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Gomez Bring It On (10th Anniversary Collectors' Edition) [album]

Gomez: Bring It On (10th Anniversary Collector's Edition)“Strange sounds emanate from the
  speakers — rather intriguing, pleasantly-
  rousing electronica that gives way to
  breezy instrumentals and a husky-
  voiced vocalist who knows his stuff:
s Gomez

GETTING UNDER YOUR SKIN whatever your musical preferences seems to be the game plan for Gomez as the band brings out its special 10th Anniversary Collectors' Edition of the Mercury Prize-winning debut album Bring It On.

Because this new edition adds a full second disc of material that includes two previously unreleased BBC sessions and the B-sides to all three singles released from the album: Who's Gonna Go The Bar; Steve McCroski; Wham Bam and Flavours (from the 78 Stone Wobble single); Old School Shirt and The Cowboy Song (from the Get Myself Arrested single); and Whippin' Piccadilly (Turbo Version), Pussyfootin' and Pick Up The Pieces (from the Whippin' Piccadilly single).

Amazingly, the British band's five member line-up has remained unchanged over the decade: Ben Ottewell (vocals, guitar); Tom Gray (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Paul Blackburn (bass, guitar); Olly Peacock (drums); and Ian Ball (vocals, guitar, harmonica). The band played their first shows together in Leeds in late 1996 and began recording demos in Olly's dad's garage in Southport. These demos aroused considerable interest and the group signed to the Virgin subsidiary label Hut Records in 1997.

The demos became Gomez's debut Bring It On which, not surprisingly, was praised in the rock press on both sides of the Atlantic. Hailed as a band that was "different" from the Brit-pop groups currently in vogue at that time, the band's attitude and demeanour bucked the trend and Gomez was singled out musically for the depth and breadth of the band's influences — the panel of judges for the Mercury Music Prize described the album as "an intriguing blend of swamp blues, bar-room rock and eerie power".

Certainly powerful, there is an element of indefinable quality about the electronica and instrumentals. Compelling vocals and a buzz of thrilling, uplifting guitar work meld together in rapturous harmony with tracks that could have been influenced by Dylan, among others, with a hint of rock, blues, jazz overtones and honky-tonk — some melodies would not be out of place in clubs of the 1920s or 30s.

Get Miles is a terrific track that immediately hooks you. The emotive lyrics — Gonna leave this planet man, gonna head to the galaxy… — are eased out with a contrasting drawl that has a definite nod to the US.

When Gomez won 1998's Mercury Music Prize for Album Of The Year, they beat such worthy competition as Massive Attack's Mezzanine, The Verve's Urban Hymns and Pulp's This Is Hardcore. Gomez set off for the US for the first time in October 1998 and has since toured America, the UK and Europe in equal measure.

In 1999 Liquid Skin followed and the now out-of-print and B-sides compilation Abandoned Shopping Trolley Hotline (wonder where they got this idea?) came along a year later. A third studio album, In Our Gun, was released in Spring 2002 and, soon after, Ian Ball relocated to Los Angeles while still working with Gomez at the band's new studio in Portslade, England.

The dozens of tracks recorded during this time were pared down and released on the Tchad Blake-produced Split The Difference in 2004. By that time, Hut — the band's original label — had gone, making way for Gomez to sign direct to Virgin, although the two sides would part company later that year. In 2005, they signed with ATO Records and in June released Out West, Gomez's first live album. The band's most recent and most successful album yet, How We Operate, followed in May 2006. A retrospective collection of singles, rarities and unreleased tracks entitled, appropriately, Five Men In A Hut: Singles 1998-2004, was released by EMI later that year.

Gomez is living proof that perseverance and consistency are qualities to be proud of. The band has ridden out changes in fads and styles around them to maintain their popularity and critical standing both here and in the States (where three of the band now live).

Bring It On celebrates the days when the group of friends formed Gomez after Ian Ball met Ben Ottewell at Sheffield University. It is an album full of life and living; emotion and creativity. The publicity machine says: "It has that creative buzz, the excitement and spirit of adventure that comes when any young band starts out — and which Gomez has, with no self-aggrandised fanfare, successfully maintained to this day." Add to that the luscious harmonies, dreamy instrumentals, cool musical explorations, a determination to push out the boundaries and interestingly curious lyrics of Bring It On and you realise why Gomez is deliciously different. Just listen to Stag O'Lee, the fun in Whippin' Piccadilly, Wham Bam and Bubble Gum Years.

Here Comes The Breeze is a laid-back, evocative and thoroughly enjoyable swim through musical waters and Get Myself Arrested has something of that sense of fun. These boys are in a hurry — and there's no stopping them!

Gomez's Bring It On (10th Anniversary Collectors' Edition) from EMI is released on
25 August, 2008.


CD1 (Bring It On album originally released 8 September, 1998)

1 Get Miles | 2 Whippin' Piccadilly | 3 Make No Sound | 4 78 Stone Wobble | 5 Tijuana
| 6 Here Comes The Breeze | 7 Love Is Better Than A Warm Trombone | 8 Get Myself Arrested | 9 Free To Run | 10 Bubble Gum Years | 11 Rie's Wagon | 12 The Comeback

CD2 (BBC Sessions and B-Sides)

BBC Radio One Session (6 April, 1998):

1 Here Comes The Breeze | 2 Brother Lead | 3 78 Stone Shuffle | 4 The Way You Do The Things You Do

BBC Radio One Session (24 August, 1998):

5 Stag O'Lee | 6 Whippin' Piccadilly | 7 Rie's Wagon

B-Sides From the 78 Stone Wobble single

8 Who's Gonna Go The Bar | 9 Steve McCroski | 10 Wham Bam | 11 Flavours

B-Sides from the Get Myself Arrested single:

12 Old School Shirt | 13 The Cowboy Song

B-Sides from the Whippin' Piccadilly single:

14 Whippin' Piccadilly (Turbo Version) | 15 Pussyfootin' | 16 Pick Up The Pieces

"Add… the luscious harmonies, dreamy instrumentals, cool musical explorations, a determination to push out the boundaries and interestingly curious lyrics of Bring It On
and you realise why Gomez is deliciously different" — MotorBar

At the time of reviewing Bring It On (10th Anniversary Collectors' Edition), Gomez is on tour in the United States and will commence their Bring It On tour of the UK on 28 August (2008), playing the album in full.

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