As his band prepares to launch its first tour of the States, Gomez
vocalist/guitarist Ben Ottewell said there's at least one advantage to the
fact that his British quintet is just now getting around to tackling U.S.
"We're more confident and comfortable as musicians than we were when we
made the album," said the 22-year-old Ottewell, who is making his first
trip to the U.S. for the tour.
That's because the group recorded its debut album, Bring It On, before
it ever played a live show. To take up the stage slack, Gomez spent months
breaking in their sound and sealing their musical confidence at European
As the opening act for blues/soul singer Eagle-Eye Cherry, Gomez will play
12 North American dates. The fall tour, Sept. 27-Oct. 11, will take them
from Seattle to San Francisco, finally closing out the jaunt in Houston.
The band's setlist for the tour is expected to focus on Bring It On,
was released in the U.S. earlier this month. On the album, the band crosses
Grateful-Dead-style psychedelic rock with Beck's sample-enriched musical
montages. Gomez fortify the mix with elements of the blues,
funk, folk and whatever else that exists beyond and between.
"For us, it's an adventure, a continuing dialogue about music and what we
feel about music," said vocalist/guitarist Tom Gray, 21. "We love it. We
adore music, and every kind of music. We don't come from a genre; we don't
come from a scene. We're just five guys from a garage in the North of
A far cry from Brit-pop, Gomez take retro-rock influences and bring them
into the present with songs such as the catchy
HREF="http://www.addict.com/music/Gomez/78_Stone_Wobble.ram">"78 Stone Wobble"
Wobble"(RealAudio excerpt), on which Ottewell, Gray and Ian Ball
alternate singing the lead vocal. (The singer-guitarists are joined in the
band by bassist Paul Blackburn and drummer Olly Peacock.) Each voice
conjures up a different feel, with Ottewell sounding bluesy and soulful
while Ball offers a melodic pop clarity and Gray delivers a treated,
Ottewell says several of Gomez's songs have taken stylistic turns as the
band has developed them onstage. "They've filled out a lot," he says.
"We'd get bored if we played them exactly the way they are on the
Gomez Tour Dates:
Sept. 27; Seattle, Wash., Aro Space
Sept. 28; Vancouver, B.C., Sonar
Sept. 29; Portland, Ore., La Luna
Sept. 30; Roseville, Calif., Big Shots
Oct. 2; San Francisco, Calif., Bottom of the Hill (Gomez only)
Oct. 3; Los Angeles, Calif., El Rey Theatre
Oct. 4; San Diego, Calif., Cane's
Oct. 5; Phoenix, Ariz., Gibson's
Oct. 7; Denver, Colo., Bluebird
Oct. 9; Dallas, Texas, Galaxy
Oct. 10; Austin, Texas, La Zona Rosa
Oct. 11; Houston, Texas, Instant Karma