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The Black Cat Backstage was packed Wednesday night as Comet Gain launched a rare (and brief) American tour here in DC. Led by founding member David Feck, the UK-based five-piece played a rousing hour-long set, showing off the infectious indie-pop songcraft that has earned them a longstanding cult following.

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Rollicking energetically through standouts such as “The Fists In My Pockets” and “Love Without Lies,” the band balanced its finely-tuned melodicism with a fast-and-loose delivery that vocalist Rachel Evans acknowledged was “shambolic” at times. Indeed, the occasional miscues seemed only to add to the group’s charm, as did Feck’s affable stage banter, which included numerous jokes, anecdotes, and a request for the score of the Champions League soccer match between Chelsea and Liverpool (Chelsea won 3-1, a fan informed him).

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When Comet Gain departed after a stirring rendition of “The Kids in the Club” (not to return for an encore), it surely left the evening’s clubgoers wanting more.

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Earlier, Philadelphia’s Cold Cave offered an opening set featuring a synth-driven darkwave sound and an almost-comically stoic stage presence.

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Their set was followed by an enthusiastically-received performance by Brooklyn’s Crystal Stilts, who finally made it to DC after canceling their March engagement at DC9. Cold Cave and Crystal Stilts will both be on the bill when Comet Gain’s three-city US tour concludes at NYC’s Music Hall of Williamsburg this Sunday.

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