Singer-songwriter Gaz Coombes is keen to expand on his solo adventures, and the Supergrass frontman has been keeping busy, working hard to complete his fourth album project, the follow-up to ‘World’s Strongest Man’ released in 2018, and the Mercury Prize nominated ‘Matador’, which came out in 2015. Titled ‘Turn The Car Around’, the ambitious new album is set for a release early in the new year, and promises magnificent things.
But prior to that event, a live show is to be delivered, and the good news about tonight’s performance is that the singer and guitarist treats the audience to live renditions of the new song material at the Kings Cross venue. The cosy, wooden, natural interior of the space lends itself perfectly to the musician’s well-defined melodic layering, a set that truly opens up, seemingly aiming to unlock new vibrancy, inspired instrumentation and collaboration.
The crisp, soaring ‘Wounded Egos’ is placed neatly, early in the set. New track ‘Don’t’ Say It’s Over’ has melodic slickness and classic writing skill, while the Scott Walker inspired, more cinematically textured ‘Sonny The Strong’ feels more dreamy and pensive in vibe.
A great people person, Coombes’ impressive know-how and years of experience in playing to crowds and engaging with them remain unrivalled, as the musician goes with the situation he is in, he responds to comments from members in the crowd with light banter and a few jokes in hand. It’s a relaxed tone of the type that makes everybody feel good and completely able to enjoy the moment.
Other notable extracts from the concert include the delivery of ‘Long Live The Strange’, which Coombes describes as a song about “going to see music, meeting like-minded people, and feeling an intense connection in the room”, it’s a theme well-chosen, which also feels like an appropriate way to describe the atmosphere of this particular gig.
This is all before the complexity of ‘The Oaks’ begins to unfold. The track combines absorbing beats and emotions of sadness, it’s an unusual, yet fulfilling blend that does a good job before ‘The Girl Who Fell To Earth’, and the rich, upbeat sentiment of ‘Detroit’, a song that provides an outward looking perspective.
Gaz Coombes is a relatable, captivating presence. A versatile artist, tonight’s performance offers an inspired look at what is ahead, as the songwriter shows the crowd what a chunk of his future is going to bring them, relaying fresh ideas and playing new material as part of an enticing live performance.
Don’t Say It’s Over
Long Live The Strange
Turn The Car Around
The Girl Who Fell To Earth
Sonny The Strong
Walk the Walk
The English Ruse
Words: Susan Hansen
Photography: Rachel Lipsitz