REVIEW: Jon Gomm, Leaf Bold St, 12 Sep

YouTube sensation and guitar virtuoso Jon Gomm is currently on his UK tour. Last week he stopped off at Leaf on Bold Street to play an intimate gig to his loyal fans. Our reviewer Michelle Bates was among them…

What a night! All I can say is what a gig! When I arrived the supporting act was in mid flow, a talented young poet called Tom Kwei. It was his first ever gig and he was on top form. The poem he was performing was about sex, a clever piece but a bit contrived. He went on to talk about his days as a student, teaching kids about poetry and how he had asked them to do a poem on Valentine’s Day. He finished with a great one called I Want You To Be My Ex. It was a cracker and I just had to grab this bohemian from Birmingham when he’d finished to have a chat. I asked how he felt about Leaf for his first gig and he said “It’s warm and welcoming, superb lay out like a Game of Thrones set” I said he didn’t sound like a Brummie he said that it was probably because his dad was from London. Thank goodness, as the delivery might not have been the same.

The main act arrived with “Evenin’” and the audience of ardent fans respond. I am new to this as a Jon Gomm virgin and lap it up. He then tells the audience to say hello to his guitar Wilma and they do, he already had us in the palm of his hand. He talked about his year long tour and starts his set with a brand new song, Say What You Mean. His musical style reminded me of John Martin and he played his guitar with a loving passion.

He went on to talk about his time in China and performed a song he had written about the Wu Kan uprising. After a protester had died in police custody, the secret police went out to quash the protesters, a young man drove his motor cycle through the streets pointing out the secret police but was getting shot at while he did. Jon wrote an instrumental piece for him called Wu Kan Motor Cycle Kid and it was very moving.

There was lots of banter as he played to a crowd of adoring followers. The music was unbelievable, he even played a version of Chakka Khan’s Ain’t Nobody and a song for his first girlfriend Gloria with the poignant lyrics “I don’t want food I just want Gloria”. I loved it! He was joined on stage by the wonderful Natasha Koczy, a saxophonist and vocalist who did a duet with him on a wonderful song about the recession (if there can be a wonderful song on the subject), Deep Cut. It was reminiscent of early UB40.

Overall this was one night to remember and I will certainly go along to his next gig. Be sure to check him out if you get the chance.


WORDS BY: Michelle Bates

IMAGE: Graeme Lamb

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