Gaz Coombes’ night at Los Angeles’ The Echo started with an Open Mic feel on Monday. The venue was slow to fill up and only a handful of people stood around as first support act of the night, Simone White took to the stage. Those that stayed away missed a real treat as Simone stood solitary with her guitar and treated the early birds to her beautiful, half spoken indie folk. Those that were there, afforded her reverence she deserved as more bodies filed in. Fellow LA based musician, Feels guitarist Shannon Lay was up next and gave a quietly commanding performance, backed by only her acoustic guitar and a violinist.
I lost count of how many guitars Gaz Coombes’ Tech had to tune. But by the time he’d finished arranging them around the stage, the place was packed. Striding out onto the stage, Coombes’ immediately looks timeless, like he’s barely aged since the golden age of Britpop. He nods a quick hello before playing us through Matador and Hot Fruit. All while setting up all his own drum loops and midi with an effortless swig of Stella.
By the time he transitions to the keys for White Noise and Shit Happens, he’s had chance to settle, ask the audience how they are and say how glad he is to be here. Affably engaging us in genuine conversation. Not just trotting out well-worn clichés. Lamenting he couldn’t afford the airfare for the children’s choir of Wounded Egos, we’ll have to settle for just him. For one man, Gaz Coombes fills the stage with a sound that many bands can only dream of. Moving through Slow Motion Life and Seven Walls, he plugs in the Fender Jaguar to shred through a brilliant solo performance of Deep Pockets.
What I love about The Echo is The Green Room door is right next to the bathroom door. So loud cheers to follow their ablutions greeted a couple of people before Gaz came back out for an encore of The Oaks. He issued a warning he’d never played Walk The Walk live, before treating the crowd to a faultless rendition. A cheeky smile then crossed his face ‘One More?’ he asked. Before belting out Supergrass hit Moving and thanking the cheering crowd.
This looked like a musician who even after a long and illustrious career, still looked like he sincerely enjoyed what he did. Not only that, a guy who looked genuinely happy to be playing for the LA crowd and touched at the appreciation they showed.
Slow Motion Life
Girl Who Fell To Earth
Walk The Walk