Gomez - Manchester Apollo 17.04.02

Bizarre is the word. Young guys from Southport and Yorkshire. One has a voice so mellow and sweet that you'd imagine him to have been an angelic figure in the choir while the other vocalist sounds so gruff and throaty that you'd swear he smoked forty fags a day drank down with a bottle of Jack Daniel's. He has a deep Southern drawl despite being born in the North Of England - but hey that's the Gomez way and who are we to argue?

Gomez mix traditional blues with Electronica but look so unassuming that when they won the Mercury Music Prize a few years back there astonished whispers of "Is that the Band?" because of their anonymous appearance. With glitter balls daintily dangling from the ceiling and the appearance of special guest Danny Thompson on double bass, Gomez have pulled out all the stops to make tonight's show rather special. Kicking off with recent single "Shot Shot" which is essentially speeded up version of the usual Gomez stoner blues. After 12 months in the studio recording new album "In Our Gun" its clear to see the band are excited to be back on the road an it shows on tracks like "Ping One Down" a song about table tennis, "Rex Kramer" and "Detroit Swing 66" which is in keeping with the mood of the new album veering more along the electronica sound. While the more organic "Sound Of Sounds" strips everything back to the raw basics.

This means that anyone expecting the old favourites are in for a disappointment as nostalgia is not on Gomez's agenda. The odd golden oldies are dusted down and played, but the biggest cheer came when the classic single "Whipping Piccadilly" appears to close the set. The song was incidentally inspired when Gomez went to see Beck play the Manchester Academy and missed their train home from, you guessed it, Piccadilly station.

Perhaps a few more tracks of their first two albums "Bring It On" and "Liquid Skin" would have been a welcome addition, but its good to see hear their latest material is still the Gomez we all know and love in a retro / electronic kind of way.

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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