While compiling this list, I became aware that 2013 has been an incredible year for music.
This top ten leans more on the rock end of the spectrum but there are also a few curve balls in there. Honourable mentions go to some big bands who put out great albums (Pearl Jam, Suede) which were omitted to make room for some smaller bands who I feel are deserving of the exposure. Without further ado and in reverse order:
Continue reading: Ben Walton's Top 10 Albums Of 2013
Every once in a while, a musician comes along with that knockout combination of startling musicianship coupled with bags of stage presence and charisma that pool together to create an absolute force to be reckoned with. Jon Gomm of Blackpool (via Leeds) is one such force. Since taking the internet by storm with the help of one Stephen Fry, seeing a Jon Gomm show on English shores has become something of a rarity, but this tour (his most extensive UK tour to date) to promote his recent fan funded album 'Secrets Nobody Keeps', is one such occasion, and proves to be an evening not to be missed.
The evening opens up with local musician Adam Peter Smith whose set is well received. His original material incorporates some of the percussive style which tonight's headliner has popularised but the real feather in his cap is his incredible vocal range, which takes in everything from soft falsetto to long, powerful notes coming straight from the diaphragm. Later on in the set, he brings on one of his friends who is dressed in his best dungarees for the occasion. It is not immediately apparent why Smith needed an accompaniment, but when the two trade off vocal harmonies it really lifts the sound.
The main attraction tonight is unmistakeably Jon Gomm. His set list spans all three of his albums with an array of cover tunes thrown in for good measure. Although Gomm is nothing short of a virtuoso, the evening never once feels like an elitist muso session where only men with beards and ponytails who know what an augmented flat seventh is and why it matters are allowed admittance. In actual fact, the crowd is an incredibly diverse mix of males and females ranging from late teens to suspected sexagenarians. There is a sense of unity in the tiny, packed room, filled with almost definitely the most good-natured, friendly crowd I have ever witnessed or been a part of. It is clear that everyone is here to listen and to appreciate.
Continue reading: Jon Gomm - Bodega, Nottingham 16th September Live Review 2013
Growing up in Leeds you can find a variety of sounds, but one that has always been iconic in the Leeds Music Scene has been Jon Gomm. Jon's obvious talent and great musical integrity always gave Jon legendary status as a guitar player and musician, but also as an independent artist. Being innovative, creative and original, it's no wonder Jon's recent fame came in the form of the viral phenomenon of the internet with his track 'Passionflower' having reached millions of viewers and recognition for his truly unique style of playing finally being received. There are few that epitomise the true nature of being an independent artist in this current time than Jon Gomm and it's a true credit to him for following his ethical viewpoint that has afforded him the genuine right for freedom that any inspired independent artist has a right to, for their own creativity. The current world we live in with all its connection and hyper speed could be a bit overwhelming for most, but having a grounded perspective and knowing where you're coming from certainly helps and it appears that way with Jon Gomm. The continuation of his remarkable journey brings him back to a homecoming gig in Leeds with another guitar master Andy Mckee but also another legend Preston Reed, who is seen as one of the greatest guitar players ever and without his contribution to music, it's unlikely we would have the unique sounds of Gomm and Mckee that they do so well. For me this was a gig not to be missed!
I couldn't think a better stage than the City Varieties to stage this epic event. The venue with all its eccentricities and operatic feel seemed truly appropriate for such an ensemble of innovative talent. First on was Jon Gomm and, naturally a little nervous returning to his residing home town, now an internationally recognised musician and on tour with his main musical influence, but for me it was Jon playing as he's always played, with heart, soul and passion. 'Temporary' was his first tune and, judging by the gasps in the crowd, there were many intrigued first time audience members witnessing Gomm's range of finger tapping, distorted effects, percussion sounds and heartfelt vocals. A subtle introduction to the evening was followed by recently released version of 'Ain't Nobody' by Chaka Khan that is rightly gaining much critical acclaim around the world. This tune is an excellent display of guitar ingenuity that creates a really classy cover of such a great track. The next song 'Gloria' saw a realness to Gomm that absolutely endeared the crowd, bringing a real 'northern' soul attitude and an astute strength of personality demonstrating previous experience playing a plethora of different types of gig. Vocal quips and genuine rhetoric throughout the set allowed the potential for some banter, creating a lighter atmosphere and leaving the discerning listener with something to think about, as well as introducing the nature and benefit of downloads as a medium to listen to tunes and maintain the independence of the creative artist. Jon finished with 'Hey Child'; a powerful, mind blowing tune displaying great imagination with effects and percussion, and lastly, ending aptly with 'Passionflower' that probably brought much of the audience to this event. It was clear Jon Gomm had enjoyed this homecoming gig and was truly excited to have Preston Reed following him next on stage!
Jon Gomm's new single, 'Passionflower' is the first song to be taken from 'The Domestic Science Singles', a series of singles that will be released separately throughout the autumn months as digital downloads and on a 'Pay As You Want' basis, meaning once you've heard the song, you can decide how much you pay for it. The singles also come with downloadable guitar accompaniment so you can learn to play for yourself.
Continue: Jon Gomm - Passionflower
Leeds singer songwriter and guitarist virtuoso Jon Gomm's new offering is something to behold. Although at times hard to believe, all the sounds come from his acoustic guitar and his vocals, there is no looping, over dubbing or percussion. A classically trained guitarist, the techniques he uses on this album are something else.
Continue reading: Jon Gomm, Don't Panic Album Review
Loveproof video from Jon Gomm
Jon Gomm releases his new album 'Don't Panic' on 7th December 09 through his own label Performing Chimp Records. In 2003 Jon released his debut album 'Hypertension'6 years later Jon's second album is ready for release, the record was recorded in its entirety by Jon and as with his earlier album, there was no use of overdubs even though your ears might think it!
We asked Jon why he chose to shoot a video for Loveproof; 'I'm fond of this track because it's different from anything I've produced so far, but also somehow at the same time it seems really quintessentially me! When we were filming, the location chose the track. We found this nice spot and the light was good, it seemed to be a little urban oasis or tranquility. And Loveproof just fit the mood.'
Currently Jon is touring in Italy but has a set of UK dates booked throughout late November and December:
Nov 26th - The Hop - WAKEFIELD
Nov 27th - Kro bar - MANCHESTER
Nov 29th - Alsager Arms - ALSAGER
Dec 4th - The Brudenell Social - LEEDS
Dec 5th - Theatre In The Mill (@ Bradford Uni) - BRADFORD
Dec 6th - Marrs Bar - WORCESTOR
Dec 9th - Farenheit 55 - GUILDFORD
Dec 10th - Studio Bar - PENZANCE
Dec 11th - Prince Of Wales - Holcombe Rogus, Somerset
Dec 17th - The Oakwood - GLOSSOP
Dec 18th - The Jolly Brewer - LINCOLN
Dec 20th - The Crown Hotel - STONE
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