Gaz Coombes‘ first solo US tour included two very well attended, if not sold out, nights at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City. Coombes is supporting his latest release, Matador which had been nominated for a Mercury Prize last year. On hand to open both nights was Piney Gir, who introduced herself as hailing from Kansas originally but now London based, performing her delightful pop songs, including tracks from her sixth album mR. hYDE’S wILD rIDE.
Coombes sounded fantastic, his solo efforts were as grand as the originally fully band Supergrass material. As the Examiner noted, “Though the production and arrangements on Here Come the Bombs and Matador are anything but organic, Coombes showcased his material quite sparingly in this intimate setting, performing solo with an occasional loop to assist him. One might assume that watching Coombes perform on his own with nothing but guitars, loops and keyboards as accompaniment would be lacking in energy. Hardly. What quickly became apparent is that not only is Coombes’ voice still in fine form and incredibly strong after all these years, but that the structure of his songs is durable enough to withstand being stripped down to its bare bones.”
When Coombes performed “Moving” though, even stripped down, the Supergrass song supercharged the audience. People in the front row were jumping up and down. It was a super intimate show but there was no reason to be shy obviously. Afterwards, Coombes stuck around to meet fans, sign albums and pose for photos. He was enjoying his audience as much as the audience enjoyed his show. The evening was a real treat to witness. Hopefully Coombes returns for more shows soon.