Crowded into the HMV Picture House, excitement hung heavy in the air. The night was kicked off by the energetic Woodenbox with a Fistfull of Fivers, whose upbeat folk accentuated by an incredible horn section managed the often difficult task of grabbing and keeping the attention of an audience waiting for the main act: Gomez.
As the sound techs put the finishing touches to the rather large drum kit, I become aware of the electric atmosphere in the venue; it was apparent that I was among die-hard fans. The band arrived on stage during an obscure cover of Whippin’ Piccadilly and the audience erupted into cheering and clapping, which kept going well into the opening song, Bring It On.
It seemed that while planning their set list, Gomez had anticipated tonight’s audience, catering for us with a focus on their 90’s hits from their first two albums, the Mercury Prize winning debut of 98 ‘Bring It On’ and second album ‘Liquid Skin’. Meanwhile, they dropped in a few new tracks here and there for good measure. These songs were well received, but certainly not embraced with as much gusto. The encore was a perfect example, starting with their new release Options but ending the night with Miles Away. During parts of the show it almost felt like we’d been dropped into a Spiritualized gig, with the three guitars creating an impressive sonic assault on the audience.
The highpoint of the night came when the audience took a turn at performing, singing back Make No Sound to the band, almost perfectly in key. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a band look more content.
Gomez tend to suffer from having their new material constantly compared to their ground-breaking debut, Bring It On, but it’s great to hear a band still experimenting and developing their sound 13 years on.
Gomez, The Edge Festival. HMV Picture House, 23rd August, 7pm
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