Against all odds, it has been a triumphant year for Gomez - a band who many music followers probably assumed had broken up a year ago. They have played a series of brilliant gigs, and have released an album, 'How We Operate', which is by a distance the best they have ever made.

And yet, if you judge a band’s success on its media profile (and, actually, where else can you judge it?) then you probably have no idea about Gomez at all. At some point, it was decreed by someone that Gomez are not cool. I still don’t know why. After two brilliant albums 'Bring It On' and 'Liquid Skin' and an enjoyable odds ‘n’ sods collection 'Abandoned Shopping Trolley Hotline\ , all seemed to be going well. But then, the music press get bored -and Gomez get ignored.

But, the fanbase haven’t forgotten. I doubt there were many people in tonight’s audience who weren’t around to see Gomez win the Mercury music prize with their 1998 debut album. 'Bring It On'. As such, this was a crowd of the converted, and they lapped up what they heard. Gomez lent heavily on that award winning debut, and who can blame them? ‘Make No Sound’ was gorgeous, delivered with precision and fiery emotion. Set closer ‘Whippin Piccadilly’ summed up the mood of jubilation that had ran throughout the evening.

There were a few further diversions around Gomez’s rich back catalogue, but for the most part tonight was a showcase of a quite marvellous new album, of which the band are clearly very proud. From the energetic title track to the lovely pop-folk of ‘Notice’ it is a rich, tuneful easily lovable album. The highlight of the entire set was a piano based ‘Chasing Ghosts With Alcohol’, which was delivered with utterly natural drama.

Gomez don’t take themselves too seriously. The night was filled with jokey on stage banter, which cumulated with singer Tom Gray inexplicably setting off on an indescribable dance around the stage. But they clearly are devoted to their craft. Each member plays more than two instruments, but they never seemed to be showing off. They just have high standards.

Tonight was a greatly entertaining, jubilant evening. For nearly two hours, a great band gave a great live show. They aren’t in fashion. They don’t care. Nor do I and nor should you. Fabulous

The photographs that accompany this article were taken by Anna Gudaniec exclusively for Pennyblackmusic.

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