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Background information
Origin Southport,Merseyside England
Genres Indie rock, Folk, Jam Band
Years active 1996–present
Labels ATO, Eat Sleep, Independiente, Hut/Virgin[1]
Associated acts Operation Aloha
Ian Ball
Ben Ottewell
Tom Gray
Paul Blackburn
Olly Peacock

Gomez are an English indie rock band from Southport. Their first album, Bring It On, won the Mercury Music Prize in 1998.


Early career

Guitarist and vocalist Ian Ball and drummer Olly Peacock had been friends since a young age. They had been in various bands before forming Gomez. They met bassist Paul Blackburn at college where they studied. They joined with multi-instrumentalist Tom Gray who had grown up two doors down from Peacock, and at finally, Ian Ball met up with another vocalist/guitarist; Ben Ottewell from Matlock Bath in Derbyshire at Sheffield University, where they were both studying Law.

The band played their first gig together in late 1996 in Leeds at the Hyde Park Social Club on Ash Grove without a formal name. The band left a sign out which read 'Gomez in here" for a friend of theirs whose surname was Gomez to indicate that it was the site of their first gig. People saw the sign and assumed that the band's name was Gomez - the name stuck.

The band started recording four-track demos in Peacock's father's bathroom in Southport soon after. A bidding war erupted when they sent the demos to recording labels, with the band finally signing with Virgin Records' subsidiary, Hut, in 1997.

Career success

Gomez entered the rest area in 1997 to turn their demos into a full-length album. The band spent the next three months in the studio and touring the United Kingdom with Embrace."Get Myself Arrested" and "Whippin' Piccadilly" were later released as singles, while Gomez toured the United States with Eagle Eye Cherry. Despite the critical acclaim, however, Bring It On is thus far the only Gomez album not to find a place on U.S. album charts.

In 1998, Philips Electronics chose Gomez to cover The Beatles song Getting Better for a $100 million ad campaign for Philips new lines of flat panel and high-definition television sets.[2] The cover song was not released on an album until 2000 with Abandoned Shopping Trolley Hotline.

The band's second album, Liquid Skin, was released in 1999, lending Gomez further success on the British and Australian album charts, as well as making the Billboard Heatseeker chart for the first time.

A collection of B-sides and rarities, Abandoned Shopping Trolley Hotline, was released in 2000.

The group's third album, In Our Gun, was released in 2002. It made the top 10 on the United Kingdom charts as well as the top 50 on the Australian charts. The single "Shot Shot" charted in the UK top 40, the top 20 in Portugal, and the Billboard Heatseeker chart.

While Gomez's first three albums had been self-produced, the band entered their new recording studio in Portslade in East Sussex with Tchad Blake as producer. Blake had previously produced albums by Tom Waits, Crowded House and Pearl Jam and a pick of the dozens of tracks produced during the 18 months in the studio became their fourth album Split the Difference released in May 2004. This album reached the top 40 in the UK and Australia. The first single "Catch Me Up" entered the UK top 40 in March 2004 and "Silence" was released as the second single.

Split the Difference received a good critical response, with Allmusic rating it as four and a half stars out of five and BBC Internet Music Reviews describing it as "one of the finest releases of the year so far. If you were one of those people who wrote them off two years ago, it's time to get listening again."[3]

However, unfortunately for Gomez, Virgin/EMI closed down Hut Recordings and, having had such a strong bond to their friends at the label, asked to be released from their contract. Virgin begrudgingly agreed.

In 2005, Gomez signed a new deal with Dave Matthews (of the Dave Matthews Band) ATO Records. Under a new label, the band released their first live album, Out West in June 2005. The double disc CD was compiled from shows recorded at San Francisco's famous Fillmore Theater in January 2005.

In an effort to build their popularity in the US, Gomez have been touring extensively in the past few years. They played at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2003. With Ian Ball relocating to Los Angeles, California with his wife, the band played at venues across the US in 2004 including Bonnaroo and were originally slated to be a part of the cancelled 2004 Lollapalooza tour. Spring 2005 saw the band join Cake as part of the Virgin Records Megatour of American colleges.

In January 2006 the band performed on Jam Cruise before returning to the studio to put the final touches on How We Operate. After playing the SxSW music festival in Austin, Tom, Ian and Ben debuted material from the upcoming release in several U.S. cities. The band's 2006 spring tour included stops in Asheville NC, Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Denver, San Francisco, and Portland, OR. They also performed at several large outdoor festivals, including stops at the Beale Street and Bonnaroo Festivals in Tennessee, the Jazzfest in New Orleans and Sasquatch Festival in George, WA.

The Gomez studio album How We Operate was released on 2 May 2006. The album's title track was featured in the Grey's Anatomy episode "Deterioration of the Fight or Flight Response". On 14 February 2006 their song "Get Miles" was featured in the House episode "Distractions", and on 6 March 2007 their song "See the World" was featured in the House episode "Half-Wit". They were also one of the many bands featured on a John Lennon Tribute aired on BBC Radio2 to mark the 25th anniversary of the singer's death. Gomez performed "Hey Bulldog" by The Beatles, and "Instant Karma!" by Lennon.

"How We Operate" is also the ending song to the remake of the cult classic The Hitcher, and as the title music for the pilot episode of The Riches.

A collection of A-side and B-sides and rarities titled Five Men in a Hut was released on 17 October 2006. The two-disc album consists of released and unreleased tracks recorded under the Hut/Virgin label from 1998-2004. A DVD with music videos and interviews from their time with Hut was also released.

In 2007, Gomez recorded a cover of The Band's hit Up On Cripple Creek for the tribute album Endless Highway: The Music of The Band.

Gomez continue to tour, including a co-headlining 2007 U.S. tour with label-mate Ben Kweller. The band toured Australia and New Zealand before heading back to the States for a second headlining leg of their U.S. tour.

On 2 March 2007, Gomez recorded a concert at the Vic Theater in Chicago, IL that was streamed via MSN Music.[4]

Vocalist and songwriter Ian Ball released a solo project, with an album entitled Who Goes There.[5][6]

In 2008, Gomez opened up several shows for Dave Matthews Band.

On 21 December the band revealed to their mailing list that a new album entitled A New Tide will be released on 31 March in the U.S., in the UK and Europe on 30 March, and in Australia on 28 March 2009.[7] Gomez recorded A New Tide in Chicago, and played festivals including Lollapalooza that year.

In early 2009 Dajon Everett, Ian Ball and Olly Peacock were involved in a project called Operation Aloha with 14 other musicians including members from Phantom Planet and Maroon 5. They produced an album over the course of 30 days in Maui, Hawaii. A self titled album was released on 12 May 2009.[8]

In April 2009 the band's song "Little Pieces" was used in the 19th episode of Grey's Anatomy season 5. It played at the start of the episode and involved a montage of Alex watching Izzie sleep in hospital, as well as Callie dancing with Arizona around Callie's apartment.

In June 2009 Gomez opened for Pearl Jam on the European leg of the Backspacer Tour.[9]


Ben Ottewell, Beautiful Days Festival, Devon, August 2006
  • Ian Ball (vocals, guitar)
  • Ben Ottewell (vocals, guitar)
  • Paul Blackburn (bass)
  • Tom Gray (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
  • Olly Peacock (drums)
Tom Gray Beautiful Days Festival, Devon, Main Stage, 18 August 2006

The lineup has not changed since the band's beginning in 1996. Instrumentalist Dajon Everett is listed as a de facto member of the band on their official website.

Most Gomez songs feature more than one vocalist. The breakdown of lead vocalist on each track from How We Operate is:[10]

  • Ball: "Notice", "Hamoa Beach", "Charley Patton Songs", "Cry On Demand"
  • Ottewell: "See The World", "How We Operate", "Chasing Ghosts With Alcohol", "Tear Your Love Apart", "All Too Much"
  • Gray: "girlshapedlovedrug", "Woman! Man!", "Don't Make Me Laugh"


Studio Albums

Year Title Peak Chart Position Certifications
(sales thresholds)
U.S. Heat U.S. Indie
1998 Bring It On
  • Released: April 13, 1998
  • Label: Hut / Virgin
11 - - - - - - -
1999 Liquid Skin
  • Released: September 13, 1999
  • Label: Hut / Virgin
2 9 49 40 19 - 30 -
  • BPI: Platinum [19]
2002 In Our Gun
  • Released: March 18, 2002
  • Label: Hut / Virgin
8 5 - 13 - - 37 -
2004 Split the Difference
  • Released: May 17, 2004
  • Label: Hut / Virgin
35 24 - 39 - 191 11 -
2006 How We Operate 69 37 - - - 106 1 7
2009 A New Tide
  • Released: March 30, 2009
  • Label: ATO, Eat Sleep
63 - - - - 60 - 5

Live Albums

Year Title Chart Position
U.S. Heat
2005 Out West
  • Released: June 7, 2005
  • Label: Independiente / ATO / Sony BMG
145 - - - - - 46


Year Title Chart Position Certifications
(sales thresholds)
U.S. Heat
2000 Abandoned Shopping Trolley Hotline
  • Released: September 25, 2000
  • Label: Hut / Virgin
10 - - - - - 44
2006 Five Men in a Hut
  • Released: September 25, 2006
  • Label: Hut / Virgin
- - - - - - -


Year Title
2000 Machismo E.P.
2002 Detroit Swing '66/Ping One Down
  • Released: July 1, 2002
  • Label: Hut / Virgin
2006 See the World E.P.
  • Released: October 2006
2006 Girlshapedlovedrug E.P.
  • Released: November 13, 2006


Year Title UK
1998 April 6 "78 Stone Wobble" 44 Bring It On
June 8 "Get Myself Arrested" 45
September 7 "Whippin' Piccadilly" 35
1999 July 5 "Bring It On" 21 Liquid Skin
September 6 "Rhythm & Blues Alibi" 18
November 22 "We Haven't Turned Around" 38
2002 March 11 "Shot Shot" 28 In Our Gun
June 10 "Sound of Sounds / Ping One Down" 48
2004 March 15 "Catch Me Up" 36 Split the Difference
2005 May 17 "Silence" 41
September 6 "Sweet Virginia" - 1
2006 April 17 "How We Operate" - How We Operate
May 29 "Girlshapedlovedrug" 66
September 4 "See the World" 107
2009 April 13 "Airstream Driver" - A New Tide
August 17 "Little Pieces" -

1 Charted on the UK Indie Chart at #42. [11]


Year Title
2006 Five Men in a Hut
  • Released: September 25, 2006
  • Label: Hut / Virgin

Other contributions

  • The Saturday Sessions: The Dermot O'Leary Show (2007) - "Wichita Lineman"
  • " Endless Highway: The Music of The Band" - "Up On Cripple Creek"


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Gomez Get Fabulous for Philips Advertisement". 
  3. ^ Jones, Chris (20 November 2002). "Gomez, Split The Difference - Review". BBC Music. Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  4. ^ Gomez - Artist
  5. ^ Gomez Gigs
  6. ^
  7. ^ "GomezJournal: New Album!". 
  8. ^ "Operation Aloha: An Experiment in Rock 'n' Roll". 
  9. ^ "Gomez Opening for Pearl Jam in Europe". Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  10. ^ "Gomez - Step Inside". Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f "UK Chartlog". Retrieved 12 January 2009. 
  12. ^ a b c "UK Chartstats". Retrieved 12 January 2009. 
  13. ^ a b c d "Australian album positions". Retrieved 14 January 2009. 
  14. ^ a b c "Canadian album positions". RPM. Retrieved 14 January 2009. 
  15. ^ a b c "New Zealand album positions". Retrieved 14 January 2009. 
  16. ^ a b c "Norwegian album positions". Retrieved 14 January 2009. 
  17. ^ a b c "US Positions". Retrieved 12 January 2009. 
  18. ^ "Bring It On British sales certification". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 18 January 2009. 
  19. ^ "Liquid Skin British sales certification". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 18 January 2009. 
  20. ^ "In Our Gun British sales certification". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 18 January 2009. 
  21. ^ "Abandoned Shopping Trolley Hotline British sales certification". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 18 January 2009. 

External links

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