There seems to be a bit of a trend at the moment of musicians taking a break from their ‘day job’ band and stepping out on a solo tour. The latest of these solo shows to roll in to Adelaide was that of Ben Ottewell, otherwise know as the big guy with the glasses and the distinctive, deep gravelly voice from Gomez.
Ottewell is currently touring the country showcasing his debut solo album, Shapes and Shadows; a well-crafted acoustic album consisting of heartfelt ballads and discarded Gomez songs from over the years.
The band room at the Wheatsheaf provided the perfect backdrop for one man and his guitar, and although the show was sold out, it was still so intimate that you could hear a pin drop. The ‘civilised’ but appreciative crowd lapped up the powerful crooning as Ottewell whipped through a short but sweet set.
Opening the show with the title track from Shapes and Shadows, it wasn’t long before we were treated to the first of several Gomez tunes with Free to Run and the title track off the forth-coming Gomez album; Whatever’s on Your Mind, but without a doubt, it was the stunning reworking of Get Miles which acted as the highlight of tonight’s show, with Ben explaining, that was the song he played when auditioning to become the fifth member of Gomez all those years ago. Rounding out the set was the addition of a couple of covers thrown in for good measure and the crowd pleasing Tijuana Lady to close out the night.
The evening displayed Ottewell’s talents as a songwriter and masterful guitarist who can certainly hold his own and captivate a crowd with his enigmatic voice. Thankfully it won’t be long before we are treated to another outing when Ben and the rest of the Gomez boys return in July to promote Whatever’s on your Mind.