To be honest, my knowledge of ex-Supergrass guy Gaz Coombes — outside of some lingering bitterness that my parents did not have the good sense to name me Gaz Coombes — extends little further than that song about humping on the radio and then them asking everyone if they can hear them, you know, humping on the radio, and this crucial bit of bio from Wikipedia: “Coombes was noticeable for his large sideburns during the 1990s.” That’s all I got. But that fact is his newish solo album, Matador, is shockingly good, so let’s defer to the experts over at The Quietus:
Of all of their contemporaries, Supergrass were always the most instinctive and least contrived of bands. Still in their teens by the time of the release of their debut, I Should Coco, the trio brilliantly caught the joys and traumas and the ups and downs of their halcyon days with a wit and verve that was immediately recognisable to those going through the pains of growing up as well to those who’d already broken through that barrier. After all, they were young, they ran green and they kept their teeth nice and clean yet by the time they reached their penultimate album, Road To Rouen, the mood was palpably darker and worn before bowing out with Diamond Hoo Ha.
In terms of chronicling a particular point in time of life’s long journey, little has changed with Gaz Coombes’ modus operandi, but what is noticeably different is the method of his delivery. Matador, the second solo record from Coombes, is quite probably the best collection of material that he’s put his name to, and one that stands as a fine testament to consolidation, reflection and what the future may bring as he fast approaches his fortieth birthday. The hints are more than in evidence before a note of music is played thanks to an expressive cover that speaks volumes in a way that so much album artwork doesn’t. Shot in stark monochrome, Coombes’ startled expression, his eyes heavy with kohl, harks back to the quirky humour of his previous band, yet there in the foreground is his left hand prominently displaying his wedding ring. Here he is on the cusp, straddling that fine line between maturity and impetuous urges whilst still maintaining that creative spark that’s ready to burst into flame. MORE
So, the good news is it’s not too late to get in on the Gaz Coombes thing — and it’s not necessary that you even know who Supergrass was, much like you can enjoy Better Call, Saul without having seen Breaking Bad. All of which is a roundabout way of saying we are pleased to announce that we have a pair of tix to see Gaz Coombes at Underground Arts tonight to give away. To qualify to win, you need to A) sign up for our mailing list by entering your email address in the window below our masthead and the words SUBSCRIBE TO OUR MAILING LIST. Trust us, you want to be on the mailing list, where you will get early warnings about must-read postings and groovy ticket giveaways like this one. Plus, we will never share your email address with anyone under any circumstances. B) follow us on Twitter and C) send us an email at Phawker66@gmail.com telling us you have done so or already do. Put the magic words IT’S A GAZ, GAZ, GAZ in the subject line. Include your name and mobile number for confirmation. Good luck and godspeed!