Image: Ian Ball & Ben Ottewell (Supplied)

Love Letter To A Record: Gomez’s Ian Ball On The Notwist’s ‘Neon Golden’

Music Feeds’ Love Letter To A Record series asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share stories about how the music they love has influenced their lives.

Ian Ball, co-lead vocalist for turn-of-the-millennium UK indie rockers, Gomez, pens a love letter to Neon Golden by German indie-electronic outfit, The Notwist.

Ian Ball on The Notwist’s ‘Neon Golden’

Gomez were playing at Haldern Pop in Germany and we kept getting asked, “are you going to see The Notwist tonight?”

It was asked excitedly, expectantly; a strange secret club kind of question. Who or what was Notwist? We discovered very little, except that they, like us, were a metal band that had somehow pivoted to something completely else. It was 2002 maybe, so there was no easy way to quickly check in on a couple of tunes on my non-existent phone.

So, we joined the mass gathering by their stage and waited to find out, not knowing where we were on the Rammstein to Helloween sliding scale. They shambled onstage and went after different trains – Spirit of Eden [Talk Talk] and Ege Bamyasi [Can] infused with some magical Geradeaus [Udo Jürgens].

The players were all busy bees – a tech whizz kid conducting his gear with a couple of Wii controllers; a small pack of bassoons (Bitches Brew was very much the soundtrack to this era); a tabla player; banjo; string quartet; a Thinline Tele-wielding singer who didn’t play it but slashed it, with a cool, detached voice; and somewhere in the middle, a shit hot rock rhythm section that knew exactly when to freak out.

It turned out they were promoting their new album, Neon Golden, which I bought immediately at Fnac the next day and bought it many more times for friends over the years. It refuses to age, it’s impossible to describe, it’s different every time you listen. And all of a sudden, you are one with the freaks.

Ian Ball & Ben Ottewell (Gomez) Australian Tour 2022

  • Friday, 27th May – The River, Margaret River
  • Sunday, 29th May – The Gov, Adelaide
  • Wednesday, 1st June – Brunswick Ballroom, Melbourne
  • Thursday, 2nd June – The Espy, Melbourne
  • Friday, 3rd June – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine
  • Saturday, 4th June – Queenscliff Town Hall, Vic
  • Sunday, 5th June – Canberra Theatre, ACT
  • Tuesday, 7th June – Hota Lakeside, Gold Coast
  • Wednesday, 8th June – The Zoo, Brisbane
  • Thursday, 9th June – Brass Monkey, Sydney
  • Friday, 10th June – Factory Theatre, Sydney
  • Saturday, 11th June –  Tank Arts Centre, Cairns
  • Sunday, 12th June – Heritage Hotel, Bulli


Must Read