Acoustic guitar virtuoso, Jon Gomm will play at The Apex on Wednesday 6 January, as part of a small tour to celebrate the release of his new album...
A full tour was originally scheduled for autumn, however a certain virus forced him to change his plans: “It's not unexpected,” Jon said, “but I'm still crushed to announce that I'm having to reschedule The Faintest Idea Tour. New dates are all set up for autumn/winter 2021, however, I am desperate to play these new songs. They don't feel completely born until I've physically felt a human reaction to them. So, I’m doing a short run of very limited Social Distance Gigs in the coming weeks following the Online Album Launch Gig (on November 15)”
When most people look at an acoustic guitar, they see a wooden box with strings. However, as one of the pioneers of the modern fingerstyle sound, Jon Gomm has a rare gift for turning one instrument into what feels like an entire orchestra... His revolutionary virtuoso guitar style manipulates an acoustic guitar to create drum sounds, bass lines and twisting melodies at the same time, all complemented by Jon’s soulful vocals, and original material influenced by everything from Robert Johnson to Radiohead.
The Blackpool-born singer-songwriter’s 2003 home-recorded debut, ‘Hypertension’, was a musical revelation: drumming beats, tapping chords and striking harmonics, running underneath that warm, expressive voice. Landmark single ‘Passionflower’ racked up millions of views on YouTube and other media platforms in 2012 – with Stephen Fry describing him on mainstream television as someone “playing the guitar in a way I’d never seen it played before” and “an all-round genius”.
Follow up album ‘Secrets Nobody Keeps’ arrived in 2013, further cementing his stature as one of the driving forces behind an acoustic revolution. “I didn’t realise that my songs were worth anything beyond the crazy guitar playing,” shrugs the songwriter, who originally started out on ukulele at the age of two. “When people started getting my lyrics tattooed on them, I had to accept that they’re not doing that because they’re fans of percussive guitar!”
With his new album ‘The Faintest Idea’, Jon has found new emotional depths in immense melodic landscapes. The album contrasts the incredible human warmth of Gomm’s acoustic articulation with more icy affairs, thanks to the synth parts and production work from Andy Sorenson. “Andy has taken my raw, intimate solo acoustic performances, and placed them in an artificially expanded landscape of his own creation” Gomm muses. “I feel like I'm playing a gig, but the venue is a synthetic reality dreamworld. I strum a chord, and it bounces off a cyan cloud releasing a shower of notes, I hit another, and it echoes through a crystal chamber" It’s little surprise that the new music drew from the musician’s own experiences over the last five or so years. And while there have been moments of joyous celebration, by his own admission there has also been plenty of personal upheaval “This album has been a long time coming,” he reflects. “I tend to write in a really painstaking way. The last few years of my life have involved a lot of personal trauma – from me and my wife losing a pregnancy, through to losing other people in my life.”
Despite having already gone viral and established himself as one of the modern-day masters of acoustic, ‘The Faintest Idea’ could be the release that sees Jon’s transition to a mainstream audience. “People knew I could play, I didn’t need to write an album to make that point anymore,” he summarises. “And being aware of that brought out my music in a better way. The technique side can feed into the ego after a while. This is still acoustic guitar music, but the sound, approach, and experiences behind it are totally different. I didn’t need to force myself to follow any musical philosophy when I could just make a beautiful-sounding album that was totally immersive and more emotional.” Indeed, it’s as immersive and emotional as music gets.
And while these are the most expansive recordings of Jon Gomm’s career so far, it still really just boils down to the magic of one man with his guitar and voice. And what a powerful magic it is. “Hands down the most amazing guitarist I have ever seen!” - Tommy Lee (Motley Crue). J
on Gomm will play his reduced-capacity gig on Wednesday 6 January at 7.30pm. To ensure your safety and remain within government guidelines, seating will be at socially distanced tables in the stalls & seats in the balcony.
Contact The Apex Box Office on 01284 758000 or visit www.theapex.co.uk for more information or to book.