When the Southport school friends Ian Ball, Paul Blackburn, Tom Gray, Ben Ottewell and Olly Peacock (aka Gomez) started recorded demos in a shed owned by drummer Peacock's father in the summer of 1996, such were the quality of the tracks that a frenzied industry bidding war soon ensued. Full of rich, bluesy harmonies and dainty indie pop, the demos turned into debut Bring It On (1998), winning the Mercury Music Prize, reaching platinum status and becoming one of the most celebrated albums of the year. Establishing themselves as firm favourites on the indie scene Gomez's follow-up Liquid Skin (1999) made it to Number 2 in the UK album charts and the lads went on to headline The Other stage at Glastonbury Festival. Third album In Our Gun (2002) again made it into the UK Top 10 but, though critical reaction remained positive, later albums Split The Difference (2004), How We Operate (2006) and A New Tide (2009) failed to recreate the impact of their debut.
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