Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The basis of Gomez is four friends from Southport. Guitarist and vocalist Ian Ball and drummer Olly Peacock had previously played together in a local heavy metal band Severed. They joined with Tom Gray a guitarist, vocalist and keyboardist and bassist Paul Blackburn. Ian Ball met vocalist/guitarist Ben Ottewell from Matlock Bath in Derbyshire at Sheffield University where they were both studying. The band played their first gig in late 1996 without a formal name. The band left a sign out for a friend of theirs named Gomez to indicate that this 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 4 track demos in a garage in Southport. A bidding war erupted when they sent the demos to recording labels with the band signing with Virgin Records subsidiary Hut in 1997.
Bring It On - career success
Gomez entered the recording studios in late 1997 to turn their demos into an album. As well, Gomez toured the UK with UK band Embrace. Their first single "78 Stone Wobble" was released in March 1998 with their debut album Bring It On coming out a month later. The album received a good critical response from both sides of the Atlantic with Spin Magazine calling it a "damn beautiful album". Sales in the UK really took off when it won the 1998 Mercury Music Prize for best album beating the favourites Massive Attack's Mezzanine and the Verve's Urban Hymns. "Get Myself Arrested" and "Whipping Piccadilly" were later released as singles. While Gomez toured the US as the support artist for Eagle Eye Cherry, Bring It On is the only Gomez album so far not to make the US charts although the album did make the Australian album charts.
Liquid Skin followed in 1999 with Gomez enjoying further success in the British and Australian album charts as well as making the Billboard Heatseeker chart for the first time. Abandoned Shopping Trolley, a collection of B-sides and rarities, was released in 2000.
Gomez's third album In Our Gun was released in 2002. It made the top 10 of the UK album charts as well as the top 50 of the Australian album charts. The single "Shot Shot" charted in the UK top 40 and made the top 20 in Portugal - it also made the Billboard Heatseeker chart.
While Gomez's first three albums had been self-produced, the band entered its new recording studio in Portslade in East Sussex with Tchad Blake as producer. Blake had previously produced albums by Tom Waits and Crowded House and pick of the dozens of tracks produced during the 18 month in the studio became their fourth album Split the Difference released in May 2004. This album has so far reached the top 40 in the UK and Australia as at the end of May 2004. The first single "Catch Me Up" entered the UK top 40 in March 2004 while "Silence" is the second single.
The album has received a good critical response with the All Music Guide 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." 
In an effort to build their popularity in the US, Gomez has been touring extensively in the past year. They played at the 2003 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2003. With Ian Ball relocating to Los Angeles with his wife, the band played at venues across the US in 2004, with the band being part of the 2004 Lollapalooza tour.
As of 2004, Gomez consisted of:
- Ian Ball (Vocals, Guitar)
- Ben Ottewell (Vocals, Guitar)
- Tom Gray (Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards)
- Paul Blackburn (musician) (Bass)
- Olly Peacock (Drums)
This is the band's original membership in 1996. Instrumentalist Dajon Everett is listed as a de-facto member of the band on the band's website.
- Bring It On (1998)
- Liquid Skin (1999)
- Abandoned Shopping Trolley Hotline (2000)
- In Our Gun (2002)
- Split the Difference (2004)
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