have the intention to write a blog post about it. The O2 Institute can’t really be classed as a stadium – especially on the sweaty, dancefloor-only third level – whilst I also feel like my live music knowledge is average at best, so a review seemed pointless.
However, as I pondered over my experience and delved deeper into the acts that I watched, I felt inspired to write a little something. It’s pretty much going to be an outpouring of thought. And, surprisingly, not a lot of thought about the event.
My inspiration actually comes from an interview that I watched the day after the gig. Mattie Vant was the support act for Little Comets and his two-part sit down with FaceCulture was done when he was the frontman for his self-titled band Vant.
It is such a fascinating watch, a really open and honest chat from a working class lad trying to contribute to the world through music. He spoke with an immense passion for his job and the issues he believes in.
I’ll leave the first part down below. I’m sure the second will pop up in the suggestions afterwards. It is honestly worth checking out.
The main reasons for flagging this up are for his statements on social media and his desire to speak about personal issues through art. Both of which I can relate to.
I’ve struggled with social media my whole life. It’s made me significantly more depressed and (ironically) feel less connected with the world. It can heighten my loneliness and also make me feel anxious about what I post. Very often I don’t feel like saying anything for fear that I’ll be rejected (i.e. lose friends or followers).
Mattie mentions this point about people’s worry to speak, as well as the volatile environment that social media can bring. He argues that statements have to be opinionated online – which is also a criteria that I struggle to meet – and that things can be swept away in just a couple of days because news feeds are being constantly replenished.
He quit social media and believes he’s better off for it. Instead of using social media as a channel, he finds inspiration in the political climate the world is currently in and writes songs that open up real life conversations and debates between people.
For me – as much as I’m useless at it – I can see the benefits of social media. Since starting up this groundhopping blog, I didn’t realise there was a whole network of similar-minded individuals out there. There are so many interesting, talented and hard-working groundhoppers that I don’t think I can ever live up to.
However, I want to keep contributing. I feel a necessity in this blog. I’ve always yearned to be creative and have a massive admiration for the arts. I’m also a big believer in the power of written word and have a huge amount of desire to improve the mental health of others. I know first-hand how bad things can get and I want to help in any way I can to reduce the suffering that mental health problems bring.
But I’m also trying to fix my own head too. Going to the Birmingham gig was a different form of High Stress Therapy than I normally write about. My girlfriend, Saffron, and I listened to Wrexham lose back-to-back games for the first time this season before we headed off to the second city. That was preceded by six straight days at work which gradually turned me into a depressed wreck on Friday night.
Given how many other aspects of life help me to relieve stresses, I now don’t know whether to include posts beyond groundhopping on the blog. It would certainly push me to do more things like I am with my football travels, reducing my anxiety in the process. And it could possibly inspire others. But it could be overwhelming.
I’m uncertain, which reflects my thoughts on the whole blogging world too. I’m not a very social guy so I might be doomed to fail. However, seeing Mattie’s determination has made me believe it’s worth a shot for something you’re passionate about. I just think I’ll post things online a bit less frequently than most.
As for the gig itself, I may not be the biggest fan of Little Comets (that accolade goes to Saffron) but they put on a great show. All five members of the band looked like they were properly enjoying playing music and making people dance. The drummer especially. He had a grin on his face for the entire night.
After the show, the bassist, Matt, and the lead singer, Rob, went straight out to the front of the lobby to sign merch or pose for a photo. Saff bought a signed poster and a copy of their new single for a decent price of £5 in total. We then got a blurry photo with Matt mostly because he looks like one of my friends. But I also shook his hand and told him how much I enjoyed their show, which he seemed quite pleased to hear.
Little Comets were a great bunch of lads and very humble. If you can’t make it to one of their shows, I’d recommend just having a look for their lyrics online. Like Mattie Vant, they’re trying to spark conversations through their music.
They’ve definitely inspired me to achieve something like that with my writing.