Gomez (Live) Review

Friday, April 20, 2007

Gomez, Thursday 19th April at the San Francisco Bathhouse, Wellignton

So last night had the pleasure of seeing one of my all time favourite bands play live. With extremely high expectations for one hell of a performance, it was to my disgust to arrive at the venue to hear Gomez four songs into their set. I'm going to get my gripe out of the way first then I can talk about the gig. Going on past experience I arrived at the venue thinking I had plenty of time, normally I arrive so early I end up waiting around for the music to start. However on this occasion the band started so early I missed the start. The tickets specified 8pm, so with two support acts I anticipated Gomez to take the stage sometime after 10pm. At 9.40pm Gomez had played three songs. All I want is some consistency, earlier in the year when CSS toured the tickets specified an early show and they never took the stage till after 11pm. It was a major fuck up on someones behalf, maybe mine for being naive.
To the music! Gomez were brilliant, they are masters at their craft and it really showed. It also showed they are a band of some experience, taking clean studio sounding songs and breaking into an all out jam. As I walked in the door they were playing 'Here Comes The Breeze', straight away I was in the moment as Ben Ottewell's voice filled the room. As expected they played a lot from their latest album How We Operate, which I was pleased with. 'Charlie Patton Songs' was the first song to really touch me, and was used mid set to somber the mood. Grinding mid song with a long electronic pulse, it may have dragged on for some, but the tranformation back to the main song was timed to perfection. The most memorable moment would have been during 'How We Operate'. Ottewells voice was made to feedback through the mic, giving it an amazing echoing effect. Everyone was left silent and stunned as his soulful voice rebounded about the room. 'Get Myself Arrested' was an obvious crowd pleaser, the songs a brilliant pop anthem and one all crowds know well enough to sing along.
The encore delivered the song I was most hoping they'd play, 'Chasing Ghosts With Alcohol'. Although I was a little disappointed it was just played like the studio version. 'Whipping Piccadilly' ended the show, and honestly if I can give Gomez any advice, it would be to drop this song from their live set. I just don't like it live. I came away from my Gomez experience a little bitter, but happy to have witnessed one my favourite bands in the flesh. There weren't many memorable moments, but hey I'm a critic.


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