Gomez are an English indie rock band from Southport. Their first album, Bring It On, won the Mercury Music Prize in 1998.
Guitarist and vocalist Ian Ball and drummer Olly Peacock met bassist Paul Blackburn at college where they studied. They joined with multi-instrumentalist Tom Gray who lived down the road from Blackburn, and at last, 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 without a formal name. The band left a sign out which read 'Gomez the gig's 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.
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. 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.
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."
However, despite all the positive attention, Gomez were dropped by their longtime label, Virgin Records. Hut Recordings was discontinued by the major label and while the majority of musicians were moved to other labels within the EMI Records group, 20% of signed artists with Hut were released.
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.
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.
In June 2009 it was announced that the band would be the opening act on the European leg of the upcoming Pearl Jam tour.