BritPop Month: Gomez – 5 Men In A Hut: As, Bs and Rarities 1998-2004

BritPop Month: Gomez – 5 Men In A Hut: As, Bs and Rarities 1998-2004

 

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Ah, Gomez, Gomez, Gomez. How are you, my old chum? It’s been a while since I last saw you properly, no? Been keeping busy?

Gomez is an old best school friend, you see. Not seen each other for ages! We used to share some good times together, we had some great moments. Over the years though, we grew up, we grew apart a little. Our contact became more and more infrequent with passing months, we began to have different ideas, and go our separate ways. But whenever we’re back together, I always recognise again the reasons we were such good pals. Ours was a long term friendship, built on a shared affection, and put back in the same room, the old feelings are still there.

Ah Gomez. It’s been a while since that Mercury prize-winning debut Bring It On, hasn’t it? I see deep down though, you’re still the same as ever. And really, that’s why I love you, Gomez. Those country-tinged twanging guitars you play, those bluesy, heart-breaking harmonies, the gently electronic beats. I see you’ve kept up that three-vocal attack, ranging from the gravel-throated husk to the smooth, oak-smoked dulcet tone. It’s nice to remember all those great times we shared, still as gloriously uplifting and satisfying as ever. Remember the old days, ’78 Stone Wobble’ and that coke-sniffing Manchester city-banker brilliance of ‘Whippin’ Picadilly’? Those were the days eh, in the late nineties.

Mind you, Gomez, I’ve still got fond memories of ‘Rhythm and Blues Alibi’, not to mention ‘Get Myself Arrested’ and ‘We Haven’t Turned Around‘. Those relaxed, acoustic, relentlessly catchy grooves you’ve been making for these last eight years or so, they still hit all the right spots. Those soaring melodies, whether gorgeously melancholic or blissfully relaxed, still break a huge smile across my face. You managed to reach into my heart or my soul, sometimes both at the same time. And that, Gomez, doesn’t begin to tell the story of the cheerful, summery songs like ‘Shot Shot’, some of the finest, upbeat lo-fi pop songs I’ve ever heard.

But sometimes, it’s even better when you jog my memory again. I’d forgotten about ‘Silhouettes’, and ‘Ping One Down’. As for ‘Champagne For Monkeys’ and ‘Pick Up The Pieces’, I’m not even sure if I was there! But it all sounds great, as do some of those other more hazy moments, ‘Silence’ and ‘Bring It On’, for example.

Oh, Gomez. I realise more and more as this goes on how I’ve missed you as the years have slipped away. I still think of you from time to time, I wish we hadn’t drifted apart like we did. I promise I’ll make more of an effort to stay in touch. But even if we never see each other properly again, or if our paths have crossed for the last time, I’m more grateful than I could ever show you for this reminder you’ve given me. All the great memories I could want, encapsulating everything that’s brilliant about you – in fact, I’m still at a loss to know why you aren’t the world’s best friend, such is your timeless, boundless appeal.

But in any case, Gomez, this is the perfect document of our time together, and I shall remember, from now on, to treasure this, and every moment I spent with you, for the rest of my days.

 

Tim Miller 21/09/2006

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