Indie rockers Little Comets become first band to play gig around Great North Run route

Indie rockers Little Comets made a big impression at the Great North Run.
Little Comets, from left Mickey Coles, Matt Hall and Rob Coles, on the Great North Run finish line.Little Comets, from left Mickey Coles, Matt Hall and Rob Coles, on the Great North Run finish line.
Little Comets, from left Mickey Coles, Matt Hall and Rob Coles, on the Great North Run finish line.

The band, made up of Jarrow brothers Rob and Mickey Coles and Washington’s Matt Hall, became the first band to play a gig while doing the Great North Run at the same time.

The band performed around 50 songs and each played an acoustic guitar while tackling the 13.1-mile route.

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They were inspired to take on the challenge to raise funds for Cardiomyopathy UK after meeting fan Jim Lynskey, who has lived with dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart becomes enlarged and cannot pump blood efficiently, since being seven-days-old, having had cardiac arrests at eight and 17 and numerous surgeries and procedures.

Lead singer Rob, 33, said: “It was surreal doing a gig around the run – it was amazing but it was hard running with our guitars and singing all the way round.

“We did it in 2hr 30mins but we hadn’t really set a time, we just watched out for the landmarks and kept going.

“It was great when we got to Fellgate because a lot of our friends were there to cheer us on and then my mam and dad were at Simonside with my partner Jo, my son William, who’s four, and lots of our family.

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“We started off with a set of 20 songs then when we’d done them we went back to the ones that worked the best, or the upbeat ones that would keep our pace, and we must have done 40 or 50 all together.

“Lots of people were cheering for us along the way but I bet some people were wishing we’d shut up as well. It was really difficult to run with our guitars though, and Matt actually clocked someone in the head with his at one point.

“We weren’t really running with our guitars when we were training and we didn’t realise how tricky it would be when we were in the crowd.

“People will suddenly stop running in front of you and you have to dodge around them and lift your guitar out of the way at the same time and we didn’t really think about that before the run.”

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Rob has taken on the Great North Run twice before, but for his band mates, it was the first time.

He added: “Being the first band to do this is great, but it was Jim’s story that really made us want to do it.

“He asked us to do a gig at his uni to raise money for the charity, but we decided to do something a bit different and I came up with this idea when I was out for a run one night.

“We’ve raised around £3,500 so we’re really pleased, but we’ve also raised awareness and hopefully we’ve encouraged some people to sign up to be an organ donor.

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“We met Jim at the end as well, which was so amazing. It took a lot of planning to get him here but it was great to see him at the finish line.

“We all want to do the Great North Run again, but I think we’ll leave the guitars at home next time.”