Gomez – In Concert at Glastonbury 1998 – June 26, 1998 – BBC Radio 1 –
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Gomez to start the week off. Getting started just two years before this concert, Gomez had a good run until 2012 when they decided to go separate ways. That all changed in 2018 when they suddenly announced they were getting back together and taking it on the road. First stop; Australia.
For those of you new to the band – Gomez are an English indie rock band from Southport, comprising Ian Ball (vocals, guitar), Paul “Blackie” Blackburn (bass), Tom Gray (vocals, guitars, keyboards), Ben Ottewell (vocals, guitars) and Olly Peacock (drums, synths, computers). The band has three singers and four songwriters, employing traditional and electronic instruments. Their music covers the genres blues, indie, alternative, rock, folk, psychedelic and experimental.
Their first album, Bring It On, won the Mercury Music Prize in 1998. Later awards came from the NME and Q along with a Brit Awards nomination.
Gomez began their career on Hut records (Virgin), signing in 1997. Just before their third album release In Our Gun Hut records was forced to downsize and on the following record, Split the Difference, Hut records was disbanded by Virgin/EMI Records. The band were so dismayed by the music industry that they decided to go on alone and asked Virgin Records to let them go in 2004. The following year American label ATO signed the group, releasing their first live album Out West and their most successful records stateside How We Operate and A New Tide.
The band members are split between the UK and US with Ian Ball residing in Los Angeles, Olly Peacock in Brooklyn, New York, and Paul Blackburn, Tom Gray and Ben Ottewell in Brighton, England.
Ball has released two solo records entitled Who Goes There (2007) and Unfold Yourself (2013). Ball and Peacock worked on the side project Operation Aloha. The experimental project designed by photographer Christopher Wray-McCann brought together 14 of his friends, living in tree houses making songs with whatever they could bring to the island of Maui, Hawaii.
Ball, Ottewell, Peacock and Pattison (engineer) created the Final Keep Me Up in 2009. They recorded an album using only iPhones in the back lounge of the tour bus from Calais to Köln, on 2 May 2009. The album exists only in streaming form.
Ben Ottewell has released three solo records: Shapes & Shadows (2011), Rattlebag (2014) and A Man Apart (2017).
Two decades after Bring It On’s release, Gomez are returning to Australian shores to commemorate the anniversary of its release – what Blackburn jokingly refers to as the “look at us, we’re old” tour – including an appearance at this year’s Bluesfest and a handful of headline shows. For Blackburn, part of the excitement is simply touring again – the band have not done so for around six years.
Over 20 years since their initial formation, Gomez are one of the few bands of the era to have continued with their original lineup, with all five founding members still part of the band. “We were friends before the band started, and it feels more like family than a work thing. You take the rough with the smooth,” says Blackburn.
Here’s their Glastonbury appearance from 1998 – crank it up and enjoy.