It seems that it can be hard for even well-established musicians who aren’t the likes of One Direction or Beyonce can have a hard time persuading people to come along to their gigs, so I thought I would give any of those fence-sitters a push in the right direction – towards their nearest show – with 10 great reasons to Jon Gomm live.
1. He is Independent
Unsigned to a major label and very unlikely to ever be through choice, Jon has the luxury of making the music he wants to, going the places he wants to play gigs in and generally having the final say, which for any big-timers is far from a given. This means that his music in uncompromised, but also means that he is a lot more dependent on the revenue brought in through ticket sales and merchandise orders online and at his gigs. You’re not throwing your money into a corporate bank, you are supporting a tradesman as you would a plumber or builder who performed a task that you needed – Jon’s task is to entertain and he is one of the best at his profession.
2. His family matters
As many of you following his social media may be aware, the last few months have seen Jon go through some tough times with family emergencies. This led to his cancelling his Germany tour after 3 dates and taking a week out of his UK tour earlier this month. Whilst this was obviously sad for his fans, it shows that he has his heart in the right place. Family > money. It’s always nice to see somebody with their head screwed on right.
3. He is an awesome musician
There’s no denying it! As one of the best technical guitar players out there, Jon is respected equally by his peers and his fans. What is often not mentioned is that he is a brilliant vocalist too, with a fantastic range and tone to his voice, and his degree in Jazz at Leeds College of Music has not gone to waste as he writes some mad harmonies and melodies that will make your head twirl.
4. He is himself onstage
More than anybody else I have seen perform live, and I’ve seen quite a few, Jon Gomm is COMPLETELY himself on stage. You get to see all of the idiosyncrasies to his personality come through and he talks to his audience as you would to somebody that you have know for a very long time and feel totally comfortable with. As such, it makes you as an audience member feel more comfortable and able to enjoy the music and the show.
5. He writes meaning songs about everyday things
As well as the usual songs about love and loss, Jon’s repertoire covers a much wider range of topics and finds the beautiful in nature (Passionflower), the deep sea (Deep Sea Fishes) and Chinese governmental takeovers (Wukan Motorcycle Kid). His songs are honest and true, unfiltered and beautifully carved out over time, like secret caves in the cliff-faces.
6. He likes bananas and water
To keep him going during his Brighton gig, Jon ate a banana and drank some bottled water. And from those tiny acorns the great oak tree of his performance grew. It’s just nice to see somebody taking the role they have on stage seriously and getting their daily dose of potassium at the same time!
7. He is cool under heckles
Being raised up musically playing to working mens’ clubs in Blackpool, Jon has probably heard more heckles than most but he deals with them all calmly, coolly and somehow looking better after them – the sly fox! He welcomes interactions from the audience at certain points at the gig and when he unplugged to play a Bob Marley track and walked into the audience, there was a contant narrative with the crowd throughout which was really warming.
8. He challenges himself
As Jon admitted during the performance, with his new material, he is still figuring out how to play it. He said (paraphrasing) “I get the idea in my head and then think that’s impossible, then I have to try to learn to play it”. Far from ever staying in his comfort zone, Jon challenges himself with his music and continues to write beautiful music which is both pleasing to hear and technically devilish!
9. He is content with the fame he has
Jon is under no illusions of big-headedness and simply loves doing what he does. He said that he doesn’t imagine that he will ever become any bigger than he is right now, but as long as he keeps playing to rooms full of people then he is more than happy with how his career is going.
10. He is not online (well not much)
You won’t find Jon Gomm on Spotify or other online music streaming services. He has some videos on youtube, the most famous of which being Passionflower with just shy of 8.5million views at last count, but the majority of his music you will only hear if you buy a CD or come to see him performing live. Personally, I strongly suggest that you do both, and tell you friends, because Jon Gomm may well be the best musician that they hadn’t yet heard of.