Jon Gomm is a UK based acoustic guitarist hailed by the great Stephen Fry as “an all-round genius; playing the guitar in a way I’ve never seen before”; praise indeed, but has Jon kept this unique edge on his latest album The Faintest Idea?
Well, from me at least, it is a resounding yes! At first, I was alarmed by the synth sounds that emerged but the high-quality playing and lyricism is still there and Jon has invented himself anew and it’s nice to join him on this journey.
Opener, ‘Deep Sea Fishes’ has some neat percussion behind the simple acoustic notes before his falsetto paints pictures that suit the depth (!) of the song. ‘Tempest’ is another structured and well-crafted song with an irresistible acoustic behind the vocals and, when he lets the guitar speak on its own, you realise why this far from rock record is still worth the effort. ‘Universal Biology’ is my current favourite with its Spanish undertone and loads of fret wizardry that make you listen closely and go green with envy. ‘Butterfly Hurricane’ is another complex, stop what you’re doing and listen, song as it builds over his picking and percussion. ‘Swallow You Whole’ has an astounding introduction with a mesmerising acoustic riff building all the while and an added highlight of the lower string work sounding like a walking bass! Closing out the eleven tracks is the warm sounds of ‘Until The Sun Destroys The Earth’, not an outcome we will see but the guitar is again a revelation as the allegory of the ever expanding universe wipes us out…eventually!
It may lack the rawness and innocence of his admirable 2003 debut, Hypertension, but it has enough to keep this rocker happy without a rock in sight. Give it a deep listen and wonder at the layers he creates with that acoustic, you may be surprised.
As a plus, Jon is planning a major tour (Covid permitting) to promote the album.
The Faintest Idea – UK & Eire headline tour
Sat 5 – Huddersfield – Parish Pub
Sun 6 – York – The Crescent
Thu 10 – Trowbridge – Emmanuels Yard
Fri 11 – Cheltenham – Frog And Fiddle
Sat 12 – Swansea – Sin City
Mon 4 – Southampton – Joiners
Tue 5 – Brighton – Komedia
Wed 6 – Bury St Edmunds – Apex
Fri 15 – Nottingham – Rescue Rooms
Sat 16 – Bristol – Thekla
Sun 17 – Birmingham – Hare & Hounds
Fri 22 – Manchester – The Bread Shed
Sat 23 – Liverpool – Leaf
Fri 29 – Leeds – Brudenell
Wed 3 – Runcorn – Brindley Theatre
Fri 5 – Milton Keynes – Craufurd Arms
Sat 6 – Haverhill – Haverhill Arts Centre
Sun 7 – Reading – Sub 89
Thu 11 – Cardiff – The Globe
Fri 12 – Blackpool – Bootleg Social
Thu 18 – Preston – The Ferret
Fri 19 – Newcastle – Cluny
Sat 20 – Glasgow – Oran Mor
Sat 27 – Dublin – Academy 2
Fri 5 – London – Bush Hall
Sat 6 – Guildford – Boileroom