Matlock is the land of bikers, it’s also the hometown of one of the 3 Gomez vocalists/guitarists. The venue was the upstairs room of a pub called The Fishpond. The room was red with chairs placed around some round of the tables (some of the ones near the front reserved), and some other chairs that had been dragged to the middle of the room for the lucky early arrivers.
Sam Genders was due on at 8pm but it was sometime after half past when he walked onto the small raised platform with his acoustic guitar. He then started 30 minutes of easy going tunes with soft vocals. I would call it very pleasant. He likened the tuning of his guitar between songs to playing Frogger. This was a thought that raised its amphibian head during the other sets.
Next up was John Smith. The crowd had been introduced to him briefly earlier when he accompanied Sam for one song. The songs he played for his 30 minutes contained vocals that were a little rougher than Sam’s, but his guitaring skills were most excellent. He even incorporated a bit of guitar drumming into it.
Ben Ottewell was 40 minutes late taking to the stage. It was 10:40 and because of this I though we might get a short set, but it was sometime after midnight when we eventually left the pub.
There were of course plenty of Gomez songs played, some of which were slowed down for the acoustic treatment like How We Operate, Get Miles, Free To Run. Others followed their usual path such as Tijuana Lady and one of my faves Make No Sound. Best cover song played for me was Nick Drakes Black Eyed Dog, but the Neil Young ones were good too, especially Heart Of Gold which he played with John Smith.
As the time rolled on I kept thinking that we were listening to the last song but the tunes kept on coming. By the end Sam had also joined him on stage for Bob Dylan’s I Shall Be Released which included a false slowed down harmony ending.
Gomez are somewhat more than the sum of its parts, but if I had to see one of the guys solo it would have been Ben. Throughout the 90 minutes I was entranced by his deep soulful voice. It was a really nice gig and the only downside was that it went on so late that all the chip shops were shut and I only got 4.5 hours sleep before work. Tonight I had a Pizza Hut pizza for tea so all is equal in the world once again, or will be once I’ve slept.
How We Operate
Here Comes The Breeze
Harvest Moon (Neil Young)
(possibly Wichita Lineman – Glen Campbell)
Very Strange (New)
Black Eyed Dog (Nick Drake)
Free To Run
Rypa Loves Country Music?
Make No Sound
Heart of Gold (Neil Young)
I Shall Be Released (Bob Dylan)