GOMEZ announce 20th anniversary edition of debut album ‘Bring It On’

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“No other record captures that period so perfectly,” says Elbow’s Guy Garvey. “The concerns of the songs. The stories, the experimental sounds. It was so brave for a band to record themselves at that time: it allowed a direct and undiluted account of the band as aspirational, big-hearted friends in love with making music and each other. It dared us to record ourselves. But they did it first. It’s the most deserving recipient of the Mercury Prize in its history: a breathlessly ambitious and lovingly crafted masterpiece. It should be called Bring It ‘The Fuck’ On.”

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of Gomez’s Mercury Music Prize winning debut album, ‘Bring It On’ will be re-mastered and reissued (20.04.18) as a super-deluxe 4 CD with an accompanying remastered double LP release. The 4 CD 20th Anniversary edition of ‘Bring It On’ contains the original, classic album remastered by Frank Arkwright @ Abbey Road studios and 35 previously unreleased tracks including 25 demos (recorded between January 1996 and August 1997) – 13 of which are appearing on an official Gomez release for the first time.

Twenty years on, the debut album by Gomez sounds not of its time, but ahead of its time. You can hear its echoes in so much of the music that followed it: not just in Elbow, but in any artist who heard ‘Bring it On’ and realised the possibilities of combining indie and roots music with lo-fidelity electronics: a modern experimental sensibility with a love of the past. ‘Bring It On’ was an album that synthesised styles in a way that seemed remarkable then, and now sounds utterly unforced and contemporary. Where so many of its contemporaries sound completely of their time, ‘Bring It On’ sounds as if it could have come out to equal acclaim at any point over the past 20 years. It’s a record that thoroughly merits its expanded 20th anniversary edition.

‘Bring it On’ sounds as if it’s been made by kids who’ve been exploring the outer expanses of Spotify, scouring it for unlikely sources, rather than four lads in a Southport garage, and the fella they met at university. Though, in a way, ‘Bring It On’ is the pre-streaming version of that very process, bringing together all the five members’ tastes, without ever allowing one style to dominate. You can hear their love of so much different music: Tom Waits, Tim Buckley, Prince, Talking Heads, Johnny Cash, Portishead, The Chemical Brothers, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, jazz and folk and indie and the West Coast and classic rock. Between them, Ian Ball, Ben Ottewell, Tom Gray, Paul Blackburn and Olly Peacock created something that was far more than the sum of its parts.

In 1998, of course, it sounded revolutionary. “Gomez came along at exactly the right moment,” says the DJ Steve Lamacq, who championed the band on his Radio 1 show. “After Britpop had collapsed in on itself, there was a massive hole on the Evening Session, waiting to be filled. But what we found was, people reacting against the commerciality of the Britpop wave and heading off on all sorts of strange tangents. The audience was really receptive to sounds that maybe wouldn’t have fitted in a few years earlier.”

Gomez hadn’t even recorded with the intention of making an album, which is perhaps why it sounds so unforced. The basis of the album was seven tracks recorded on an ancient four-track recorder. The band’s label, Hut, had to use the home recordings – for practical reasons. “They couldn’t recreate those recordings because they’d done them in one of their dad’s garages on the four-track, and just after they’d finished doing the last one the thing broke,” says Hut’s David Boyd. “So we decided it needed a little bit of mixing and embellishment, but not a lot, and they trotted off to Liverpool to do the touch-ups, but to all intents and purposes that was ‘Bring It On’.”

In Liverpool, engineer Ken Nelson awaited them, and helped them turn those seven tracks into a whole album. “They’d have an idea and would look to me to make it work,” Nelson says. “Their home-learned skills transferred well to the studio and I believe we learned so much from each other. I’d never worked with a band who were so creative before: it was truly exciting for me.”

The spectacular results had an immediate impact and influence, Chris Martin admired Bring It On so much that Coldplay hired Ken Nelson to produce their first album (he went on to produce three for them). Indeed, without some of Gomez’s freewheeling influence, it’s much harder to imagine the British music scene making a comfortable home for the innovating likes of Alt-J, Everything Everything & Field Music, or across the pond where subsequent harmony bands blending indie, antifolk and art rock have thrived.

‘Bring It On’ went on to win 1998’s Mercury Music Prize, beating Pulp, Massive Attack, Cornershop and The Verve, the judges describing the album as “an intriguing blend of swamp blues, bar-room rock and eerie power”.

‘Bring It On’ remains the album Gomez are best known for in the UK, but it was only the starting point for a spectacular career. The band built audiences internationally, especially in the US and Australia. In the States, in particular, Gomez have become bigger and bigger, with their two most recent albums, ‘A New Tide’ (2009) and ‘Whatever’s on Your Mind’ (2011), becoming the highest-charting records of their career.


Super Deluxe box set containing: 35 previously unreleased tracks.  Collection features 25 demos & 13 songs never released in any form by Gomez, including covers of Neil Young’s ‘Unknown Legend’ and T-Bone Walker’s ‘Mean Old World’ plus the band’s 1998 Glastonbury performance and BBC sessions.

Package includes a 10,000-word essay by music writer Paul Stokes, with new interviews with the band and those close to them.


Red & Yellow coloured vinyl edition + Standard black vinyl edition both in gatefold packaging.

1 Get Miles
2 Whippin’ Piccadilly
3 Make No Sound
4 78 Stone Wobble
5 Tijuana Lady
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

+ 1997 Southport demos

1 Who’s Gonna Go the Bar
2 Steve McCroski
3 Wham Bam
4 Flavors
5 Old School Shirt
6 The Cowboy Song
7 Pussyfootin’
8 Pick Up The Pieces
9 Whippin’ Piccadilly (Turbo Version)
10 Flats 1 & 2
11 Collapse
12 Hit On The Head
13 Slot Machine
14 Sweetest Song
15 Buena Vista
16 78 Stone Wobble
17 Sun Rim Dips
18 Walking Wounded
19 Bluest Heaven
20 Getting Rained On

CD3: Demo tape to record labels
+ Sheffield demos + other demos

Record Company Demo Tape (August 1996 – August 1997)
1 78 Stone Wobble
2 Whippin’ Piccadilly
3 Get Miles
4 Tijuana Lady
5 Rie’s Wagon
6 Here Come The Breeze
7 Steve McCroski

Other 4-track Recordings (January – August 1997)
08. Emma Freud
09. Touchin’ Up
10. Bring It On

Sheffield Tapes (December 1996)
11 Free To Run
12 Unknown Legend
13 Get Miles
14 Mean Old World​

CD4: BBC radio sessions
Live at Glastonbury 1998

1 Brother Lead
2 78 Stone Shuffle
3 The Way You Do The Things You Do
4 Here Comes The Breeze
5 Stag O’Lee
6 Whippin’ Piccadilly
7 Get Miles
8 Get Myself Arrested
9 Love Is Better Than A Warm Trombone

10 R & B
11 Here Comes The Breeze
12 Tijuana Lady
13 Buena Vista
14 Make No Sound
15 78 Stone Wobble
16 Soul Kitchen
17 Whippin’ Piccadilly

But ‘Bring It On’ remains the landmark: The introduction to their singular nature. Hence the deluxe reissue. Hence the forthcoming anniversary tour on which many of the shows – including an appearance at the Royal Albert Hall – sold out in moments. Twenty years later? Once again, bring it on.

The band will be playing the album in its entirety on their forthcoming UK & Ireland tour (April/May 2018) plus Australian and US dates.

Tour dates Australia / UK + Ireland / USA

27/03/18  Adelaide, Australia – Old Adelaide Gaol
29/03/18  Byron Bay, Australia – Bluesfest
30/03/18  Byron Bay, Australia – Bluesfest
31/03/18  Newtown, Australia – Enmore Theatre
01/04/18  Melbourne, Australia – 170 Russell – SOLD OUT
02/04/18  Melbourne, Australia – 170 Russell
04/04/18  Northbridge, Australia – Metro City
24/04/18  Brighton, U.K. – Brighton Dome – SOLD OUT
25/04/18  Nottingham, U.K. – Rock City – SOLD OUT
27/04/18  Dublin, Ireland – Olympia – SOLD OUT
28/04/18  Glasgow, U.K.  – Barrowland – SOLD OUT
29/04/18  Leeds, U.K. – O2 Academy
01/05/18  Manchester, U.K. – Albert Hall – SOLD OUT
02/05/18  Bristol, U.K. – O2 Academy – SOLD OUT
03/05/18  London, U.K. – Royal Albert Hall – SOLD OUT
05/05/18  London, U.K.  – O2 Forum Kentish Town
06/05/18  Cambridge, U.K.  – Corn Exchange
07/05/18  Liverpool, U.K. – O2 Academy
08/05/18  Glasgow, U.K.  – Barrowland
05/06/18  Toronto, ONT, Canada – Danforth Music Hall
07/06/18  Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel
08/06/18  Boston, MA – Royale
09/06/18  Washington, DC – Lincoln Theatre
10/06/18  Asheville, NC – The Orange Peel
12/06/18  Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse
13/06/18  Nashville, TN – Cannery Ballroom
15/06/18  Chicago, IL – Vic Theatre
16/06/18  Chicago, IL – Vic Theatre