Home > Reviews > Live Reviews > 27/10/2012 | Gaz Coombes – O2 Academy, Oxford

27/10/2012 | Gaz Coombes – O2 Academy, Oxford

Lisa Ward


It’s hard for any artist to break free of their links to a band, not least for Gaz Coombes at a home town show in Oxford. The smattering of Supergrass t-shirts act as an indication that tonight the audience is predominantly a loyal following, dating back before his debut solo album, Here Comes The Bombs. Yet whilst there’s a slight Supergrass hint, not least in his distinctive vocals, for the most part he manages to shake off the early years with a moody and experimental set.

Opener Bombs is melodic and husky. Electronic in it’s style, this sets the pace for a night which twists and turns through numerous different sounds. Hot Fruit verges towards a rock anthem; the kind of song which almost demands a mini mosh pit, and reminds me of something Skunk Anansie might have created. Meanwhile White Noise moves from a more stripped back acoustic start to a rockier sound over the course of the song.  Whilst Break The Silence is perhaps the most Supergrass, boosting a chorus which demands the crowd sing back.

But it’s not just his ability to create diverse sounds which carries the set, it’s his capacity to fuse this with honest lyrics that really captivates me. As he sings ‘Well everybody is a whore, everyone’s getting sold, take a walk in the sun as if you don’t know’ in Whore, it feels like a very pertinent and well timed attack on the industry.

For long time fans Gaz pays homage to his routes, and as a stripped back offering of Moving is met with a massive cheer he seems truly humbled. I have to admit, having seen Supergrass before, I’d marked Gaz down as a slightly arrogant rock star, but tonight I’m forced to discard my presumptions. What transpires is a formidable musician, whose astute observations of the world couple with a clear delight to play to a packed home town crowd.


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Photos © Jo Cox and must not be reproduced without prior consent