Gomez, Roundhouse, London – June 21st 2011
Gomez are that rare commodity these days – a band who have lasted through a whole decade and are still cranking out decent records. Their meshing of indie pop, rock, blues, roots & a splash of synths has always kept us guessing and all were present and correct at Tuesday night’s end-of-tour gig at Camden’s Roundhouse. And even though the band don’t all live in the same continent anymore – two of the five are stateside – they still conjure a special magic on-stage that swirled around the Roundhouse in mesmeric fashion…
Gomez have a huge back catalogue to choose from with new album Whatever’s On Your Mind being their seventh studio effort. However, inevitably the night’s crowd-pleasers were still cherry-picked from their Mercury Prize-winning Bring It On, with Arrested raising the Roundhouse’s roof, along with 78 Stone Wobble and Here Comes The Breeze as well as closers Whippin Piccadilly and Get Miles. Whatever the era though, the vocals of front three Ian Ball, Tom Gray and Ben Ottewell meshed beautifully, changing pace with each song with Ottewell’s grit, Ball’s indie-kid resonance and Gray’s classic rock harmonies.
The fivesome spritzed their set with a tidy sum of tracks from their new album and they were well received. Just As Lost As You is a tender, emotive track; while That Wolf, See The World and I Will Take You There are straight outta Gomez’s indie-pop canon, polished & shiny musical bullets. Crowd-favourite Airstream Driver fits into that category too, and Ball had to perform some contortions to complete the vocals while also attempting to change guitars without strangling himself, which he managed – just. Meanwhile, Gray jumped down from his keyboard to perform Waster, the chequered-shirted singer exuding nerd-chic, flicking his hair out of his eyes as he sha-la-laa’ed his way through the track. The thing about Gomez is that they can do it all – tender, jaunty and full-on rawk – as seen on new track Equalise, which allowed Ottewell to embrace his inner Eddie Vedder.
The band no longer all live in the UK but you’d never know it, such is their cohesiveness as a unit. With a variety of songwriters, styles and voices, their sound is genre-hopping & all-embracing – and on a night like Tuesday, impossible not to fall in love with.
Gomez’s new album Whatever’s On Your Mind is out now.