Gomez | 10.22 | Sydney

Words & Images by: Alex Anastas

Gomez :: 10.20.09 :: Metro Theatre :: Sydney, Australia

Gomez :: 10.20 :: Australia
Performing their slinky blend of indie-Brit-pop and soothing folk harmonies since first forming at Sheffield University in 1996, British troubadours Gomez have nine solid albums under their belt (including compilations and live releases), most recently releasing A New Tide (JamBase review). Gomez successfully blend the electronic stylings of 21st century effects and layered guitar runs with traditional stage arrangement harmonies and thumping acoustic guitar thrown in for good measure. I'm not quite sure if they've ever shared the stage with jam band veterans moe., but having seen the upstate New York act play numerous times, these two bands share a unique symbiotic similarity in sound and stage presence. Gomez also employ rapid-fire instrumentation switch-ups from song to song, an impressive high-wire act of stage-handery to behold. On this warm spring evening, many of their road-tested toys would be utilized.

Gomez opened the first of their two sold out shows at Sydney's Metro Theatre with one of their most mellowed sing-along ditties, an extended "Revolutionary Kind," slowly easing the late work-week crowd into what would turn out to be a marathon of fan favorites. Multi-instrumentalist and crowd fire-plug Tom Gray (vocals/rhythm guitar/melodica) brought out his melodica early to assist on the philosophical "Hamoa Beach." Knowing exactly how to keep their fans on a yo-yo emotional roller coaster, Gomez let their hair down a bit with a rocking version of the stop-start electro-funk number "Silence," perhaps the highlight of the night, immediately contrasted tastefully by Ian Ball's (vocals/keys/guitar) introverted acoustic plucking on "Mix." This would be the pattern set throughout the night – one rocker, one ballad, repeat. Band spokesman Gray cemented this game plan by stating, "We're not going to repeat ANY of these songs tomorrow night, so for those of you who are coming to both shows, enjoy it while you can."

Gomez :: 10.20 :: Australia
Reaching deep into their surprisingly large catalogue on the barbershop harmonized "Sounds of Sounds," the poppy bass walk by Paul Blackburn on "If I Ask You Nicely," and the solitary calls of Ben Ottewell (vocals/lead guitar) on "Tijuana Lady," Gomez then really warmed the smiling faces of the Metro crowd. Starting with the synth-fueled "Ping One Down" into "Other Plans," Gomez closed their triple threat run with the rollicking sing-along "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" with Gray proudly proclaiming, "We're going to play one by Led Zeppelin 'cause why the fuck not?"

The British crooners threw out one more new number off A New Tide, "Little Pieces," and already the crowd seemed to know every word of this catchy little tune. Before closing their set with the harmonica-led favorite "Whippin' Piccadilly" (off their first official release Bring It On), Gomez's stage manager brought out a cake adorned with the number one for the bashful drummer Olly Peacock, promptly inducing a little "Happy Birthday" serenade by the crowd.

After a quick duck back stage, an appreciative Gomez came back to a stomping Sydney hoard anxious for more. The band did not let us down with an extended percussive-driven "Sunset Gates" and the energetic house-boogie breakdown of "Detroit Swing 66." These Peter Pan boys who never want to leave the Neverland that is the touring life seem to capture perfectly the essence of youthful exuberance and desire to "see the world" through the dirty, road-weary windshield of an "Airstream Driver." Given the raucous response to this show and the devoted knowledge of the joyous fans in attendance, Australian audiences will be waiting with patient ears.

Gomez :: 10.20.09 :: Metro Theatre :: Sydney, Australia
Revolutionary Kind, Hamoa Beach, Silence, Mix, See the World, Sound of Sounds, Do's and Don'ts, If I Ask You Nicely, Rhythm And Blues Alibi, Tijuana Lady, Airstream Driver, Ping One Down, Other Plans, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp (Led Zeppelin), Love Is Better Than A Warm Trombone, Little Pieces, Whippin' Piccadilly
Encore: Sunset Gates, Detroit Swing 66

Gomez is on tour now; dates available here.

Continue reading for more pics of Gomez in Australia...

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