Miles Away (from Brighton)…

26 Jul

For fifteen years I’ve stowed away my mix tape with these men on – and tonight they reminded me that some memories never really fade, they just get misplaced.

In 1998 Gomez first appeared on the UK music scene when nominated for the Mercury Music Award.  After a short-lived but intense few years, it was at the Reading festival 2001 that they announced they were to disband after their show.  Funny that…

Summer 2012, Commonwealth Avenue, Boston – Paradise Rock Club – seminal venue and home to the likes of the Pixies, Belly and No Doubt.  The five lads – Ian, Ben, Tom, Paul and Olly – though seemingly never having aged, yet they must be human like the rest of us – entered the dark (and always a bit breezy) room to the sounds of Revolutionary Kind.  It took me back to my first stint on a music paper as a spotty 16 year old work experience student – where I reviewed Gomez’s collection of B-sides and rarities – Abandoned Shopping Trolley Hotline.

Sometimes, it’s not a bad thing to use music as a regression technique.  Next thing you know, we’ll all be gently rocking ourselves in time to the beat, curled up a la fetal position on the hard-wood floor.  There’ll be none of that tonight, thank you very much.

Looking around the crowd, a few young uns’ but mostly some well-seasoned gig-goers – a man in the front caught my eye especially.  Him and his partner stood mesmorised, quietly taking the entire show in, unassuming and you could tell, kind of emotional to be there.  At fifteen, I got into this band as one of my first serious obsessions.

Their music always did sound as though it came from the cracks beneath the wooden slats of a veranda in the deep-south, citronella candles glowing, bugs biting and rocking chair a-rocking – Grandpa Joe and his woodbines, dog at side, wife in bed with the fisherman down the road, gun at the ready…

Ben Ottewell has always had those vocals.

Going back to the shopping trolley theme, earlier.  Gomez might be solidly from a past-time, their faces might be as smooth as a freshly-powdered baby’s bottom, but it could be that their foot in the nostalgic past also happens to be paving the way for the future.  Scan your own shopping?  How about select your own song?  Maybe this is the future of live music (God help us, if it is) – will the only way for bands to survive, be to literally perform a personalized mix-tape for its audiences?  All else fade into insignificance…

If that’s the case, I’ll dig out my fifteen year old cassette taped for me by my favourite math teacher (who we teased incessantly about looking like Tom Gray’s double – she still does – he hasn’t aged a bit) and whilst I’m at it, flip over to side B and give Throwing MusesThe Real Ramona a good old airing, too.

We are all a nostalgic mess, just clawing at the first opportunity to visit those times gone by.  Thanks, Gomez for letting us do that once more.  But, given your recent material, it might be safe to assume your days might be numbered…  There just aren’t enough hours in a trip, are there?  But at least we have options – it could be worse, we could settle down, be responsible and learn how to fix things…


Revolutionary Kind
Nothing is Wrong
*I will take you there (?!)
*?! (The lyric ‘goddess’ features!)
See the World
Get Myself Arrested
Miles End
Bring Your Lovin’ Back Here
Girl Shaped Love Drug
Our Goodbye
Airstream Driver
Whippin’ Picaddilly
How We Operate
Make No Sound
Get Miles

*The Place and the People (I misplaced this – someone can let me know if you know the order this comes!)

Whatever’s On Your Mind is Gomez’s eleventh studio-record to date, was released in June 2011.

Gomez are still touring the dusty roads of the USA – catch them out and about in their swanky, shiny bus, before they head to Australia and New Zealand in October and then back to the UK in December.

  • Thursday 27th July – Buffalo, NY.
  • Friday 28th July – Indianapolis, IN.




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