Gomez - Shepherds Bush Empire - 21/07/2019 1

Gomez – Shepherds Bush Empire – 21/07/2019

There’s a bloke down the front that I swear looks like a cross between Ross Noble and the Muppet, Rowlf the Dog. Even from the vantage point up in the gods, his mass of long curly locks are going ten to the dozen to Hangover the opening track on ‘Liquid Skin’ and the first song tonight.

Gomez have been convinced to repeat the 20th anniversary celebration they did for Mercury winning debut album Bring It On last year, reissue on double coloured vinyl and bumper CD with demos and never before heard unused tracks. They are also playing a few festivals and a couple of dates in the UK before heading down under for a jaunt around Australia and New Zealand.

At a time when the hip music writers are cocking a snook at anything from the period 1993 to 1999 with a guitar who dared to take an influence from anything written in the 60’s and 70’s (only 80’s synth pop allowed) and declaring that their favourite Britpop albums are actually, in fact, shit, there are two thousand people who would beg to differ and are revelling in the beauty of nostalgia; a record that brings them unbridled happiness. When the band start ‘Rhythm and Blues Alibi’ a women next to me screams and starts crying with joy. How can that be wrong?

Gomez weren’t Britpop, they were too late and besides, they never wanted to be. When Suede were singing about sex and drugs, Oasis about cigarettes and alcohol, Pulp about grotty bedsits and trips to the supermarket and Blur about feeding pigeons and joggers in the park, Gomez were a bit more glamorous, although they did admittedly have a song about getting pissed in Manchester, they also talked about Tijuana, California, Las Vegas and had a Wild West and Mississippi blues feel.

Above all, they were better musicians, had a bit more imagination and fused genres to make Gomez. Live, they are formidable.

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The beauty of these gigs that play the album from start to finish is you are so used to this setlist, those moments when you hear a single on the radio and you automatically start singing or humming the intro to the next song on the album, these are the epitome of a comfortable pair of old shoes.

It’s wistful, unashamed nostalgia, looking back at what you think was a better time, more so now than ever. You were young, it was your fault. The brain equates music to emotion, euphoric and grief. Tonight is a party, a carnival across continent, sea, desert and time.

Liquid Skin‘ interpretation in a nutshell: The hangover girl after the Mercury party, a melancholic admission that you’re not up for a revolution, lying to someone to save face, the hopeless gambler, someone hell bent on self destruction taking collateral damage, the woman walks out, they run away and the final hedonistic end. Set to an alcohol hazy, summer tinged, sunburnt soundtrack.

‘Bring It On’, ‘We Haven’t Turned Around’, ‘Fill My Cup’, ‘Devil Will Ride’ are forcefully bellowed back with gusto and the experience that was missing two decades ago. We’ve all lived these moments.

They’re less than 12 months finished with the Bring It On tour but once the 11 tracks of their second album are done, with the exception of ‘Shot Shot’ from In Our Gun, they fire off the hits from their debut; ‘Get Myself Arrested’, ‘Get Miles’, ‘Whippin’ Piccadilly’. Crowd pleasers? Yes, but the grins are just as wide on the faces of the five on stage, possibly a little overwhelmed too.

It is a heroes parade for a record that has meant so much to people for twenty years and will do for another twenty.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.